They're loved, no matter what they're called, the world over. Here are some common ways people say "grandma" and "grandpa" around the globe.

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Grandma: Abuela/Abuelita

Grandpa: Abuelo/Abuelito

In Spain, as in most Spanish-speaking countries, grandparents are most often referred to with the formal titles of “abuela” (grandma) and “abuelo” (grandpa). Informal versions are also popular, “abuelita”, which translates into little grandma, is a common term of endearment and for grandpas, “abuelito” is often used to show great affection. Grandparents Day in Spain is celebrated on July 26th, a day commonly associated with the Feast Day of Saint Joaquin and Saint Anne. These Saints are thought to have been the parents of the Virgin Mary, making them the grandparents of Jesus. Find out the eight Spanish phrases everyone should know.

Kwazulu-Natal Province in South Africa

Grandma: Gogo/Ugogo

Grandpa: Umkhulu

Home to the Zulu tribe of South Africa, the Kwazulu-Natal Province has known its share of hagaianation.netships, as well as joys. Here, grandmothers are often called upon to raise their own grandchildren, orphaned by the AIDS crisis. Grandmas are lovingly known as “gogo” or “ugogo” in the Zulu dialect. Gogo groups, dedicated to helping children, can be found all over the country. Grandpas of the Zulu tribe are called “umkhulu.”


Grandma: Maimeó

Grandpa: Daideó

If your grandparents were born in Ireland, you can claim Irish citizenship for yourself, even if your parents have never set foot on the Emerald Isle. That may be one reason why grandparents in this lovely country have such loving connections to their grandkids. In Gaelic, grandmothers are called “maimeó” (pronounced mam-o), and grandfathers, “daideó “(pronounced dah-jo). Try testing your own maimeó, to see how many she gets right. Being away from your grandparents is, this is when it will be safe to see them again.


Grandma: Babushka

Grandpa: Dedushka

In Russia, a grandmother is typically referred to as “babushka,” a term that also means old woman. The colorful, light wool headscarves, often worn by women of a certain age in Russia, have also come to be known as babushkas. Grandfathers may not have a head covering named after them in this large, Northern country, but are affectionately known as “dedushka,” or sometimes, “dedulya,” a more casual term of endearment.

The People’s Republic of China

Grandma: Lao Lao (maternal), Nai Nai (paternal)

Grandpa: Lao ye or Wai gong (maternal), Zu fu (paternal)

In Chinese households, both in the People’s Republic, and abroad, grandparents often live with their children and grandchildren, accogaianation.neting to the American Grandparents Association. This close, respectful relationship is of benefit to everyone, since the grandparents typically stay home with the children, while their parents work. In Mandarin, the official dialect, maternal and paternal grandparents are known by different terms. Accogaianation.neting to The Spruce, the formal name for paternal grandfathers is “zu fu,” but “yeye” is more commonly used. Maternal grandfathers are known by different names, based on geographic region. In the north, they’re called “lao ye.” In the south, “wai gong.” Paternal grandmas are known as “nai nai,” and maternal grandmas, “lao lao.” Chinese New Year is an important holiday for Chinese families.

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Grandma: Grand-mère

Grandpa: Grand-père

The lyrical language of France is apparent in the way children refer to their grandparents, “grand-mère” is grandma, and “grand-père” is grandpa. “Mamie” has become a popular modern update for grandmother. Accogaianation.neting to Cairn Info, the role of grandparents in their grandchildren’s lives have changed from the traditional, in modern-day France. Due to healthy habits and a robust, longer life span than was common in generations past, grandparents are better able to play an active, familial role, into a more advanced, older age. Grandparents in France are often the ones who provide financial assistance, when needed, to their grandkids. Now, read up on the true story of Grandparents Day.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who has worked with infertility patients and adopting parents for over 25 years. Her work has been featured in multiple media outlets, including Reader’s Digest, The Healthy, Healthline, CBS Local, and Berxi. Follow her on Twitter

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