Ethnic Names for Grandfathers and Grandfather Names in Other Countries

Find Inspiration for the Perfect Grandparent Name

grandfather names in other countries and among other ethnicities
Choose a grandfather name that reflects your family heritage, or one that you just like. Photo © JGI/Jamie Grill | Getty Images

Like the idea of being a Grandpere? You don't have to be French to choose that as your grandfather name. Modern grandparents feel free to choose grandparent names just because they like the way they sound. It's always a good idea to discuss your decision with the other members of your family. Also, your grandchild will eventually have something to say about it. But for the first few months, you are in charge, so pick a name you like.

And learn more about being an involved grandfather.

Many of these names appear in several variations and spellings. Click on the links for more detailed information, sometimes including a link to an audio file.

Popular Ethnic Names for Grandfathers

These names are frequently chosen, probably mostly because they sound good and are easy for grandkids to say. 

  • German: Opa is a popular name for both those of German extraction and others. Some say it just sounds jolly.
  • Hawaiian: Tutu is a popular name for grandparents everywhere. Technically, grandfathers are Tutu Kane and grandmothers are Tutu Wahine, but Tutu is often used by itself.  
  • Filipino: Lolo is the most common name for grandfather. Others terms include Ingkong, Lelong and Abwelo, but these are seldom adopted by non-Filipinos. ​
  • Greek: Papu is popular with Greeks and non-Greeks, probably because it is close to Papa and PawPaw. 
  • Flemish: Bompa is sometimes changed into Boompa, the nickname used for Jimmy Stewart in the classic film Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation.

    Less Popular Names

    These grandfather names are less popular, probably because they can be intimidating to pronounce and tricky to spell. 

    • Chinese: YeYe is commonly used for paternal grandfathers, whereas the most popular name for maternal grandfathers is GongGong.
    • French: Grand-papa is a popular nickname, along with Pépère and Papi, although Grandpère is the formal name.
    • French Canadian: Grandpère is the formal name, but most grandfathers are called Pépé, Pépère, Papi or Papie.
    • Hebrew: Saba is easy to say and spell, but still isn't as popular as the Yiddish Zayde.
    • Italian: Nonno has never been as popular with non-Italians as the female Nonna, which has become quite popular as a grandmother nickname.
    • Irish: Seanathair, Daideó and Móraí are among the Irish names for grandfather -- all difficult for non-Irish.
    • Japanese: Ojiisan is the Japanese word for grandfather, but many Japanese children call their grandpas Jiji or Baba.
    • Korean: The Korean word for grandfather is sometimes spelled Haraboji and sometimes as Harabeoji, Halaboji or Halabeoji. 
    • Polish: Non-Polish speakers are likely to have a hard time with the Polish word for grandfather, which is usually rendered as Dziadek.
    • Portuguese: Avo is the Portuguese term for both grandfather and grandmother, but they have different diacritical markings and thus different pronunciations.
    • Russian: Dedushka is sometimes shortened to Dedulya or even to Deda.
    • Spanish: Abuelo is sometimes shortened to Abuelito, leading to the nicknames of Lito and Tito.
    • Yiddish: Zayde, the Yiddish name for grandfather, is sometimes spelled Zaydee or Zaydeh.

      If you are still undecided about what grandfather name suits you, take this grandfather name quiz. You'll learn more about your grandparenting style and perhaps find just the perfect name! See also these FAQs about grandparent names.

      See names for grandmothers or take the grandmother name quiz.