[ grand-muh-mah; gran-mah-muh, grand-, gram- ]
/ ˈgrænd məˌmɑ; ˈgrænˌmɑ mə, ˈgrænd-, ˈgræm- /
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noun Informal.
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Origin of grandmamma

First recorded in 1740–50; grand- + mamma1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does grandmamma mean?

Grandmamma is an informal word for grandmother—the mother of a person’s parent.

Grandmamma can also be spelled grandmama. Both words are much less common than grandma. The words mama and mamma are informal ways of saying mother and are much more commonly used.

Grandmamma should be capitalized when it’s used as a proper name, as in Please tell Grandmamma that I miss her. 

But grandmamma does not need to be capitalized when it’s simply used as a way to refer to her, as in Please tell my grandmamma that I miss her. 

Example: It doesn’t matter what you call your grandmamma, as long as you call her.

Where does grandmamma come from?

The first records of the word grandmamma come from around the 1700s. The word mamma is a variant of mama, which is first recorded in the 1500s but was certainly used in speech much earlier than that. The prefix grand- is used in family terms to indicate a person who is one generation removed, as in grandparent and grandchild. (The prefix great- indicates yet another generation, as in great-grandmother.)

Grandmothers often have special bonds with their grandchildren (who they’re known to spoil with love, affection, and candy). It’s common for grandchildren to refer to their grandmothers with informal names. Grandma is perhaps the most common variant of the word grandmother, but there are many others, including grandmamma, grandmom, gramma, granny, and nana. Many families have their own specific version, such as meemaw and MaMotts.

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What are some other forms related to grandmamma?

  • grandmama (alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for grandmamma?

What are some words that share a root or word element with grandmamma

What are some words that often get used in discussing grandmamma?

How is grandmamma used in real life?

Grandmamma is one of the many informal variants of the word grandmother. When it’s used as a proper name, it should be capitalized.



Try using grandmamma!

Is grandmamma used correctly in the following sentence?

I’m a grandmamma of two and a mother of five, so I know a thing or two about temper tantrums.

How to use grandmamma in a sentence