How To Say Grandma In Spanish [Nicknames & Diminutives]
- Jada LòpezSpanish teacher, translator🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Passionate language teacher and translator. Wife, mother of 3 and amateur surfer.
In Spanish and Latin American cultures, grandmothers are some of the most important members of the family.
If you have a Spanish-speaking grandma and you’re learning the language, what better way to show respect and love for her than to learn to address her properly in Spanish?
If you’re unsure what to call her, read on to learn some different ways to say grandmda in Spanish.
How to say grandma in Spanish
Here’s my list of Spanish words you can use to address your grandmother and refer to her with love and affection.
Abuela means “grandmother” in Spanish.
It’s the most frequently used term to talk about your grandma.
It can also mean “granny”, and you can use it to address your grandparent or refer to her indirectly.
Here are a few usage examples of this Spanish noun:
¡Abuela! ¿Qué tal? Espero que estés bien.
¡Vamos a ver a tu abuela!
Dale un abrazo a tu abuela.
Abuelita is an affectionate term for the word “grandmother” in Spanish.
You can see that it is similar to the word abuela and features the suffix -ita.
The suffix means it is a diminutive in Spanish, a word that evokes cuteness or fondness.
Spanish speakers use the word abuelita to refer to an unrelated older woman.
For example, a young child might use the following sentence if they see an old woman at the bus stop:
Mira mama, hay una abuelita en la parada de autobus.
This Spanish noun is more of an apodo or nickname than a standard word.
Abue means “granny”.
The main thing to remember about this word is that Spanish speakers use it when they have a close family relationship with their grandma.
Remember that abue is appropriate for referring to grandfathers too, as it’s also short for the masculine noun abuelo.
Here are three examples of sentences that include this apodo when referring to grandmothers:
El pastel estaba muy rico.
Este fin de, vamos a visitar a mi abue.
Abue, te ayudare con las cajas.
Like abue, abu is another apodo to refer to your grandmother or grandfather.
It’s a short version of abuela and means “granny” or “grandma”.
Some Spanish speakers may prefer to use the full version of the word and address their grandmother as abuela, but others may use apodos like this, depending on their relationship.
¡Abu, te traigo un regalo para tu cumpleaños!
¿Cuántos años tiene tu abu?
Here is another apodo young grandchildren can use to address their grandmother.
Lita is the suffix of the word abuelita and is ideal if a child cannot pronounce the full word.
It’s another cute, affectionate noun that even adults may use when speaking to their children about their grandma.
Papá, la lita tiene una cita con el médico hoy.
A la lita le gusta mirar los pájaros.
Although many teachers consider this word incorrect, many Spanish speakers use it when they speak colloquially or with their family.
Wela is a short version of abuela.
To say this word, you skip the ab in abuela and only pronounce the uela at the end.
A few examples of how to use wela when speaking include the following sentences:
Wela es muy lista y tiene muchos cuentos interesantes.
Wela va a cumplir noventa años este verano.
7. Mamá + the name of the grandmother
Even Spanish beginners will know that mamá means “mother”, but many Spanish speakers use the sentence structure mamá + the name of the grandmother to show respect to their grandma.
It’s almost like giving a grandmother a title and using it helps you show your affection for your grandmother even when remembering past events.
La mamá Cecilia cocinaba muy temprano y después dormía en el sofá.
La mamá Ángela estaba muy triste cuando el abuelo murió.
Mamita is a diminutive like abuelita, which you can see from the suffix -ita.
It means “mum”, but many Colombian Spanish people use it when speaking to their grandmother in Spanish.
If you want to refer to your grandma with the same respect you have for your mother, you can use this noun to address her.
Andrea, ¿puedes ayudar a tu mamita a limpiar la casa?
La mamita está viendo la tele.
This word is a short version of the nickname abue, meaning “granny”.
Spanish speakers pronounce it by skipping the letter -b in abue, but remember that it’s not the same as the English word “awe”.
You’ll hear Spanish speakers pronouncing this word as AH-OOU-EH.
Mi awe nos compró dulces para después de la comida.
Awe, vamos a viajar a París.
¿Vienes con nosotros?
If you’re in Colombia and want to shorten the word mamita, you can use mita to address your grandma.
You can see that you should remove or avoid the ma in mamita to use this word. It’s an endearing term for grandchildren to talk about their grandma or ask them for something.
¿Mita, tienes chocolates para todos?
Mi mita tiene que usar una silla de ruedas para que pueda salir de la casa.
Show your grandmother how much you love her
Showing your love for your Spanish-speaking grandma is easy when you have the right Spanish words to address her.
The titles listed here will make her smile next time you visit her. 🙂
Use apodos and affectionate words to make her day and emphasize your special bond.
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