How To Say Grandma In Spanish [Nicknames & Diminutives]

  • Jada Lòpez
    Written byJada Lòpez
    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.
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How To Say Grandma In Spanish [Nicknames & Diminutives]

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.

1. Abuela

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:

Listen to audio

¡Abuela! ¿Qué tal? Espero que estés bien.

Grandma! How are you? I hope you're well.
Listen to audio

¡Vamos a ver a tu abuela!

We're going to see your grandmother!
Listen to audio

Dale un abrazo a tu abuela.

Give your grandmother a hug.

2. Abuelita

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:

Listen to audio

Mira mama, hay una abuelita en la parada de autobus.

Look, mum, there's a grandma at the bus stop.

3. Abue

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:

Listen to audio

El pastel estaba muy rico.

Gracias abue.

The cake was very delicious. Thanks, granny.
Listen to audio

Este fin de, vamos a visitar a mi abue.

This weekend, we're going to visit my granny.
Listen to audio

Abue, te ayudare con las cajas.

Pesan mucho.

Granny, I'll help you with the boxes. They weigh a lot.

4. Abu

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.

Listen to audio

¡Abu, te traigo un regalo para tu cumpleaños!

Granny, I'll bring you a gift for your birthday!
Listen to audio

¿Cuántos años tiene tu abu?

How old is your grandmother?

5. Lita

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.

Listen to audio

Papá, la lita tiene una cita con el médico hoy.

Dad, Granny has a doctor's appointment today.
Listen to audio

A la lita le gusta mirar los pájaros.

Granny likes to watch the birds.

6. Wela

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:

Listen to audio

Wela es muy lista y tiene muchos cuentos interesantes.

Granny is very clever and has many interesting stories.
Listen to audio

Wela va a cumplir noventa años este verano.

Granny is going to be ninety years old this summer.

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.

Listen to audio

La mamá Cecilia cocinaba muy temprano y después dormía en el sofá.

Cecilia, my grandmother, used to cook very early and then slept on the sofa.
Listen to audio

La mamá Ángela estaba muy triste cuando el abuelo murió.

Ángela, my grandmother, was very sad when Grandpa passed away.

8. Mamita

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.

Listen to audio

Andrea, ¿puedes ayudar a tu mamita a limpiar la casa?

Andrea, can you help your grandma clean the house?
Listen to audio

La mamita está viendo la tele.

Grandma is watching TV.

9. Awe

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.

Listen to audio

Mi awe nos compró dulces para después de la comida.

My grandma bought us sweets for after the meal.
Listen to audio

Awe, vamos a viajar a París.

¿Vienes con nosotros?

Granny, we're going to travel to Paris. Are you coming with us?

10. Mita

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.

Listen to audio

¿Mita, tienes chocolates para todos?

Grandma, do you have chocolates for everyone?
Listen to audio

Mi mita tiene que usar una silla de ruedas para que pueda salir de la casa.

My grandma has to use a wheelchair so she can leave the house.

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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