So, according to the Oxford Dictionary (English Dictionary), Nana is defined as one's grandmother, and Nanna redirects to Nana.

According to Dictionary.com (American Dictionary), Nana is one's grandmother, and Nanna is "The wife of Balder" (Scandinavian Mythology) or "The Sumerian god of the moon: the counterpart of the Akkadian god Sin".

A question was raised at this. I am Australian and have always spelt Nana as Nana. My brother, however, spells it as Nanna. The spell checker in Firefox is currently detecting Nanna to be correct to Nana.

My question is, in Australian/British English, how is Nana spelt? With one n or two?

  • 1
    Within the same family it's possible to use both spellings, either to refer to the same person (with different writers) or to differentiate between two grandmothers. (British experience). But as it's almost a nickname, spelling is more flexible than in normal writing
    – Chris H
    Aug 6, 2017 at 7:10
  • My kids called their mother's mother "mormor".
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 4, 2019 at 2:21
  • "Nanna" makes sense because it corresponds to "Nanny", but since when did English make sense?
    – nnnnnn
    Sep 4, 2019 at 2:28

2 Answers 2


In British English, it would generally be spelt as 'Nana' without the double n. But as with the first comment, as a personal 'nickname' it could be spelled either way.

  • Please give supporting references. Unsupported answers tend to come across as (and have been known to be) mere opinion, perhaps error. Sep 4, 2019 at 16:09

In Stoke on Trent, England it his pronounced and spelt Nanar so it obviously changes with the local dialect.

  • Thank you for your answer. To show that yours is the right answer, consider adding explanation, context, and supporting facts. This is what makes answers useful – to the asker, and to future visitors.
    – MetaEd
    Oct 9, 2018 at 16:45
  • This is an interesting answer. Looking into this further, I found several pages on the internet (example) which could be used to support this answer.
    – Laurel
    Oct 10, 2018 at 19:19

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.