There’s nobody in the world who will be there for your baby as she grows up like a fun aunt or uncle.
You probably have fond memories of the cool aunt or uncle you had growing up – maybe a parent’s sibling, maybe a close family friend – and how everything you did with them, from fun outings to the most interesting birthday gifts, was just a little bit cooler than doing things with your own parents.
Now that you are the deeply uncool parent, you get to sit back and watch your brother, sister, or close friend develop their own special relationship with your child. There’s just one thing missing for the coolest aunt or uncle in the world: an equally interesting name.
Aunt Names From Different Cultures
Sure, you could stick with the traditional Aunt Susan, but for those who are looking for a name a little bit more interesting, it’s becoming more popular to look to your cultural background for inspiration for a cute aunt name.
If you have any Latinx heritage, maybe try Tia, the Spanish word for ‘aunt’, which is popular amongst Spanish speakers.
Tia is also the Portuguese word for aunt. If you’ve got some Italian in your background, you could try Zia. In French, the word for aunt is Tante. Tante is also used in many of the Germanic languages, including German itself, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, and the Afrikaans language of South Africa.
Amongst the Slavic group of languages, ‘aunt’ is a word that remains relatively consistent even though the languages themselves can differ widely.
‘Tetka’ or ‘Titka’ is used in languages such as Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Croatian, and Macedonian. Thea is Greek, Teta is Czech, Neni is Hungarian, Eima is Arabic, and Oba is Japanese (informal).
In some languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, the terms can get very specific, and there are different words to refer to your mother or father’s sister, any older female relative, or simply any loved and respected woman who is older than you.
You can do a bit of research to figure out which term is best suited to your situation, or simply choose the one you and your child’s aunt like the sound of the best.
Uncle Names From Different Cultures
If you have a male friend or relative looking for a fun uncle name, you can try the same approach of looking internationally.
For some languages, the terms are very similar to ‘aunt’, just with a different ending: Tio in Spanish and Portuguese, Zio in Italian, or Theios in Greek.
It’s Oncle in French and Onkel in German, Danish, and Norwegian. It’s Oom in Dutch, which is fun for both children and adults to say; Ujak in Croatian and Bosnian; Wujek in Polish; Dyadya in Russian; Dyadko in Ukrainian; and Oji in Japanese.
Again, some languages (such as Mandarin) can get very specific about using different terms for your mother’s brother or your father’s brother, so be sure to do a bit of research first!
If you’ve got a history buff or a literature fiend in the family, consider looking to the past for inspiration for a fun name.
Two now obsolete terms for aunt and uncle are Mome (aunt) and Eme (uncle). Eme is an old Middle English term thought to be related to the Dutch word, Oom, mentioned above. Similarly, Mome is an old English term and it’s easy to see how it is related to the modern use of the word Mom, and could be a good option for a cute aunt name.
Another fascinating look at the history of language leads us to the word avuncular, whose original meaning was a reference to your mother’s brother.
The evolution of language led us to the term ‘Nuncle’, which William Shakespeare referred to in King Lear. Not only was Nuncle good enough for Shakespeare, but I’m pretty sure that was how my son pronounced the word Uncle when he was two, anyway!
Let the Child Choose
This really only works for the oldest child, or someone who doesn’t yet have any other nieces or nephews, and you have to wait until the child is old enough to talk, but the results can often be worth it.
Little kids who are learning to talk can have some hilarious and adorable mispronunciations, and adopting your child’s way of pronouncing their aunt or uncle’s name can be a cute way to pay tribute to that.
For example, my sister’s name is Elizabeth, but when my oldest son was learning to talk, he pronounced her name as ‘Wissabif’ and we called her ‘Aunt Wissa’ for a while.
As he got older he began pronouncing her name correctly, but sticking with an adorable mispronunciation can be a way to arrive at a cute aunt or uncle name, too!
These days, almost anything goes for fun aunt or uncle names! Honour your cultural heritage, take a look back in the past, or wait and see what cute name your child can come up with on her own.
At the end of the day, though, it’s about the relationship, not the name. No matter which cute aunt name you choose, your child will grow up thinking it’s a special one because of how special their aunt or uncle is to them.