50 Nana Quotes Celebrating Nana’s Wisdom

Get a dose of that nice warm fuzzy feeling with our nana quotes!

For many people, the word nana is an affectionate term for their grandmother. 

However, the word nana has a fascinating history with various meanings depending on who you ask. 

Where does nana come from?

Nana is a popular name worldwide. 

It is a name that is masculine in places like India and Ethiopia. 

Nana is feminine in countries such as Japan, Georgia, and Greece.

In places such as Indonesia and Ghana, the name is gender-neutral. 

Check out these cool nana facts below:

  • In Swahili, nana can mean lady. 
  • In Hebrew, nana can mean grace. 
  • In Japanese, nana can mean spring or spring greens. 

If you grew up in the United States, chances are you have heard someone refer to their nana, or you may have a nana you are fond of. 

What is interesting about the word nana in America is that it spans ethnic and cultural boundaries. 

African Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, English Americans, and many other communities of Americans use the word nana to refer to their grandmothers. 

The Italian word for grandmother is nonna. 

The words nanny, nan, and nana are all connected in English. 

It is interesting how the word nana pairs nicely with the word mama considering their relationship. 

Check out these notable nanas

There are many noteworthy examples of the words nana and nanny in history. 

In Jamaican culture, Queen Nanny of the Maroons is looked at with honor, respect, and admiration. 

In the 18th century, Queen Nanny led a rebellion against the world’s largest superpower, the British empire. 

She was a brilliant strategist and military leader who organized troops using guerilla warfare to defend the mountains she and her people occupied. 

She is acknowledged as a symbol of unity and perseverance. 

In Ghanaian culture, nana is an exceptional name, 

Nana is a gender-neutral title for the Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. 

Traditionally, nana is a term reserved for a person from the highest offices of society. 

It can denote grandparent, elder, ancestor, or venerable. 

Nana represents nobility or advanced age, a title of honor. 

For more exciting content, check out our nana quote selections below. 

You will also enjoy our article on grandma quotes.

Short nana quotes about loving grandma

These quotes remind us why a grandmother’s love is special. 

1. “I look at my nana and see the hearts of generations of women.” — Anonymous 

2. “For myself, one of the sweetest words I have ever heard is ‘Nana.’”— Zelda Rosenbaum

3. “Why didn’t Nana stop? Why didn’t he get better for us? For me?” — Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

4. “He works at the kennel with Nana,” Ben piped up. And I think him and Mom are dating.” — Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One

5. “Nana is the reason I began this work, but not in a wholesome, made—for—TED Talk kind of way.” — Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

6. “And the new moon was the spotlight. That kind of magic only Nana could make it happen.”  — Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns 

7. “What’s wrong with the world,” Nana explained, “is that people stopped listening to their hearts.” — Joan Bauer, Squashed

8. “If you can’t stop feeling guilty about Nana support Nana’s dreams and wish her success.” — Ai Yazawa, Nana

9. “And luck can change, because as my nana always insisted, luck was a state of mind.” — Lynne Matson, Nil 

10. “Joselynn, be nice and go get your nana.” Her lower lip trembled, but she turned and ran back inside.” — Lia Davis, A Tiger’s Cl

You will also enjoy our article on nanny quotes.

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Nana quotes from grandchildren 

The nanas of the world have a special way of sharing wisdom with us. 

11. “Chocolate doesn’t solve everything, Nana.” “It solves a whole heck of a lot, though.” — Gabrielle Zevin, All These Things I’ve Done

12. “Nana turned her eyes on me like a vet looking for fleas: “A heart will say amazing things if it’s given half a chance.” — Joan Bauer, Squashed

13. “My nana used to say that broken people love the hardest because they appreciate the things that make their heart beat.” — Ilsa Madden—Mills, Not My Romeo

14. “Nana, did you really try to run down some antigay protesters?” Dante asked. “Of course not! I’m not homicidal.” — Alexa Land, Skye Blue

15. “When it came to God, I could not give a straight answer. I had not been able to give a straight answer since the day Nana died.”— Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

16. “Nana glanced at Ben. “I think your mom has caterpillars in her ears. She keeps repeating everything I say like she can’t hear me.” — Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One

17. “Life isn’t fair,” comes the voice of Nana. She has told me that a thousand times. “What matters is how you handle it.” I’m going to handle it by winning.” — Carolyn Lee Adams, Ruthless

18. “Nana listened to his propositions, turning them down every time with a shake of the head and that provocative laughter which is peculiar to full—bodied blondes.” — Émile Zola, Nana

19. “It’s like this,” Nana says. “All your life you’re yellow. Then one day you brush up against something blue, the barest touch, and voila, the rest of your life you’re green.” — Tess Callahan, April & Oliver

20. “Of course Neverland had been make—believe in those days; but it was real now, and there were no night—lights, and it was getting darker every moment, and where was Nana?” — J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Nana quotes that will make you smile 

21. “Ermaline has entered the room noiselessly and is whispering to Nana.” — Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe

22. “Nana, you said his name is?” “Yeah. Because his tail’s hooked into the shape of a seven.” — Hiro Arikawa, The Travelling Cat Chronicles

23. “When she leaves, Nana and Papa start talking about friends of Mom’s who are in the middle of a scandalous divorce.” — Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe

24. “I know it looks vaguely unsanitary and potentially scandalous, Nana, but I promise that Izzy and I are only pursuing noble pursuits.” — Rachel Hawkins, School Spirits

25. “I have seen this before. It’s Nana’s highly effective and very annoying way of not mentioning the elephant in the living room.” — Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe

26. “Mom and Dad keep glancing at Adam, and Nana keeps asking Mom and Dad questions, pulling their attention back to the conversation.” — Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe

27. “I tried to bend over and touch my toes this morning,” I tell the girls. “I tipped over, hit my head on the desk, and then had to call for Nana to get up. I’m literally the size of an Oompa Loompa.”— Elle Kennedy, The Goal

28. “Nana taught us that the devil is not a fictional man with a red cape and horns; he’s the voice inside our heads that tells us to do things we shouldn’t; he’s the eyes that pretend not to see, and the ears that pretend not to hear. He’s you, he’s me, he’s all of us.” — Alice Feeney, Daisy Darker

29. “When I was five, my mother and sister sat me up on the kitchen counter and explained the facts of life: the Easter Bunny didn’t exist, Elijah was God’s invisible friend, with any luck Nana would die soon and If I ever saw a unicorn, I should kill it or catch it for cash.” — Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There’d Be Cake

30. “If Nana thinks you’re trying to scam her, she’ll tell you, and if she thinks you ruined her life by discontinuing Arnold’s Thin bread, she’ll let you know that, too. I guess when you spend eighty—seven years swallowing other people’s bullshit, there comes a time when you gotta spit some back.” — Laurie Notaro, An Idiot Girl’s Christmas

Nana quotes about knowledge and life 

31. “Knowledge isn’t everything, she told herself, and she knew then that, in Nana’s words, he was the toast to her butter.” — Nicholas Sparks

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32. “In just that short amount of time, Nana’s addiction had become the sun around which all of our lives revolved. I didn’t want to stare directly at it.” — Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

33. “Nana always said that books made better friends than people anyway. Books will take you anywhere if you let them, she used to say, and I think she was right.” — Alice Feeney, Sometimes I Lie

34. “As they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana, who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her.” — J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

35. “That fiend!” Mr. Darling would cry, and Nana’s bark was the echo of it, but Mrs. Darling never upbraided Peter; there was something in the right—hand corner of her mouth that wanted her not to call Peter names.” — J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

36. “What is real?, asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick—out handle?” — Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

37. “I, who was empty; I made myself believe that I could only fill it by falling in love at that time to me in this world around you, Nana. Everything was so shiny that I was blinded. That doesn’t mean that anyone would suit me. I just wanted to be in the same light as you.” — Ai Yazawa

38. “I’m not trying to, what do teenagers say nowadays?” he asked my grandmother.“Get all up in her biznez,” Nana said.Without cracking a smile. “That’s right,” he replied. “We’re not trying to get all up in your biznez, Ali.” — Gena Showalter, Alice in Zombieland

39. “If relationships were hard, mariage was even harder… it seemed like most couples struggled. It went with the territory. What did Nana always say? Stick two different people with two different sets of expectations under one roof and it ain’t always going to be shrimp and grits on Easter.” — Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One

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40. “When I was five, my mother and sister sat me up on the kitchen counter and explained the facts of life: the Easter Bunny didn’t exist, Elijah was God’s invisible friend, with any luck Nana would die soon, and if I ever saw a unicorn, I should kill it or catch it for cash. I turned out okay.” — Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There’d Be Cake

Nana quotes by Ai Yazawa about friendship and growth

Nana is a manga series exploring the friendship of two women pursuing their dreams. 

41. “Hey Nana, If Cinderella’s glass slipper fits so perfectly, I wonder why it fell off along the way?” — Ai Yazawa

42. “Nana acts like a stray cat, wild, free, and proud…. …But inside her heart, she houses a wound.” — Ai Yazawa

43. “Hey Nana, do you remember the first time we met? I beleive in things like fate. So I think it was fate.” — Ai Yazawa, Nana, Vol. 1

44. “Nana’s favorite things never change. It was so cool for someone like me who keeps on changing their mind.” — Ai Yazawa, Nana, Vol. 2

45. “Tell me, Nana, If for example we had been a love couple, Would a hug have been enough to wash away my sadness?” — Ai Yazawa, Nana, Vol. 1

46. “Hey, Nana, people’s feelings change easily. Wwhat you see is a house of cards. Nothing’s sure, and nothing lasts forever.” — Ai Yazawa

47. “Nana, how come being happy and making your dreams come true are two different things? Even now, I still don’t know why.” — Ai Yazawa

48. “Say, Nana. You look like stray cat, wild and proud. But I can see the wound in your heart. At the time I just thought it was cool. I never realized how hurt you were.” — Ai Yazawa

49. “You know Nana, I searched and searched, but could never find the key that unlocked the way. And now that I’ve stopped looking, I’ve finally found it. Maybe the door will open for me.” — Ai Yazawa

50. “At that time I told myself that I didn’t want to fall in love ever again. But that night while praying for your happiness Nana, I thought that despite all the wounds and all the pains it could cause I wanted to dream again, and love someone with all my heart.” — Ai Yazawa, Nana, Vol. 5

Nanas make the world go around

Grandparents hold a special place in the hearts of people everywhere. 

There is something beautiful about the relationship between a nana and her grandchildren. 

Did you know that there is a holiday for nanas?

September 11th is Grandparent’s Day, a day meant for celebrating the connections between different generations. 

There are over 70 million grandparents in the US. 

That means grandparents make up about one third of the entire population. 

While parenthood is meaningful, poll data suggests that 78% percent of grandparents believe that being a grandparent was the single most important role in their lives. 

Grandparents lead 37% of all US households and also account for 45% of the nations cash contributions to nonprofit organizations. 

Nanas have been pitching in and stepping up to raise generations of young people. 

Do you have a nana you are fond of?

What is your favorite nana quote?

Please, be sure to let us know in the comments below. 

Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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