Don’t call her Grandma.
Kathie Lee Gifford, who became a grandmother in June when her son, Cody, and his wife, Erika, welcomed a baby boy, spoke with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Wednesday about spending time with baby Frankie. As a grandparent, she’d like her monicker to be “Bubbie,” she told them.
Earlier this summer, when Kathie Lee first visited TODAY with Hoda & Jenna just after the baby was born, she shared that she has a friend with an Israeli mother, who provided some inspiration for what she wants to be called.
“I asked her, I said what’s a good word for a Jewish grandmother?” Kathie Lee said at the time. “And she goes, ‘Bubbalah. It’s Bubbie.’”
“And it means ‘dearest one,’ like ‘cherished one,’” she added.
So for Kathie Lee, the name was a no-brainer.
“And a little kid only goes, 'Buh, buh, buh, buh, buh,' anyway. I think it’s going to be easy. Bubbie,” she said.
Erika announced June 1 that she and Cody had become parents in an Instagram post, noting that the baby was named Frank, after Cody’s late dad and Kathie Lee’s late husband, former NFL great Frank Gifford.
Kathie Lee said the baby’s name caught her off guard, but it was a decision that made sense.
“I was surprised Cody named him after his dad because Cody knew what it was like to grow up in the shadow of a great man,” she said. “But I guess he’s never gotten over, really, and he never will, the loss of his dad at an early age and he was his hero and he still is.”
Kathie Lee also said the baby arrived about three weeks early, but at the perfect moment.
“That baby came just when God wanted it to. Erika was a rock star. Cody never left her side,” she said.
“Cody just started to bawl like the baby he used to be,” she added.
And for this newly minted bubbie, the miracle of childbirth is an awesome feat.
“We’re just so grateful to God,” she said. “Is there a greater miracle in the entire world than the birth of a child? Show me, show me a bigger one, a better one, a sweeter one.”