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June 3, 2022 11:29 am

Kathie Lee Gifford Says She Wants to Be Called ‘Bubbie’ by Her New Grandchild


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Kathie Lee Gifford, right, speaking on “Today With Hoda & Jenna” about her grandson. Photo: Screenshot.

Television personality Kathie Lee Gifford became a first-time grandmother on Tuesday and said she wants her grandchild to call her “Bubbie,” after an Israeli woman gave her the idea.

Gifford’s gushed about her new grandson Frank Michael — named after her late husband, former NFL legend Frank Gifford — when she called into “Today with Hoda & Jenna” on Wednesday and explained the choice of moniker to the show’s co-hosts.

“I have a dear friend down here and his Israeli mother, I asked her, ‘What’s a good word for a Jewish grandmother?’ ” the former “Today” co-host, whose father has Russian-Jewish roots, said live on air. “And she goes, ‘Bubbalah. It’s Bubbie.’ It’s a Yiddish word … and it means dearest one, like cherished one. And the little kid only goes ‘ba ba ba ba ba’ anyway, so I think it’s going to be easy.”

“I didn’t give anybody a choice of what they’re going to call me. I took the matters into my own hands,” added Gifford, who previously hosted “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.”

Gifford, whose maiden name is Epstein, told CNN‘s Larry King in 2000, “My father’s Jewish by birth and by race and blood. My mom was raised Christian, and we were raised in a godly home… We didn’t go to synagogue, but I was raised with many Jewish traditions and raised to be very grateful for my Jewish heritage.” She also admitted on the “Today” show once that she would like to attend Yeshiva University in New York City and be ordained as a rabbi.

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