Kathie Lee Gifford Says She Was 'Surprised' Son Cody Named Baby After His Late Dad Frank

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Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford

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Kathie Lee Gifford wasn't expecting her son Cody Gifford to give his baby boy her late husband's namesake.

The television icon's older child, Cody, 32, and his wife Erika Brown welcomed their first child on Tuesday, May 31 — son Frank Michael. The baby boy is named after the late Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee's husband and Cody and sister Cassidy Gifford's father.

On Wednesday, Kathie Lee, 68, called into Today with Hoda & Jenna to chat about the baby boy and her new role as a grandma.

"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."

As for what Kathie Lee wants to be called as a grandmother, she quipped, "I didn't give anybody a choice of what they're going to call me. I took the matters into my own hands."

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RELATED: Kathie Lee Gifford's Son Cody and Wife Welcome Baby Boy, Named After His Late Grandfather Frank

"I have a dear friend down here and his Israeli mother, I asked her, 'What's a good word for a Jewish grandmother?' " Kathie Lee shared. "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."

Baby Frank was born three weeks early, said Kathie Lee, adding that Erika was "a rockstar" and that "Cody never left her side."

"I'm so thrilled that Erika came through so well. That baby is nursing already and getting all the [nutrients] it needs. And Cody just started to bawl like the baby he used to be when I had him," she continued.

She also noted that the baby's middle name, Michael, "means gift of God but it's also the name of Erika's recently deceased, beloved uncle so both sides of the family got blessed by this."

"I guess I'll have to wait until they have their second child to name it after me," she added with a laugh.

Kathie Lee shared the exciting news of the infant's arrival on Instagram Wednesday, writing, "My heart is bursting. Frank Michael Gifford is here, confirming that our God is good and merciful and faithful. And he loves us!"

Wrote the proud grandma alongside a second snapshot of baby Frank on Twitter, "What greater miracle is there than the miracle of life? I cannot contain my joy. Thank you God for the gift of little Frank Michael Gifford. 8 lbs. 8 oz. of sheer beauty."

Erika shared the same images and wrote, "Frank 'Frankie' after C's pops & Michael after my uncle who passed away last year at 61 whose name also means 'gift of God' / Two strong men — gone but never forgotten."

The new mom called the day of little Frank's birth the "best day of our lives."

The former Today co-host announced on Instagram in December 2021 that her son and daughter-in-law, who tied the knot in September 2020, were expecting their first child. In a heartfelt video on social media, Cody and Erika were seen dancing on their wedding day before the clip cut to a positive pregnancy test.