Mommy, Mama, Mom, Daddy, Dada, Dad, Papa, Pappy, et alia

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5 comments on this post.
  1. Ros Williams:

    Pa and ma were used by southerners in America during colonial times.

  2. Paul:

    There is, to my knowledge, very considerable diversity in the words used for parents (and grandparents) within the UK. Some of that diversity is class related, some regionally based but much, I suspect is simply variation passed down through family lines. One of the things that gets negotiated in the course of a marriage is which words to use (as do, for instance, which particular bits of the respective partners’ Christmas traditions to adopt). As a detailed observation though I have never heard a British person say “mom”; in the UK is it “mum” (or “mummy” if you are young or posh). BTW the correct etiquette in speaking to the Queen is to call her “Ma’am”….pronounced (roughly) “mum”.

  3. Emily:

    Ma is still used here in Boston regularly, the closer you are in Boston the more you will hear it. It’s because of the vast Italians that lived here and soon it just spread.

    Fathers we call dad or pop, but it’s always “ma” in a Boston household.

  4. David:

    I call my parents Mother and Father

  5. Jake:

    You may find this google books ngram graph interesting.
    It shows that Ma, Pa and Papa was the most common usage for
    the 18th and 19th century.

    The quite long link is below:

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