Hi pop. Or pa, dad, daddy, father, sir, pater, etc. Where’s mom? (Rinse and repeat.)
Posted: 28 May 2017 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]
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So what would be the standard American term from the above, or indeed anything I’ve inadvertently omitted? In the UK it would probably be safe to say dad and mum still rule the roast.

Another thing. I notice in American films of the 30s/40s/50s and even later that sons and daughters of whatever age will sometimes address their fathers as sir. Is that still a thing over there? BTW you’ll see it in British movies of that age but it’s very much a class thing there, ie upper and middle class will use it at times, working class will not. That doesn’t/didn’t seem to be the case in the US.

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Posted: 28 May 2017 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The addressing of one’s father as “sir” was discussed in this old yuku thread:
http://wordoriginsorg.yuku.com/topic/3630/choking-on-quotyoure-welcomequot#.WStMdcm1tp8

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Posted: 29 May 2017 03:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Here is the data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English:

father 170,087
dad 48,813
daddy 16,253
pa 11,312
pater 221

mother 199,402
mom 54,438
ma 9,959
mommy 5,563
mum 1,899
mater 250

I didn’t search for pop as that would include the soft drink sense. There were some 1,400 hits for mater, but I subtracted out alma mater and mater dei, and I removed the hits for keep mum from mum, although surprisingly there weren’t that many.. And of course, these numbers are not all direct address. My sense is that when limited to direct address dad and mom would eclipse father and mother.

As for Dr T’s link, take anything WG says with a grain of salt. What Jetty Jim says, about sir being used in responses but not initial addresses to one’s father is correct. It’s probably more common in the American south.

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Posted: 29 May 2017 04:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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How about mama and papa?

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Posted: 29 May 2017 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I suspect this is strongly regional.  My brothers and I say mom and dad, but mommy and daddy are certainly common.  As for the rest, surely pater and mater are used only by the most foppish of fops; I suspect people who say “mum” have watched too many British imports, but I could be wrong.

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Posted: 29 May 2017 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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mama 14,707
papa 5,573
dada 1,108

(The BYU Corpora are free to use. It’s not a subscription.)

I was surprised by the number of mums. I expected it to be lower. But there may be a difference between saying mum and writing it.

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Posted: 29 May 2017 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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OP Tipping - 29 May 2017 04:27 AM

How about mama and papa?

The BYU corpus shows 5573 instances of Papa, of which a relative handful are for Mr. Papa.  Given the limitation to American English, I was still slightly
surprised that papá, with the second syllable accented, was not found even once in this database.

That’s how I addressed my father, and how my sons address me, though all of us are native AE speakers, and, apparently, statistical ouliers.

Mama had 14,707 listings, and Mamá 0.

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Posted: 29 May 2017 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Given the limitation to American English, I was still slightly surprised that papá, with the second syllable accented, was not found even once in this database. That’s how I addressed my father, and how my sons address me, though all of us are native AE speakers, and, apparently, statistical ouliers.

Sure, but how many people write it like that?

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Posted: 29 May 2017 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t think the BYU corpora databases handle accents and other diacritical marks. I just searched for naïve and résumé and got no hits for either.

(It might be a limitation of OCR software. I imagine the error rate for interpreting such diacriticals is much higher.)

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Posted: 29 May 2017 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Café, withh the written diacritic, shows up 2800 times, but clicking on “context” shows that you are right.  Every example in the first 100 truncates it to “caf”.

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Posted: 30 May 2017 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Note that the OED gives both /pəˈpɑː/ and /ˈpɑpə/ as pronunciations for “papa” in this sense.

Also note that it does not list “papá” as an alternative form, and I’ve never encountered it.

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Posted: 30 May 2017 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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languagehat - 29 May 2017 05:34 AM

I suspect this is strongly regional.  My brothers and I say mom and dad, but mommy and daddy are certainly common.

My sense is that this is an age thing.  Mommy and Daddy are used by young children.  Older children switch to Mom and Dad.  That is the pattern my kids used, and it seemed straightforward, if mildly distressing, at the time.  Also, consider the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Buffy’s mother dies.  Buffy walks into the house and finds her mother apparently resting on the couch.  Buffy addresses her with “Mom?  Mom?” Then as Buffy realizes the situation she reverts to the infantile “Mommy?”

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Posted: 30 May 2017 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Daddy also gets used in non-parental contexts, which probably accounts for some of the difference in numbers compared to mommy. There are expressions like “who’s your daddy?” and “sugar daddy.”

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Posted: 30 May 2017 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I was just having a discussion this Sunday about this with some parish friends.  The conversation started when I announced that I’m going to be a grandfather, and right away everyone wanted to know what I wanted the grandchildren to call me.  This turned into a discussion about familiar terms for parents and grandparents in different cultures.

In deference to my Greek “family” which I have come to know and love, I am breaking with my own family tradition and asking to be known as “papou”.

Richard Hershberger - 30 May 2017 05:56 AM

My sense is that this is an age thing.  Mommy and Daddy are used by young children.  Older children switch to Mom and Dad.  That is the pattern my kids used, and it seemed straightforward, if mildly distressing, at the time.  Also, consider the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Buffy’s mother dies.  Buffy walks into the house and finds her mother apparently resting on the couch.  Buffy addresses her with “Mom?  Mom?” Then as Buffy realizes the situation she reverts to the infantile “Mommy?”

I think you’re right, Richard, for the most part.  However, when I lived in the South, I noticed that even grownups will still call their fathers “daddy” and their mothers “mama”.  Even where I grew up in the Ozarks it was not that uncommon, but in the South this seems pretty widespread.

I always called my parents “mom” and “dad”, btw.

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