As Father’s Day approaches, many of us are starting to think about how we can celebrate the first man in our lives, but have you stopped to think about the name that you call him. Have you noticed how many different ways there are to say the word “father” in the English language?
How do you call your dad?
In addition to all the private and unique names we might have for our fathers, generically there are so many names we could choose from: pa, pops, pop, dad, daddy, papa, father and so on. Where have these names originated from? When do we use them? How does it make our fathers and ourselves feel when we use them?
From the Babbling of Babes
Most linguists believe that the words we use for father originate from the first sounds we utter as a baby which tend to be dada, baba, papa mama etc, therefore it is obvious why these abbreviations of father have stuck. They are short, sweet and often remind our fathers of when we were small. Also, many people evolve in their teens from calling their father “daddy” to just “dad” returning to use the word “daddy” as adults when they wish to show more affection. Likewise, the name “pa” is endearing and can often be used to denote a close, intimate exchange between father and child, and a word we would probably only use when speaking directly to our fathers rather than about him.
Pop and Pops
Pop is the most recent way to say father originating in the 1830’s. It is short and has a more grown up feel than papa or dada, although still affectionate. We tend to use shortened versions of dad to show affection and uniqueness and pops has a very informal tone. Although it must be said that most names that we choose for our fathers is inherited from our family and the traditional names used by your parents and grandparents.
When talking to other people about our fathers we would generally use “my father” or “my dad”, which again makes the abbreviations we use in private more personal and affectionate. When talking to your siblings, mother or close family, however, it is common not to use the word “my” in favor of simply “Father” and “Dad” with a capital letter, like a proper noun.
There may be an argument to suggest that daughters tend to use varying names for their fathers more commonly than sons but it is also common for son’s to use nicknames referring to the status dads hold in the family such as chief or boss which can also be extremely affectionate if used in a loving way.
Whatever you have planned this year for Father’s Day make sure your pop, pa, chief or dad is celebrated. It’s an excuse to spoil your dad rotten, talk about him all day and tell everyone how great he is. Why not spend Father’s Day with us at Villa del Palmar Cancun?