baby daddy

Discussion in 'Dictionary Additions' started by Nunty, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Term: (A word or expression you have seen in writing) baby daddy

    Your definition or explanation: The man who impregnates a woman to whom he is not married is her baby daddy. It is possible for a woman to have several baby daddies.

    Example: (An example of the term in use)
    "My baby daddy is real good about paying child support."

    One or more places you have seen the term: (Please give URLs/links to web pages, or a full description of a print publication.)

    Let’s talk about baby daddies for a minute, though. (And baby daddies, please jump in, because I know many BlogHers are men.) What do we expect of our men as fathers? (From a BlogHer post.)

    What's Wrong with Half Siblings and Multiple Baby Daddies (From a post at

    Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries, and not found it? Yes ____
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I know this isn't a space for venting one's spleen about tooth-rottingly saccharine cutesy-wutesy new terminology ... so I won't.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  3. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Nor will I.

    What strikes me about this term, by the way, is that it expresses the man's relationship to the woman, not to the baby: he is her baby daddy, not the baby's daddy.
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    ... in what strikes me as a decidedly demeaning and dismissive way (though that might just be me).
  5. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I completely agree, ewster. Demeaning, dismissive and objectifying. The psychosocial dynamics behind this concept fascinate me.
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    That's really interesting, Nunty. I generally hear the term used by African Americans with heavy regional dialects and accents. I had assumed that "baby daddy" was a mispronunciation of "baby's daddy" that was used to indicate that the father in question wasn't married to the mother of the child.

    I scanned Google for the term and found several references that seem to support the idea that the father referred to with this term is the father of a child with a woman that he hasn't married. "Gabriel's main concern was custody of Nahla, he loves that little girl more than anything, and wanted 50/50 joint physical custody of her, which Halle agreed to.

    Read More: Halle Berry And Baby Daddy Split!! |
    Celebrity Juice, Not from Concentrate

    Padma Baby Daddy a Techie?

    Padma Lakshmi, the gorgeous host of Bravo's "Top Chef," is due to give birth soon, and she has never named the man who impregnated her.

    Start reading Marry Your Baby Daddy on your Kindle in under a minute. .... Marry Your Baby Daddy by Maryann Reid is the must-read book of the year! ...

    Perhaps I'm missing something in my understanding of the term, but I sure can't find it if I am. Here's one last bizarre example that I found in the title of an article about sharks that claims some sharks can give birth to live young without being inseminated: Sharks Have No Baby Daddy

    Virgin female shark gave birth to two babies


    You've basically noted the same thing in your original post, Nunty. But you've also made a distinction here that I don't understand: he is her baby daddy, not the baby's daddy. I suspect that "her baby daddy" is being used instead of "the baby's daddy" to indicate two things: (1) The baby is hers
    (2) The daddy fathered the child biologically. I really don't think it means anything beyond that although I'd be interested to see any evidence that supports another interpretation. ​
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  7. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)

    I meant that I would have expected the relationship of the man to the child to be emphasized, "the baby's daddy", but instead the term is describing the man's relationship to her "my baby daddy". It is like another category of relationship: along with boyfriend or husband, baby daddy.
  8. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Oh. So you see the possessive adjective "my" referring to the daddy as opposed to the baby. I'd never thought about it that way, but you might be right. I wish I could find a meaningful discussion of the term other than ours to help me eliminate my hypothesis. I'm still inclined to believe that the term "my baby daddy" doesn't signify any real bond between the woman and the man she's referring to.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  9. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I think the lack of bond is the point. He is not her boyfriend, her husband, her ex-boyfriend. The only point of relationship is that he impregnated her; he is her baby daddy.

    The term seems to be often applied in one-parent homes with several half-siblings (children of the same mother but of different fathers). This is anecdotal evidence from personal conversations with health care professionals in the US.
  10. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Oxnard, CA
    English (U.S.)
    I've been hearing this and its counterpart, "baby mama" (or momma) for a number of years now. Good addition.
  11. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I agree with XQBY, Nunty. It's a term that I've also been hearing for years, and I think we should add it to our dictionary.
  12. clevermizo Senior Member

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    In AAVE, possession is often indicated by strict apposition (I believe this is common in other English dialects and English-based creoles as well). "Hə baby daddy" is synonymous with "Her baby's daddy" and likewise "hə momma book" is "Her mother's book" or "my sissə/sistə house" for "my sister's house." This term originates in this dialect. It is really this simple, so I don't think other interpretations about the possessive nature are really necessary or intimate anything more than "the father of my baby." It's not strictly a mispronunciation of "my baby's daddy" but rather is a native AAVE structure to describe possession. In modern times because of the corrective effect of studying standard English in school, I believe that to use 's or not to use it is more or less in free variation in dialect speech however some collocations are more or less frozen. Nowadays, especially in urban areas (perhaps not so much in parts of the rural South), code switching between standard English and AAVE is so fluid that I think it's hard to pinpoint what is the most common grammatical structure.

    This term has been used in ironic ways/for humor in standard English (as "baby momma") in which case it is imported wholesale from the dialect without forcing it to conform to the standard English use of possessive 's. I suppose it is possible for a non-native speaker of AAVE to use "baby daddy" and "baby momma" and parse the structure differently, but in those cases I would argue that a non-native speaker of AAVE thinks of "baby-daddy" or "baby-momma" as a single compound noun with the definition as described in the OP. In that case, it is as Nunty supposes - "baby daddy" is the title of a relationship, not simply "father of my baby".
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  13. dn88 Senior Member

    When I saw the thread title, I immediately thought of the song Hit That by The Offspring:

    The winds of fortune don't blow the same
    She had to get out and make a change
    She had a kid now, but much too young
    That baby daddy's out having fun

  14. cipotarebelde Senior Member

    El Salvador
    USA English
    I find clevermizo's comments very helpful. In simple terms of usage, the title of the relationship IS very useful. Sometimes I refer to the nature of the relationship of the baby to his daddy-- "he love being with his daddy" and sometimes I need to refer to his relationship to ME "Friday night and no baby daddy in sight, its just you and me, kid." :)

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