mum, dad / mother, father: who comes first generally?

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by DearPrudence, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    Hello everyone

    Please don’t think I’m sexist or anything but I’m merely stating a fact.
    In French, in general, the order when we mention our parents is:
    dad and mum
    "mon père et ma mère" (my father and my mother)
    "papa, maman, j’ai quelque chose à vous dire" (dad(dy), mum(my), I have something to tell you).

    I think in English it sounds more "natural" to put "mum" first.
    What is the most common order in other languages?

    Thanks :)
  2. Rallino Moderatoúrkos


    In Turkish, it's reversed.

    Mom = anne
    Dad = baba

    "Anne, baba, size bir şey söyleyeceğim" (mom, dad, I'll tell you something).

    The reason is clear: ' Anne - Baba ' is much easier to pronunce then the reversed ' Baba - Anne ' because of the two vowels coming together.

    Plus, "babaanne" means paternal grandmother. Although it's pronunced with single a - again due to two vowels.
  3. inter1908 Senior Member

    I think in Polish there's no difference. It could be both: ojciec i matka (father and mother), and matka i ojciec (mother and father). Both versions are equal, although the first one is a bit more common (as far as I know).
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  4. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Hmm... I had to really think about that one...

    I think in Russian it is usually отец и мать /otets i mat'/ (father and mother), but мама и папа /mama i papa/ (mom and dad)
  5. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Spanish it can be both. But I have heard quite often first mother and then father. Mi mamá y mi papá.
  6. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    In Chinese, traditionally, father should come first, since he is supposed to be "the master of the family".
    The Chinese word for "parents" (父母) is a combination of "father" (父) and "mother" (母), and "father" is at the front.
  7. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Likewise here in Greece:
    «Μητέρα και πατέρας» (mi'tera ce pa'teras)--> mother and father
    «Μάννα*/μαμμά* και μπαμπάς» ('mana/ma'ma ce ba'mbas)--> mum/mom and dad

    *«Μάννα» ('mana, f.) and «μαμμά» (ma'ma, f.) are informal/affectionate names for mother, from the Classical «μαμμία» (mă'mmīă, f.)--> affectionate word for mother
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I would say that pai e mãe (father and mother) is the usual order of the phrase.
  9. Orlin Banned

    In Bulgarian mother is usually first no matter if mum & dad (мама и татко/тате) or mother and father (майка и баща) are meant.
  10. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish: in both cases of "mor och far" and "mamma och pappa" it's much more common with mother/mum before father/dad.
  11. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)

    anyu, apu [mum, dad]
  12. Halfdan Member

    Canadian English
    This is true for English. It just seems to flow better.
  13. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew it depends on age of the speaker, and the age of the the parents (though its not a rule, just something that happens so.)
  14. littlepond Senior Member

    In Hindi, mother comes first. "maataa-pitaa" meaning "mother-father". Never "pitaa-maataa".
  15. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    In the Czechlands we traditionally hold mothers in higher esteem. Thus mother comes first (Milá maminko, milý tatínku, ... = Dear mum, dear dad, I have to tell you that ...).
    However in official documents father traditionally comes first, of course.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  16. ACQM

    ACQM Senior Member

    Manresa (Barcelona)
    Spain - Spanish
    I agree when using the family forms "mamá y papá" (mum and dad) but it is not so clear when using the neutral words "padre y madre" (father and mother), I think.
  17. Geo.

    Geo. Member

    West of So'ton, Hants
    UK English (SE England)
    I agree that, in English, in almost all informal situations, the order is usually ‘Mum and Dad’, e.g. ‘ “Mum and Dad” love to mind the grandchildren whenever they can’.

    However, I would go so far as to say it is generally reversed in formality, for instance:- ‘ Both “father and mother” have made their wills, and decided to sell their home’.

    (At least, this is the way people of my generation tend to speak, raised just after WW II; the convention might be less so amongst the young to-day or in America vs the UK).
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  18. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    There is one unique Hungarian idiom "Apád, anyád idejöjjön!" and strangely enough in that case the word order is father-mother....
  19. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    In Hindi, besides "maataa-pitaa" we also have "maaN-baap", with both meaning "mother (and) father".

Share This Page