My son did Japanese at school, and was really embarassed when he used 'Mama-san' inappropriately, his (Japanese) teacher explained that a Mama-san is the madam of a brothel!Thanks for the information.
I heard it in this English song: Straight to Hell by The Clash.
You wanna join in a chorus of the Amerasian blues?
When it's Christmas out in Ho Chi Minh City
Kiddie say papa papa papa papa-san take me home
"Papa" and "mama" are common in English, French and Spanish, I believe, and I think also in Italian. I believe you are right about the origin, which is most likely Latin.Papa and mama (as I implied supra) are loan words into Japanese. I would think they come from French papa and mamman. [As it goes with any words that are still recognised as loans, their use is surrounded by constraints and implications.] They might have come from other Romance languages but surely their roots are Latin pater and mater.
On the other hand, paysan, a French word meaning farmer is related to English peasant and pagan. They ultimately go back to Latin pagus, region.