Parents addressing children by their respective titles

Malki92

Senior Member
English - USA
In Arabic parents address their children by their respective titles. For example a father calls his child (irrespective of gender) "baba" and a mother calls them "mama." (Note that the words for father/mother may differ between Arabic dialects)

Do any other languages do this?

Inspired by this thread reversing family relationship in addressing children.
 
  • cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I don't know about other languages, but I felt the need to correct this general statement: it's not a thing common in Arabic as a language, and it's only used in some dialects, especially Levantine as far as I know. Other dialects, like mine, Egyptian Arabic, don't do this, as we use baba and mama according to the gender of the child not his or her parent.
     

    mO_ok

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    As a native Lithuanian, I can assure you we do not have such a phenomenon. Really interesting, though.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech (and other languages) I can imagine a situation when a father (or a mother) calls his son "daddy" if he is also a father, and calls his daughter "mom" if she is a mother:

    Son (who has a little son) to his father: Daddy, will you go with us to fly a kite?
    His father collegially: Yes, daddy.
    :)

    However, it is obviously different from the Arabic usage.
     

    Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    In Turkish I hear parents address their children by their respective titles irrespective of the gender of their child.
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    In Arabic parents address their children by their respective titles. For example a father calls his child (irrespective of gender) "baba" and a mother calls them "mama." (Note that the words for father/mother may differ between Arabic dialects)

    Do any other languages do this?

    Inspired by this thread reversing family relationship in addressing children.
    This kind of addressing is present in Macedonian language too.
    And not only the parents, but grandparents and aunts/uncles use it too to address their grandchildren or nephews. In most cases are used the diminutive nominative forms, and not the vocative forms.

    Examples:

    мајка (majka) = mother;
    мама (mama) = mom, mommy; мамичка (mamička) diminutive
    мамо! (mamo!), vocative = mom!, mommy!
    Children call their mother: мамо! (mamo!) or diminutive мамичке! (mamičke!)
    A mother may call her child: мама! (mama!), мамичкa! (mamička!), мамичкo! (mamičko!)

    татко (tatko) = father;
    тато (tato) = dad, daddy; татичко (tatičko) diminutive
    тато! (tato!) or тате! (tate!), vocative = dad!, daddy!
    Children call their father: тато! (tato!) or diminutive татичко! (tatičko!)
    A father may call his child: тато! (tato!), татичко! (tatiičko!)

    баба (baba) = grandmother, grandma; diminutive бабичка (babička)
    бабо! (babo!) vocative = grandma!
    Grandchildren call their grandmother: бабо! (babo!) or diminutive бабичке! (babičke!)
    Their grandmother may call them: бабе! (babе!), баба! (babа!), бабичкa! (babička!), бабичкo! (babičko!)

    дедо (dedo) = grandfather, grandpa; diminutive дедичко (dedičko)
    дедо! (dedo!) vocative = grandpa!
    Grandchildren call their grandfather: дедо! (dedo!) or diminutive дедичко! (dedičko!)
    Their grandfather may call them: дедо! (dedo!), дедe! (dede!), дедичко! (dedičko!)
     
    Last edited:

    Zareza

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    In Romanian

    Sometimes the mother calls her son or her daughter: mamă, mami = mother, mummy and the father calls his son or his daughter: tată, tati = father, daddy.

    I think it is a short form from mummy's son/daughter and daddy's son/daughter (mummy's boy/girl and daddy's boy/girl)
     
    Last edited:

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    I think it is a short form from mummy's son/daughter and daddy's son/daughter (mummy's boy/girl and daddy's boy/girl)
    I think the same explanation fits the Macedonian case too. Short forms of:
    son/boy/daughter/girl of mommy/daddy/grandma/grandpa...
    Or even:
    gold/heart/soul... of mommy/daddy/grandma/grandpa... which are used the same way where English uses "honey", "sweetheart" etc.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    I've just seen a German film. There is a situation when a mother is humorously addressing her daughter as "mom" and I've recalled this thread.

    Grown-up daughter to her mother leaving for holiday (or a spa): "Take care of yourself! Don't forget to take your medicine!"
    Mother to her daughter: "Yes, mom." ("Ano, mami." in Czech dubbing)

    This "witty" answer is quite popular among script writers. It's a kind of cliché, I heard it many times in films and TV.
     
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