Why do we call our parents "mom" and "dad"?

United States
July 16, 2009 12:39pm CST
I was thinking about this the other day, and does anyone else find this strange that nearly every single person you'll ever know calls their parents mom and dad, or some variation on mom and dad? I can understand why it is done, but by EVERYONE? Almost without exception?
1 person likes this
6 responses
@Wizzywig (7859)
16 Jul 09
Isnt that a bit like asking why we call a tree a tree? We call them mum and dad because thats who/what they are. I know people who call their parents by their forenames and others who have specific pet names. I dont mind what my sons call me as long as they DO call me!
• United States
18 Jul 09
Thanks for responding. And yes, I suppose that as long as they aren't calling you Senior Poopy Pants, or the like, it's a good thing. And a tree is a tree, but that is its name. Your name is not 'mom' or 'dad'. (probably!) I've only known one person in their entire life that was still relatively close to her dad but called him by his first name. My initial question excluded those who are estranged. I call my sister "sister!" every now and then, but that is as a joke or to be cute. I don't ALWAYS call her sister, but I do always call my mom some form of mom, and my dad some form of dad. If I use their first names it is seen as a joke, or an attempt at a slight, not as normal. Most family's are the same way. I've seen friends call their parents by their first name, and get frowned upon. Why? No other takers? Darn, I was really hoping someone might have a truly brilliant insight into human nature or something. Maybe I'll ask again later when I know My Lot better and know of a better place to put this question.
@buggles64 (2715)
• United States
15 Dec 10
Interesting question. I think it might differ in other cultures though. It's interesting that the names changed since the 1800's when parents were referred to as "Ma" and "Pa." It makes me wonder if what we call our parents will change once again now that we are in a new century.
• United States
17 Jul 10
Yes - I do find it strange that nearly every single person you'll ever know calls their parents mom/dad, or some variation. I was thinking about this today, and wondered who started this reference to parents. Is it a proper respect thing and that is why we call our parents mom and dad? How long has it been around too?
• United States
5 May 10
I guess my question is that where in our consciousness did we as young children come up with mama and dada?
@ladym33 (11007)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Well I think from the moment we find out we are expecting a baby we start to consider our selves mommy and daddy. I know when all of my kids were born and I was talking to them when I talked about myself I would say mommy and if my husband talked about me to them he would say mommy and if I talked about him to them I would say daddy. So that is what the kids know us as and what they call us. I imagine it is the same for my parents. If I were to call my parents by their names it would probably offend them.
• Malaysia
18 Jul 09
ok from now onwards you can call You mother Cow and your dad Chicken no offence taken