Happy Father's Day! Here are all the ways to say 'Dad' around the world
A few weeks ago, the world came together to celebrate the women that always know the right things to say, the ones that have dedicated their lives to scrubbing crayon markings off of the living room wall and making the perfect batch of cookies: mothers. But this week, we must take time to acknowledge Mom’s partner-in-crime, the guy who helps you figure out how to fix your car or sneaks you a dessert even though you didn’t finish your dinner. Here’s how to say “dad” in 19 different languages, so you can appreciate your old man no matter where you go.
I want to say the origin of this word has something to do with how much dads love old video games like “Tetris” but I can’t because I know there are some dads out there that like Solitaire more it wouldn’t be fair to them to exclude them from tėtis’s history.
Athair (Irish Gaelic)
Athair sounds like it would be the name of the really mysterious Irish kid that moves to your hometown halfway through the school year and suddenly becomes everyone’s new crush. The fact that it actually means “father” makes that whole scenario much weirder in my mind.
I would very quickly abuse this term. The “y” at the end makes it far to easy to call my father “tatayyyyyy” in that same exaggerated, slightly annoying way that a friendly but very intoxicated person might use when trying to greet you at a bar.
Do I make a Star Wars joke here? Like Dutch Vader? I could, but I won’t. It seems too much like a dad joke, and I’m not your father.
Calling your dad “tad” makes me think that someone is out there trying to downplay fatherhood, saying things like “you’re not a dad, you’re just a tad bit fatherly.”
Was buwa inspired by the kissy noise you make when you kiss your dad on the cheek in gratitude for something awesome he did, like buy you a new car or not run your new boyfriend off the lawn? That’s my best bet.
Patro: like if the names Pedro and Patrick had a baby. I’ve also seen this term written as paĉjo, which seems less fun because it requires more effort in hunting down the proper symbols on my keyboard.
Because I can’t get enough of Icelandic words, here’s one for father: pabbi. A little like the English version “papi” but with less “p”s and used less by enthusiastic Italians.
“Excuse me, missier, but you seem to have forgotten to pick me up at school” is something I would imagine a disgruntled Maltese middle schooler saying to his dad over the phone.
One of my closest friends is Italian and has called her father this for years. I am only now learning that it literally means “dad” or “daddy” and is not just a cute nickname.
If Tigger from Winnie the Pooh were real, he would move to Romania just to be able to use this word at his leisure. TTFN? Tata for now!
Honestly, I was less interested in this term for father and more interested in the language it hails from. Basque? I am probably not smarter than a fifth grader because I had to double check to make sure it was a real language.
Indonesians also call their fathers “bapa” but ayah was the more interesting choice out of the two, mostly because it can also function as a greeting for your dad, as in “Ayahhhhh, ayah! How’s it going?”
Can’t forget the classics, can we, mi padre?
Dads can be awkward or “awki,” especially when they try to use teenage slang words, so why not just call it like it is? As much as I dislike saying the word “awki” in real life to refer to awkward, I’ll allow it in this context. Awki awkis.
This is a pretty great one, but you’re guess is as good as mine when it comes to pronouncing the language name.
Faeder (Old English)
The “ae” in faeder is pronounced with a hard “a” like in cat, making it sounds like a Rhode Islander with a strong accent trying to say “father.” In a way, that’s almost fitting.
Okay, so maybe nadsat isn’t a real language (it was the fictional language used in A Clockwork Orange) but it made me chuckle nonetheless.
Father, papa, dad, daddy, papa, etc. (English)
Because you can never have too many ways to say dad.