Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, November 21, 2004


My siblings and I have always called our parents Mom and Dad. My spouse and her siblings have always called their parents Mommy and Daddy. We both seem to want our son to call us what we call our own parents. The coming-on-2-year-old has only recently added 2nd syllables to his speaking repertoire. On Friday he started calling his mom, “Mommy.” I was still “Dad,” and oddly, I was a little sad not to have the extra syllable, a little jealous, a little out-of-sorts. But then I became “Daddoo,” which I like very much. (My wife points out that he probably got “Daddoo” from “Doo dah.”) Today my wife became “Mommoo,” and our son was very pleased indeed when I started calling him “Nattoo.”

I think it was Jack Spicer who said that everybody speaks their own language. Spicer (1925 - 1965) was a great poet and a professional linguist; if I recall correctly, he said this at a lecture on poetics, and when making the comment he mentioned his work as a linguist. My wife’s and my relationships to the distinctions between “mom” and “mommy” or “dad” and “daddy” illustrate the wisdom of Spicer’s observation.

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