"Baby daddy, -ies / baby mama(s)"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 18 03:29:50 UTC 2006

On 5/17/06, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> These terms appear to have become standard in the speech of those whose
> speech is non-standard, regardless of their race, creed, color, or place of
> national origin. In fact, Judge Greg Mathis has had to decree that all who
> appear before him shall use, e.g. "the father / the mother of my child,"
> etc.and not "my baby daddy / my baby mama," etc. and that
> no male appellant shall make bragging reference to the number of his baby
> mamas and neither shall any female appellant make disparaging or any other
> reference to the number of another woman's baby daddies.
> FWIW, I've heard these terms used regularly in their plural forms on
> BET, even in voice-overs, since 1993 and from time to time on The Maury
> Show since ca.1989.

Wilson, you'll want to check out the recent piece on the history of
"baby-daddy," by Slate associate editor Julia Turner.


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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