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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu May 18 13:52:48 UTC 2006

Ben's link to Slate lured me into checking his own piece on the legend of the "transfer tubes":  http://www.slate.com/id/2139270/?nav=navoa

  EHK-cellent, Ben !  More proof, if you can stand it,  that when linguistic accuracy is involved, much of the media just doesn't care.


Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Benjamin Zimmer
Subject: Re: "Baby daddy, -ies / baby mama(s)"

On 5/17/06, Wilson Gray 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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