Jeffrey Carl Faden (jeffreyatw) wrote,
Jeffrey Carl Faden


I was thinking about names we give our parents today. It's not something we usually think about... but in all cultures of which I'm aware, we refer to our parents as "Mom" or "Dad," or just something different from their name. Why is this?

I know that some people do refer to their parents by their names - but that usually signifies a loose or rocky relationship, or some sort of demanding or very official tone. You guys all refer to them by something other than their real name, right?

I wonder where and why this started. Of course, babies relating to their parents (or at least their mothers) is in their nature, with almost all species. But being told to refer to them by something other than their name definitely sounds cultural, if not very broad. It might be seen as a respectful title. Such as, someone becomes a prince, or a knight, or something like that - in the same respect, people become parents, therefore they can be referred to as such. But then, why only children? Is it a way for children to show respect to their elders? Is it because they are not worthy of calling them by their names. Or the opposite - is it because they are the only ones important enough to NOT refer to them by their names?

This is just one of many things we take for granted, when, if you think about it, is a little strange and hard to understand. Any thoughts?
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