noun Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive.
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Origin of baby daddy
Words nearby baby daddy
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does baby daddy mean?
A baby daddy is the biological father of a child, usually when he’s not in a relationship with the mother and not actively raising the child. Use of the term can be disparaging and offensive.
How is baby daddy pronounced?
[ bey-bee dad-ee ]
Where does baby daddy come from?
Like its counterpart baby mama, the origins of baby daddy are unclear and somewhat disputed.
According to linguist John McWhorter, dropping the possessive marker s, as in baby’s daddy, comes from lower-class English dialects, particularly in historic Yorkshire, England. Some poor people with these particular dialects were sent to work in the fields alongside African slaves in the US.
These slaves, who were learning English, adopted the practice of dropping the possessive s, too. Their descendants, who speak Black English, carried on the practice, yielding an expression like baby daddy for a baby’s father.
Alternatively, linguist Peter L. Patrick claims use of the expression baby daddy (and its counterpart baby mama) comes from such Jamaican English forms as baby fadda and baby madda.
The expression baby’s daddy appears in nursery rhymes dating to at least the 1870s. The expression without the possessive s wasn’t popularized, however, until the 1990s, spread in part through hip-hop music. Baby mama, for her part, appears to have spread through Jamaican dancehall music in the 1960s.
How is baby daddy used in real life?
The term baby daddy literally refers to the father of a baby. The slang implication, however, is that the father isn’t in the childrearing picture.
While the term baby daddy originated in Black English, it’s gone mainstream thanks to quite a few hip-hop and R&B songs, such as the 1997 hit “My Baby Daddy” by B-Rock and the Bizz. You’ll also see baby daddy used in reference to celebrity parents in the tabloids.
Baby Daddy is also the name of an ABC sitcom inspired by the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby, which aired from 2012–17. The plot revolves around a bachelor, Ben, who is surprised when his one-night stand leaves their resulting baby on his doorstep. This show helped further popularize the expression baby daddy in American pop culture.
The term baby daddy can often be derogatory, implying that the man isn’t in a relationship with the baby’s mother, that he doesn’t spend a lot of time with his kids, that he doesn’t pay child support or is unreliable in general. However, it’s also been adopted in a neutral or positive way to refer to the father of someone’s baby.
Given its close association with Black culture, white people using baby daddy may come off as appropriative in some contexts.
More examples of baby daddy:
“Bristol Palin struggled over a financial contract issue with her baby daddy Levi Johnston on Monday’s episode of Teen Mom OG.”
—Daily Mail (headline), November 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for baby daddy
Between 25 and 30, you’re trying to decide how much longer before you start growing a beard and calling yourself ‘Daddy.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic|Samantha Allen|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
How about baby drama with little Abijean and the Wee Baby Seamus?
He has wild swings between trying not to care about Lana and the baby, and being completely obsessed by it.
A recent U.S. study found men get a “daddy bonus” —employers seem to like men who have children and their salaries show it.
The pale, baby-faced, red-cheeked rapper is furiously puffing away at a hastily-made blunt crammed with low-grade weed.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’|Marlow Stern|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Aristide replaced the baby, and with a complicated arrangement of string fastened it securely to the seat.
She had carried the baby over to Juana's and left her there, that she might be free to serve the Father's supper.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
Keep closely covered with a bell glass and, in a few weeks, more or less, the baby Ferns will start to put in an appearance.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin
It is a fearsome thing for a man to be left alone in the dead of night with a young baby.
The man with the automobile, the corn-cure, and the baby grew to be legendary in the villages of Provence.