baby daddy

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Alternative forms[edit]


African American Vernacular English (General American would be baby's daddy) 1990s, popularized 2000s;[1] compare baby mama.[2] Possibly from or influenced by same term in Jamaican English, from Jamaican Creole baby-father,[1] alternatively due simply to grammatical similarities between AAVE and Jamaican Creole.[2]


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baby daddy (plural baby daddies)

  1. (slang, US) Father of child in common, particularly unmarried.
    • 2004, Michelle Obama, Senate victory speech, November 2, 2004:[3]
      My baby’s daddy, [sic] Barack Obama.
    • 2009, Stacye Branch M Msc, It's All in How You Look at It: Thoughts and Questions About Life[1], page 191:
      The baby daddy many of us at one point or another have or will be in a relationship with someone who has a child or children, and with that child or children comes another parent.
    • 2011, Michael Cornwall, Ticklenotes: More Voices from Cube Village[2], page 44:
      “I'm so glad I only have one baby daddy.” “F'really.” “I feel sorry for those girls with more than one.”
    • 2012, Aaron Peckham, Urban Dictionary: Freshest Street Slang Defined[3], page 16:
      The father of your child, whom you did not marry, and with whom you are not currently involved. That man isn't my boyfriend; he's my baby daddy.

Usage notes[edit]

As with baby mama, contentious usage – sometimes used neutrally as a casual term, regardless of marriage status, particularly in the tabloid press,[1] or as a term of endearment, as in Obama quote above.[3] Often considered pejorative, particularly if applied to unmarried black parents – if used by one parent of the other, can imply “child in common but no meaningful relationship”, while if used by outsiders, can imply disapproval of children born out of wedlock; see “baby mama” citations.[4] More formal variants include “baby’s daddy” and “baby’s father”; in formal usage “father of one’s child” is preferred.

Related terms[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Where Do "Baby-Daddies" Come From? The origins of the phrase. by Julia Turner, Slate, posted Sunday, May 7, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "What did Joe Louis have to tell us about Tina Fey?" on Language Log, December 10, 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 America Votes 2004”, CNN, November 2, 2004
  4. ^ Was It a Slur?”, by Tobin Harshaw, New York Times, June 12, 2008