Say the word 'papa' to most dads of a certain age in the UK and the reply would simply be a quizzical 'Nicole' after that famous 80's TV ad. Now that simple joy is at risk of being ruined by bloody hipsters.
Recent reports from the other side of the pond say that fashionable New York fathers are ditching terms like 'dad' or 'daddy in favour of 'papa'. Really? FFS. Don't get me wrong I am a big fan of a lot of things that have emanated from the streets of the Big Apple but this isn't one of them. I do hope it doesn't catch on here.
'Dad', 'Daddy', 'Dadda', 'Father', 'Pop', 'Pops' even terms like 'Old man' I can stomach but this 'Papa' really is beyond the craft ale pale.
"Parents who consider themselves to be young and hip don't want to be old-fashioned and they think to themselves, 'My dad wasn't a co-parent like I am.' Carmen Fought, a linguistics professor at Pitzer College, told the Daily Beast.
Well, my dad certainly wasn't what you called a co-parent, he was a full-on parent and a bloody good one at that. That was back in the in 7o's where dads splashed on the Brut' and dished out the punishments in a three-channelled TV world, rather than in a touchy-feely type of role.
My Dad, A Proper Dad. | Image Author's Own.
Thankfully, times for most dads, like our nappy-sorting habits, have changed. We consider ourselves equally responsible as parents.
Ben Hamilton, 43, editor at the 'Ageing B-boys Unite' podcast and stay-at-home dad from Norwich, said. 'My daughters both call my dad 'Papa' and have done since they were born. He, in turn, called his father by that so he was just passing the term down I suppose. Although I call my dad 'dad', I always called my dad's dad 'Papa' as well. So I'm a bit confused. Damn hipsters. Never happy unless they're putting their own unneeded spin on society".
To start 'claiming back' words just to mark yourself out as different, or fashionable strikes me as ridiculous. Being a dad isn't about being fashionable. Dapper yes, fashionable, no. Being a good dad has never been out of fashion.
Yorkshire-based writer, broadcaster of Bewilderdad.com and dad of two, Jim Coulson, 37 says.
"Papa is what kids called their father in those dull imported European cartoons they showed whilst you were waiting for Jossy's Giants. Papa is what Nicole shouted at her dad in the old car commercial. I can't think of it in any other context".
"There's nothing wrong with 'dad' or 'daddy', they are good solid terms. I didn't go with Bewildered Dad because BewilderedPapa.com had gone. If you are picking something else that is becoming popular because you want something unique, you don't understand the word 'unique'".
Frankly speaking, we are standing on the shoulders of giants so we should be proud for what a simple yet beautiful term like 'daddy' stands for.
"So why no "papa"? Maybe it's cultural but it feels awkward and, dare I say it, a bit creepy. I can't get the old Renault adverts out of my head on this one: "Papa"? "Nicole"?
It all feels like people are trying to leverage a certain amount of cultural chic by adopting words that resonate with different countries in order that they feel they can elevate themselves when talking to their kids over a latte.
'I'm not on board with this at all. Your children are not an extension of your lifestyle. They are not the thing you focus on when you've run out of sleeve tattoos and beard wax.
"They are your children first and foremost. And you trying to sound hip by adopting the latest trendy word should never replace that" said Dominic Murray, 41, dad of two, film blogger and illustrator from Nottingham. "At worst, people are adopting an alternate reality to appear modern, cutting edge and achingly chilled out as parents to the benefit of no-one but themselves and the other cool-kid grown-ups they are trying so desperately to impress"
That isn't meant to be part of the job description. We are the protectors, the carers, the providers, the clowns, the shoulders to cry on, and most usually at 5 am in the morning the knackers to jump, and heads to fart, on.
Now enough of that type of nonsense. Let's let the bearded, tight jean wearers of the world get back to their half-fat, low taste, beard wax crossbred, pumpkin, mocha latte or whatever this season must-have is and let us get back to what we do best, being dad.
To paraphrase 90's rappers 'Naughty By Nature' You down with D.A.D? Yeah, you know me.
For more of this type of malarkey make sure you check out Don't Believe The Hype| The World's First Agency Of Dad.