Tuesday, October 12, 2010


To pick up on my recent post about cross-cultural linguistic misinterpretations, I'd like to share with you one of the many puzzles I cannot solve. Perhaps I'll start a semantics series ...

But in the meantime, I'd love to get to the bottom of why Turkish fathers call their babies "daddy" and Turkish mothers call their daughters "mummy?" Used as a term of endearment similar to sweetheart or honey, I once asked my husband why on earth babacığım and anneciğim are so commonly used? He admitted to being as baffled as I, and we agreed on the spot never to use either term with our own children.

Of course, he now often addresses Baby as baba, and when I remind him of his promise and point out the ridiculousness of it, he just shrugs.

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