Move over Dad, dada, pops and old man. Those terms are so 2016.
For years grandparents to-be have tried to differentiate themselves from their own parents and grandparents by having their grandchildren call them a variety of other names, from mimi and gramps to nana and nonno. And now it seems like dads are following in that trend.
Call it hipster, call it new wave or call it a millennial mishap, but it seems that “papa” is the new “dad” when it comes to what youngsters are calling their father figures these days. And it’s catching on faster than you’d think, which anyone who has been to a Whole Foods or high end coffee bar has probably noticed lately. (Because what papa doesn’t need a double-steamed, low-fat, half-whip pick-me-up every now and then?)
So why the sudden name change? Well according to IT professional Justin Underwood, “Dad” is just plain old boring. The 34-year-old papa told The Daily Beast that the term is “very bland and drab,” and not so much something that young, hip dads want their equally trendy offspring to call them. Papa, however, feels a little more rich and layered in terms of meaning and context. Also it’s a little more removed from the pipe-smoking figure no one wants to invoke.
“We live in an age where fathers are more in touch with their feminine sides and are all right with playing dress-up and putting on makeup with their daughters,” he said. “(Papa) is an open-minded, liberal term… like a dad with a twist.”
Then there’s the fact that hearing little kids say the word “papa” is just plain old cute. And the more people hear the kiddos using it, the more it’s bound to catch on with young parents everywhere. As these things typically do.
New moms shouldn’t feel left out though; the term “Mama” has been catching on even longer according to some observant mothers. One of the reasons? Mom is just too suburban for the hip new maws out there.