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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 34

Word:
Daddy

When did a sweet word get so spicy?
Words by Ellie Violet Bramley. Photograph by Iringó Demeter.

Etymology: The word “daddy” has been on an adventure ever since it moved beyond the purely paternal in the 1920s. Starting, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, as a word “most commonly used in children’s language,” “daddy” has become a term of endearment when used between adults in non-familial or sexually intimate relationships. These relationships tend to be ones with potent power dynamics, commonly involving submission to masculine authority.

The internet has toyed with the term and subverted it. Twitter is awash with people addressing the likes of Barack Obama, Drake and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as “daddy.” Bernie Sanders is also not immune.

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Four

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