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Thread: Where Do "Baby-Daddies" Come From? (The origins of the phrase)

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    Dawtah of the Sun Empressdududahlin's Avatar Empressdududahlin is offline
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    Where Do "Baby-Daddies" Come From? (The origins of the phrase)

    *thought this was an interesting article to share*
    A brief history of baby-daddies. - By Julia Turner - Slate Magazine
    You may want to click and read the link so you can hear the chunes!


    Where Do "Baby-Daddies" Come From?
    The origins of the phrase.
    By Julia Turner
    Posted Sunday, May 7, 2006, at 4:47 PM ET
    Celebrity gossips are not known for their contributions to English letters. In tabloids, the copy is breathless, the headlines are stunningly literal, and the "hand-written" photo captions seem to toggle between "Awww!" and "Ew!" But as they zero in on celebrity mating and breeding rituals, the magpies keep breaking new linguistic ground. First they imported the British term bump, a noun used to refer to the protruding abdomen of a pregnant starlet. Then they awarded celebrity couples mash-up nicknames like "Bennifer," "Brangelina," and "TomKat." Now they've seized upon baby-daddy and baby-mama, two useful terms that have long appeared in hip-hop and R&B lyrics, and are slowly stripping them of their emotional fangs.

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines baby-daddy as "the father of a woman's child, who is not her husband or (in most cases) her current or exclusive partner." The baby-mama entry follows the same template with the genders reversed. But some gossip writers have been adopting the first part of the definition and ignoring the second. Salon recently called Tom Cruise "Katie Holmes' baby-daddy," even though the couple is engaged. And Gawker refers to Keven Federline as "Britney Spears' baby-daddy," even though the couple has been married for more than a year.

    Such usages would be unlikely in Jamaica, where baby-daddy has its roots. The OED lists baby-daddy and baby-mama as "colloquial, chiefly African-American" variants of the Jamaican terms baby-father and baby-mother; its first citation for baby-mother hails from the Kingston Daily Gleaner in 1966. The terms probably arose in Jamaican Creole—where they would have been pronounced "biebifaada" and "biebimada"—before taking hold in standard Jamaican English.


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    On the island, your baby-mother or baby-father is typically someone with whom you are no longer romantically involved. If you called your husband your "baby-father," he might be insulted—the term suggests biological fatherhood in the absence of any real parenting. The linguistics professor Peter L. Patrick, who studies Jamaican Creole, said the terms "definitely imply there is not a marriage—not even a common-law marriage—but rather that the child is an 'outside' child."

    The terms soon landed in the lyrics of reggae and dancehall songs, which may be how they made their way to the United States. In 1981, a Jamaican musician named Linval Thompson wrote and recorded a song called "Baby Mother" that entreats men not to be rough with pregnant women—"Mind how you're pushing/ when you push on your baby mother"—because an unborn child might be a "king or queen … maybe a movie star." Thompson followed up with "Baby Father," a major hit that advised men to take responsibility for their kids. The opening line: "Baby father, don't run. Don't hide."

    By the mid to late '90s, the terms baby-daddy and baby-mama were appearing regularly in American hip-hop and R&B songs, and the words were consistently used to refer to an ex. In a 1997 song by B-Rock & the Bizz*, a girl placates her jealous boyfriend: "That ain't nobody/ that's just my baby-daddy." In a song by Bass Patrol, a beleaguered boyfriend chants, "I don't know/ and I can't see/ why your baby daddy got beef with me." But it was the rapper Queen Pen who most succinctly captured the difficulties inherent in the relationship, in a song called "Baby Daddy": "I shouldn't a f-cked him."

    Baby-mama hit the big time in 2000, in the OutKast chart-topper "Ms. Jackson." The song—which, as Andre 3000 put it, went out to all the "baby mamas' mamas"—details the singer's efforts to convince his ex-girlfriend's mom that he's serious about being a good dad, and it soon had Americans black and white singing along with the catchy chorus: "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson/ but I am for real!" OutKast even secured the term's place in the New York Times: It appeared outside of quotation marks for the first time in a 2003 profile of the band that calls "Ms. Jackson" a "conflicted ode to baby-mamas." (The line is cited in the current edition of the OED.)

    These days, the terms no longer seem "chiefly African-American"—they're everywhere, the latest bits of hip-hop lingo to gain widespread use. Baby-daddy is the new bling. Online, you can buy "Jesus is my baby-daddy" magnets, tote bags, and beer steins. There is a drink called the "babymama." Scott Hoffman, the bassist for the glam rock band the Scissors Sisters, goes by the stage name "Babydaddy." Some of this cultural paraphernalia retains the old, loaded sense of the term: You can, for example, download a "Salty Baby Mama" ringtone so that when people call, your phone will jangle and thrum while a woman's voice says, "Baby, I know you hear this damn phone ringing. I'm going to beat your ass, as soon as I see you." But just as often, the connotations are strictly biological. Baby-mama has even made inroads in Japan, where it's being used on a Web site that appears to sell strollers.

    Who knows why these terms became catchphrases? Perhaps it's just that they're metrically pleasing: Baby-mama and baby-daddy are undeniably fun to say. But it's the novelty factor that explains how the words lost their negative connotations. Sure, there are many gossip writers who still use the terms in their original senses (calling dancer Carlos Leon "Madonna's baby-daddy," for example) because they're useful, reducing a complex chain of possessives—Madonna's daughter's father—to a nice, comprehensible noun. But it seems there are also plenty of writers who just like the way the words sound and don't care much about the stigma once attached to babydaddyhood. When news came last week that Anna Nicole Smith may be pregnant, it was no surprise that bloggers immediately began speculating about the identity of the "baby daddy." It may be a long time before you hear a quaint, old-fashioned "Who's the dad?"

    Correction, May 15, 2006: This piece originally included a clip of a 1997 recording of the song "My Baby Daddy" by a group called Nut N' 2 Nice. It was a different version of the same song, recorded by the group B-Rock & the Bizz, that became a hit that year. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

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    aka Karl Logan kevlocks's Avatar kevlocks is offline
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    Too bad our people don't realize how we set trends in popular society both positive and negative.

    It's so funny to hear white people say baby daddy/mommy, among with terms like "fo-shizzle", "what up", and other terms usually used within the black community.

    Oh well, it is what it is.


    I'll be in NYC for Dance Africa. We gotta hang when you have some time!!!

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    Going home soon... Nisha7's Avatar Nisha7 is offline
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    Somebody had to write an article about this? A waste of keystrokes......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisha7 View Post
    Somebody had to write an article about this? A waste of keystrokes......
    how would you prefer to stroke your keys?

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    Vincy & amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; a mp; Bajan YuhMur's Avatar YuhMur is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    how would you prefer to stroke your keys?
    How bout I stroke this keyboard over yuh head?

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    Registered User BacchanalDiva's Avatar BacchanalDiva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisha7 View Post
    Somebody had to write an article about this? A waste of keystrokes......
    How is it a waste to see the origins of a mainstream term; esp. one that started out negative and became neutra?.

    Article woulda been useful last month when we were arguing with VP about whether or not the terms had negative connotations. *too lazy to go find thread

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    Going home soon... Nisha7's Avatar Nisha7 is offline
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    any idiot who has even a rudimentary command of the English language should be able to figure it out....

    Diva: How neutral is the term really? It only speaks of the same nignorant foolishness that leaks from our communities that the white folks steal and sell back to us...

    steuppps

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    where de crix Oneshot's Avatar Oneshot is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisha7 View Post
    any idiot who has even a rudimentary command of the English language should be able to figure it out....

    Diva: How neutral is the term really? It only speaks of the same nignorant foolishness that leaks from our communities that the white folks steal and sell back to us...

    steuppps
    the origin is still important, baby daddy could STILL be used in positive light, and here is the justification, "since a man is labeled a baby daddy by a woman, she is showing how she knows her baby daddy"

    conscientious ignorance, yup, but i hope you see my point

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    Going home soon... Nisha7's Avatar Nisha7 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oneshot View Post
    the origin is still important, baby daddy could STILL be used in positive light, and here is the justification, "since a man is labeled a baby daddy by a woman, she is showing how she knows her baby daddy"
    conscientious ignorance, yup, but i hope you see my point
    clearly you have too much studying to do to watch the Maury Povich show...

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    Dawtah of the Sun Empressdududahlin's Avatar Empressdududahlin is offline
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    It's interesting Nisha that you would see this article as a waste of time, when we have to face the facts that the term is used and we have to sometimes study and question aspects of our society as insignificant it may seem to some people. I actually posted the article because I wanted to see people's thoughts (negative and postive) as well to follow through with a conversation about the terms and names that are used in our everyday language and how it affects us. I'm truly busy today but stopping in and out and hope to continue this when I come back.
    Blessings

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    Going home soon... Nisha7's Avatar Nisha7 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empressdududahlin View Post
    It's interesting Nisha that you would see this article as a waste of time, when we have to face the facts that the term is used and we have to sometimes study and question aspects of our society as insignificant it may seem to some people. I actually posted the article because I wanted to see people's thoughts (negative and postive) as well to follow through with a conversation about the terms and names that are used in our everyday language and how it affects us. I'm truly busy today but stopping in and out and hope to continue this when I come back.
    Blessings
    i just think that intellectualizing this topic is waaaay down the totem pole, so to speak, espcially when the pathology behind the label continues to devour our communities....

    seems more like parlor talk for little blue haired ladies who wanna catch up on whats going on in pop culture, so they could watch vh1 without the aid of their grandchildren.....but i will leave allyuh to your discussion

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    Dawtah of the Sun Empressdududahlin's Avatar Empressdududahlin is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisha7 View Post
    i just think that intellectualizing this topic is waaaay down the totem pole, so to speak, espcially when the pathology behind the label continues to devour our communities....

    seems more like parlor talk for little blue haired ladies who wanna catch up on whats going on in pop culture, so they could watch vh1 without the aid of their grandchildren.....but i will leave allyuh to your discussion
    you see I feel even the lil parlor talk is important conversation! I think that's how we're losing our communities, we don't talk about these terms... Like for example, I'm working with teenage girls in a group home and I had to bring up the term "wifey" in the hiphop lyrics and everyday language. I honestly didn't know too much about the background at least the updated version of it. When I brought it up I asked them if they were ok with being called that and it's only when I brought it up did they realize how it doesn't glorify or add any positive title to who they are to a man or boyfriend... We need to start talking and definitely learning to engage in conversations about topics that affect our community. I hope you don't leave us with our discussion just so.

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    Registered User BacchanalDiva's Avatar BacchanalDiva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisha7 View Post
    any idiot who has even a rudimentary command of the English language should be able to figure it out....

    Diva: How neutral is the term really? It only speaks of the same nignorant foolishness that leaks from our communities that the white folks steal and sell back to us...

    steuppps
    I hear what you're saying and I do agree that the problems in black communities that lead to such a term in the first place are important dicussion, probably more important than the evolution of the word. Yet, just because there are more important topics of discussion doesn't mean this one isn't worthwhile is it?

    I would say how neutral it is depends on the person(s) saying and person(s) hearing it. Like in the thread I mentioned before, VP and couple others found it a neutral term while I and others found it degrading...I'm not one to read/watch entertainment news so I wasn't up on how the word is now being used until it was pointed out in that thread. But the reason I found it negative/degrading in the first place is because I equated the word with the social ills you're referring to. So what if I had no knowledge experience with those problems...I probably wouldn't have seen a thing negative about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Empressdududahlin View Post
    you see I feel even the lil parlor talk is important conversation! I think that's how we're losing our communities, we don't talk about these terms... Like for example, I'm working with teenage girls in a group home and I had to bring up the term "wifey" in the hiphop lyrics and everyday language. I honestly didn't know too much about the background at least the updated version of it. When I brought it up I asked them if they were ok with being called that and it's only when I brought it up did they realize how it doesn't glorify or add any positive title to who they are to a man or boyfriend... We need to start talking and definitely learning to engage in conversations about topics that affect our community. I hope you don't leave us with our discussion just so.
    I thought a guy calling a chick wifey is the same as him saying "this is my girlfriend/woman", meaning you're not some chick on the side, foop buddy or any sort of casual relationship...isn't that positive?

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    Registered User Fiyah's Avatar Fiyah is offline
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    I, for one, fail to see how the term is negative in origin. The article doesn't ever say or imply any negative connotation to the term at all... unless you think that someone who has a child with someone else and then are no longer romantically involved is in itself inherently negative - which would be objective in any case.

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    Registered User Fiyah's Avatar Fiyah is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacchanalDiva View Post
    I hear what you're saying and I do agree that the problems in black communities that lead to such a term in the first place are important dicussion, probably more important than the evolution of the word. Yet, just because there are more important topics of discussion doesn't mean this one isn't worthwhile is it?

    I would say how neutral it is depends on the person(s) saying and person(s) hearing it. Like in the thread I mentioned before, VP and couple others found it a neutral term while I and others found it degrading...I'm not one to read/watch entertainment news so I wasn't up on how the word is now being used until it was pointed out in that thread. But the reason I found it negative/degrading in the first place is because I equated the word with the social ills you're referring to. So what if I had no knowledge experience with those problems...I probably wouldn't have seen a thing negative about it.



    I thought a guy calling a chick wifey is the same as him saying "this is my girlfriend/woman", meaning you're not some chick on the side, foop buddy or any sort of casual relationship...isn't that positive?

    Yes. "Wifey" is a term used to refer to a main or only significant partner.

    Is single parenting a social ill?

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