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Sikhing Answers

What Do You Call Your Mother & Your Father?
Question # XXV




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What do you call your mother and your father? How do you address them?

Pita ji? Mata ji? Pop? Ma? 

Publicly? Privately?

What are the Punjabi terms of endearment you use for them or with them? In other lanuages?

And your grandparents? 



Posted on May 18, 2012

Closing Date: May 25, 2012


Conversation about this article

1: Karamjit Kaur (Ludhiana, Punjab), May 18, 2012, 7:08 AM.

I call my mother "mummy", and my father "daddy". My granny is "bebe".

2: Sukhmani Kaur Thethi (Jalandhar, Punjab), May 18, 2012, 7:33 AM.

I call my mother "Mumma". And my father "Papa".

3: Inderpal Singh (Bangkok, Thailand), May 18, 2012, 7:38 AM.

Father - Dad/Papa. Mother - Ma/Mummy. Grandmother - Bibi.

4: Manjit Kaur (Maryland, U.S.A.), May 18, 2012, 9:21 AM.

I used to address my parents as Mummy and Papa ji.

5: Jaswinder Singh (Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.), May 18, 2012, 10:42 AM.

I call my mother 'Bibi ji' and my father 'Daddy'. Grandmother is 'Bebe ji' and grandpa, 'Bapu ji'. I have heard mother and grandmother addressed as biji, mata ji or maa ji and father and grandfather as baji or pita ji.

6: Dupinder Kaur Sidhu (Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.), May 18, 2012, 1:15 PM.

Mother - "Mummy"; Father - "Papa ji"; Paternal grandmother - "Bibi ji"; Paternal Grandfather - "Bau ji"; Maternal grandmother - "Ma ji"; Maternal grandfather - "Bapu ji" (I have no memory of him).

7: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 18, 2012, 5:31 PM.

Father - Bhaa-ee-ya ji, Mother - Bhabhi ji but she passed away when I was just 10 or 11. My earliest, formative memory of her as a kid was when she took me in her lap and lovingly read to me saakhis in Punjabi. I must have been 4 or 5 at that time. Even today, I have those delicious memories. That was my 'Bhabhi ji'. ... And my eldest sister, Bhenji Amar, became the mother, if not more, when I suffered her loss.

8: Sokha (England), May 18, 2012, 6:17 PM.

I call my mum 'Ma' or 'Mum', my Dad is 'Dad'. My grand-dad is Baba ji and my late grand-mother was 'Ma-ji'.

9: Satpal Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 19, 2012, 11:09 AM.

Father was "Papaji" and mother "Ammi ji". Tried for the longest time to get my children to call me 'Bapu'. But the switch from 'Papa' hasn't yet taken place!

10: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 19, 2012, 3:38 PM.

Satpal #9: Having had the closest contact with your family, I know you are lucky that your 3 lovely daughters refuse to call you 'Bapu' and thank God they don't call you 'Papu'. Since I share the same name with your dear late father, I continue to be addressed irreverently as 'Ditto Uncle' in your household and immensely enjoy this address and that I remain a part of the extended family.

11: Karam Singh (United Kingdom), May 19, 2012, 5:25 PM.

We had a variety of names in our household when I was a child. One set of grandparents was called "Bhaapa ji" and "Bey ji", the other, "Bhaaee-ya ji" and "Ba ji." We knew exactly who were we talking about when one of them was mentioned. Dad was "Baa-u ji", Mum was "Bi ji."

12: Sangat Singh  (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 19, 2012, 6:49 PM.

... And nobody's mentioned 'Jhaa-ee ji' for mother.

13: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 20, 2012, 9:44 AM.

... And, particularly in the Malwa area, a little too casual and informal, to say 'Oye, tera burrha (buddha) kidaa(n)?' - 'How is your old man?"

14: Paramjit Singh Grewal (Auckland, New Zealand), May 22, 2012, 1:44 AM.

We called our father "Bapa" - perhaps a local Malaysian influence, while our mother was addressed as 'Maa'. In New Zealand the locals do refer to their father as their old man, similar to comment #13 above.

15: H Bharj (England ), June 05, 2013, 12:51 PM.

Dad - Dadda. Mum - Mumma/mom. Grandma - Daadi-mum. Grandad - Baba ji.

16: Ramandeep Kaur (USA), July 27, 2014, 9:06 AM.

Father: Dad ... or Bapu when I'm feeling particularly Punjabi. Mother: Mum. As a child I used to call her "Jia-ji". Grandfathers: Papa ji; and both grandmothers: Bibi ji.

17: Swaran Singh Makker (Goa, India), October 16, 2014, 7:51 AM.

I call my father Daar ji and used to call my mother Mummy -- now departed. My father addressed my grandpa as Bhaayyia and grandma as Bhaabi ji. On the maternal side, my mother used to address her father as Chaacha ji and mother as Bhaabi ji.

18: Harpreet Kaur (Singapore), January 28, 2015, 9:44 AM.

Father - Daddy/Dad. Mother - Mummy ... now Ma. Grandparents (Maternal) - Nana ji and Bibi. Grandparents (Paternal) - Bhappa and Daadi.

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Question # XXV"

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