“Dad,” seriously, WTF: Notes on pronunciation and usage

“Dad” is my favorite word.    It’s the best me, to my #1 target audience.

(I’m a fool for the schmaltzy Dad scene in the Parent Trap  – view 5:30-6:40)

But it is not a simple word.   It can mean many things, depending on inflection.  The joys and sorrows of fatherhood — the relentless karma of it — can all be captured and deployed to ruthless tactical advantage by a kid who understands how to use the word “Dad” effectively.  And all kids do.

 “Dad”:  Is the standard usage for “Dad, seriously, WTF?”  The second “d” in this usage is muted.   So the ending is clipped, almost as if the word ended on the short “a” sound.    The meaning is roughly:  “I am about to unload some big stuff on you and you need to stop bobbing and weaving and deal with it.  Buck up.”

“Daaaad”:  Generally spoken with chin down and eyebrows raised.  It means “You are being dense and unhelpful.  Cut it out.”

“Dayad”:  “You are funny and endearing at times, but you still suck.”

“Dad, dude”:  “You cannot possibly be as lame as your words and actions suggest.”

“Daddyyyy”: “How could you?  You are supposed to take care of me and deal with stuff.  You call yourself a man?”


“Pops”:  “You are old.  Tired.  Obsolete.  You can be cute but in an irrelevant way.  And did I mention OLD?”

“K. Ceee”:  “Pay attention.  I am not just a kid, and I am calling you to account now.”

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