Chris wonders about the origins of 爸 and 妈 and their usage in daily life.
The 爹、娘、爷、大、爸、妈 stuff fascinates me as well. Different environment calls for different characters. My take is that it has a lot to do with the class status thingy after liberation: the 非农业户口 (non-agricultural) class and 农业户口(agricultural) class.
Kids growing up as 农业 villagers in the 70’s, at least in my region, I suspect nationally as well, don’t call their parents 爸 and 妈. Instead, they call them whatever parents were called before the Liberation, or even before the first Republic was established in 1911, I suspect. Kids growing up 非农业, commonly viewed as being borne with a silver spoon in their mouths, almost always call their parents 爸 and 妈. In fact, any 农业 children who made a 爸妈 attempt were immediately suspected as “acting white“. In my local dialect, we call them 装洋 or 装洋哄(not sure if the last character is right, or even if there is a character for it).
I’ve always called my parents 大 (first tone. 爷 is also common) and 娘 (kinda between first tone and second tone, mostly first). Husband calls his wife 孩娘. Wife calls hubby 孩爷. I’ve noticed that children born in the 80’s and after, agricultural or not, use 爸妈.
I really want to find out the source of 爸 and 妈. Could they be new characters invented/introduced after the 新文化运动? Or they have always been there but I just don’t know due to my ignorance? I have never seen 爸妈 in what meager amount of 古文 that I’ve read. I looked for a copy of 《说文解字》while in Beijing in August, but didn’t find it in the bookstore I visited. Maybe I should have looked for 《康熙字典》instead.
Above is a slightly edited comment I left at Chris’ backup blog.
14 responses to “称谓的变迁”
Interesting question. Here is some explanation:
Thanks for the link. Now I learned something.
I heard about Zhidao, but this is the first time I saw it being used.
Excellent link, indeed. Thanks for that, Xiangpeng.
[…] Well, before I get started: Here’s one of the cool things about blogging. I wonder about the origins of 爸 and 妈, Haidong Ji offers some musings and a possible explanation, and then Zhao Xiangpeng provides a link to a Baidu Zhidao post on the subject. […]
I was born in a small village in 1982 with agricultural class. I call my parents 爷 and 娘.
fascinating. unfortunaltely, I can’t access Xiangpeng’s link from here.
That’s interesting. Does it mean that some sites from mainland are blocked in 宝岛?
Below is quoted text from the Baidu link.
非常有趣， 且有启发。 这是我第一次 visit 你的 website, 也是第一次在 visit 一个 website 之后留言。 以后有时间会回访。
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.
[…] 我十来岁的时候，俺大（二声，父亲的意思，非农业的孩子叫“爸爸”）买了个铁皮的澡盆和蓝色的浴蓬，可以在家里洗澡。这个铁皮澡盆上宽下窄，上面的直径一米多点有限，深三十厘米左右。我们把这个浴蓬的顶部挂在草屋的屋梁上，罩住澡盆。盆里先放些凉水，然后对开水加热。热气把棚子撑起来，一个人钻到里面洗。虽然不是很方便，但却不失为因地制宜的好方法。这个澡盆现在还有，主要用来泡衣服下灰。 […]