Gay fathers and child smiling on beach

Heterosexual couples have it easy with parental nicknames. English-speaking kids can use Mom and Dad, Ma and Pa, or, if they’re smarmy or stuffy or transported from the 19th century, Mother and Father.

But there’s no real precedent for nicknaming same-sex parent pairs… unless you count the kid who went viral on TikTok for calling his dads by the names they use with their friends: Bear Bear, Sis, Husbear, Mama, Girl, etc.)

Redditors recently shared how they get around the “dad and dad” issue—or how they don’t—after one user raised the topic in the r/gaybros forum.

“My boyfriend and I talk about how we want kids down the line … and I was just wondering what they’re going to call us when they’re growing up,” user Sara-Tonin4 wrote. “I’m sure calling for ‘dad’ from another room can get confusing when they just want one of you specifically. So gay bros, what do your kids call you and your partner to differentiate between the two of you?”

Here are some of the responses from daddies in the chat:

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“My husband is a white guy, so they call him Dad/Daddy, and I’m Latino, so they usually call me Papa/Papi.”

“We’re Daddy and Dada.”

“We’re both Dad if it’s an unambiguous situation. Other times, it’s Daddy [First Name]. And sometimes we get ‘Not you, the other dad.’”

“We’re both Dad. I let her use my first name, though, from the very start when we adopted her. My husband was aghast, but I left the choice up to her. Her birth parents are awful people, and she had never really had choices before she came to us. She mixes it up, but usually, we’re both Dad. I can usually tell by tone which one of us she wants.”

“In the adoption process currently, but my husband and I are from two different cultures, which works well, so he’ll be Tato, and I’ll be Abba.”

“I am Papa, he is Daddy or Dad.”

“Don’t have kids yet, but currently in the surrogacy process. My husband would be Dad/Daddy and I would be Pop/Papa. Honestly, I’m sure over time we would both just be Daddy or fine with our real names. Time and routine can change, lol.”

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“We don’t have a child yet, but we’re in the process, and since we have different nationalities, we’ll be distinguishing it by the language. I’ll be Isa or Issi (dad in Estonian), he’ll be Tata or Tatuś (dad in Polish).”

“I think Dad and Pop are the best choices.”

“When the boys were young, it was Daddy J and Daddy B. Now, it’s Papa J and Papa B.”

“I knew a gay couple growing up that had a kid and were so dialed in as a family that the kid could yell ‘Dad!’ from across the house and the right dad would know who they meant, and that is goals.”

“When we adopted our 11-year-old son, he called my husband and me Uncle. My husband had always been Uncle to him his whole life. His parents were my husband’s best friends since middle school. One day in middle school, our son came up to me and asked me if he could call me dad when we were like at a school function or something else around his friends who didn’t know. I told him whatever he is comfortable doing is fine with me. But on the inside I felt really nice. He graduates college next year.”

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