Starting a series on family–عائلة (ʿāʾilah) or أسرة (usrah)–vocabulary across all three language blogs.
Arabic, like English and most other languages, includes both formal (“mother and father”) and informal (“mom and dad,” “mama and papa,” “mommy and daddy”) ways of referring to parents.
Mother = أُم (um, “oom”); mom, mama = ماما (māmā)
Father = أَب (ab); dad, papa = بابا (bābā, or “papa” in a language with no “p” sound)
“Parent,” singular, could be أصل (aṣl), though this can also refer to “parent” in the inanimate sense of “origin.” Also والِد (wālid, masculine) and والِدة (wālidah, feminine), which are active participles of the verb وَلَدَ (walada), “to procreate,” and thus both mean “procreator.” “Parents,” plural, assuming we’re talking about two of them, takes the dual form and thus is والِدان (wālidān).
2 thoughts on “Family vocab I: mother and father”