Daddy Vs Dady: How Are These Different? When To Use Each

Daddy Vs. Dady: How Are These Different? Nowadays, there is so much slang when communicating that we may get easily baffled by simple terms like this. However, there is a very simple way to know for certain if it is being used correctly.

 It may be confusing to decide which term to use, but the answer is straightforward; “daddy” is the way to go. In truth, “dady” is a misspelling of the word “daddy.” When looking it up, there is no known registry of the word “dady” in any formal structure of the English language. 

daddy in the dictionary

Grammatical Structure

Daddy is a noun, and as such, it should be capitalized when it is the first word in a sentence and when it is used to address a specific person; in other words, when it is used as a proper noun. I can say, for example, “Daddy, could you pick me up after school today?” In this specific case, it should be capitalized because it is the first word in the sentence and is a direct question to that person. 

We do not capitalize the word “daddy” when we use it to name a generic person. For example, I can say: “Yesterday, daddy took me ice skating.” In this particular case, we are using the word as a common noun, and therefore, no capitalization is necessary. If you are unsure when to capitalize or not, always ask yourself who you are referring to; the answer to that question will be your cue. 

So let’s say that your dad’s name is John, it would be peculiar to say: “Tomorrow, my John will pick me up;” This is why Dad replaces John and why it needs to be capitalized when referring to a specific person. 

As to “dady,” the only known use has been to name a professional Portuguese soccer player who used to play as a striker for the Cape Verde team. His name is Eduardo Fernando Pereira Gomes, born in 1981 and liked to be called this way. The nickname caught on very quickly. He is currently 39 years old, has played in three world cup championships, and is a very prominent player in Europe.


The word “daddy” derives from “dad,” which in itself derives from “dada.” They are the first phonemic sounds that a baby learns to make. It is no wonder that these are the first foundations of language and have been associated with a baby’s first human contact. There are many variations depending on the language, but overall it is a universally understood word. There is no formal year or even an era as to which we can pinpoint when it was first used formally, but we can definitely infer that it may very well be in the group of first words.


The term “Daddy” has many synonyms and can be used in different ways. For instance, Dad is the term where the diminutive Daddy comes from, given that it is one of the earliest words a child pronounces. 

“Pappy is an informal way to call your grandfather.” Papa is also a reference to the word father. And the term “Old Man” is slang referring to one’s father. Children often begin by pronouncing Da-da, then moving on to daddy. Some studies show that it is phonemically easier for an infant to pronounce da-da than ma-ma.

Other synonyms include “pops,” “pa,” “predecessor,” “forebearer,” “padre,” “progenitor,” “sire,” and “begetter.”


When using the term “Daddy” as slang, there are many ways to go about it. Many use it to show control or playful dominance when asking: “Who’s your daddy?”. In fact, according to, the term Daddy goes as far back as the 16th century, frequently used by sex workers referring to their pimps. 

Another term used in the ’80s is “daddy-o,” referring to someone who is “cool.” This, of course, would mean that the person is known to be popular and in style, probably being in a leading position within a particular group of people.

The word daddy has also been used to address a male significant other; especially if he is older.

Sitcoms have definitely played their part in including the term into daily life in a playful comedic manner. We notice it being used in movies, comedies; we see it on Twitter, Instagram, even songs like To The Moon And Back from Savage Garden: “Daddy never keeps in touch.”

But no matter the context, its roots will always remain the same. And no matter how or where it is being used, one thing is almost certain: everyone has used it for the exact same purpose, to call one’s father in a colloquial way. Languages are no barrier either, daddy, papi, papa, even tatús, it is a universally represented term for one of the most important human beings in a person’s life. 

Examples with capitalized “Daddy”:

  • Daddy will take us to the park now.
  • Mom, when is Daddy returning?
  • Daddy has been working late.
  • Daddy, please hug me.
  • As soon as Daddy and Robert are ready, we’re going to the park.
  • Daddy, you were right all along!
  • Big Daddy is a known kingpin from a Philadelphia family.
  • My sister hurt her knee and ran to tell Daddy about it.
  • Daddy patched her knee up.
  • Mom punished Laura, and she ran to tell Daddy.
  • Daddy, please give me some water.
  • Who’s your Daddy?

daddy in caps on doughnut

Examples with lowercase “daddy”:

  • Who is your daddy?
  • Tell your daddy to pick you up at five.
  • Her daddy left the country.
  • They snuck out of the house while their daddy was asleep.
  • Evan’s daddy ran track and field in High School.
  • Bill’s daddy fixed his car.
  • Your daddy is very friendly.
  • Their daddy arrived very early at the party.
  • Some people have what they call a “sugar daddy” to pay for stuff.
  • That phone belonged to her daddy.
  • My daddy is the best dad in the world.
  • Ryan’s daddy made him a swing.

Some famous quotes that include the word “Daddy”:

  • Mama and Daddy King represent the best in manhood and womanhood, the best in a marriage, the kind of people we are trying to become. Coretta Scott king— On the parents of her husband, in The Christian Science Monitor (2 July 1974) 
  • “Mama never loved her much, And Daddy never keeps in touch; that’s why He shies away from human affection.” Savage Garden “To the Moon and Back” 
  • “Stoosh over, Daddy!” Rachel Trachtenburg— Asking her father to move over while interviewing (Reprint of The Times) 
  • Daddy, Daddy, you bastard, I’m through. Sylvia Plath, 1962 ‘Daddy,’ published posthumously byTed Hughes (Ariel, 1965).

Movie titles with Daddy: 

  • My Baby’s Daddy (2004)
  • Daddy Day Camp (2007) 
  • Daddy Longlegs (2009) 
  • Postcard To Daddy (2010)
  • Daddy’s Home (2015)

Conclusion / Final Thoughts

Overall, everyone knows the meaning of the word Daddy. Daddy may very well be one of the most universally used terms, no matter the language, but it is always wise to wonder where the term comes from and if it is being used correctly. 

Making sure you are writing correctly is one of the most important traits one can have when working either in school or professionally, as it develops communication skills, it develops thinking and strategic skills, and it will definitely set you apart from the rest. 

Being a skilled writer will give anyone the edge they need to always come out on top over the rest. Therefore, if you have been curious as to whether you’ve been using the term correctly, you are well on your way, and now you know!

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.