Why “Abba” Does Not Mean “Daddy”

"...abba was not a childish term of the nursery comparable to 'Daddy.' It was a polite and serious term, yet also colloquial and familiar, regularly used by adult sons and daughters when addressing their father." - Justin Taylor

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Bert Perry's picture

My wife and I were the only Gentiles in a trip to climb Long's Peak about 20 years back, and I started to figure this out as a young man repeatedly referred to his father as "abba".  Good young man.  The phrasing was respectful and affectionate.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture


I've heard English-speaking adults refer to their fathers as "Daddy," too, so I'm not sure the difference amounts to as much as the author suggests. It doesn't have to be childish. But there's an interesting nuance in the article. It's a bit more than our term "Daddy" usually is. But not less.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.