The worst Czech habit ever: calling your wife “mom”, calling your husband “dad”

In Language, Life, Love on June 15, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

200507571-003Czechs love American soap operas and family sitcoms. But there is one thing many of them hate, whether they watch old reruns of Beverly Hills 90210, Step By Step or Dallas. Scenes where daughters hug their mothers (and to some extent, fathers, too) and say “I love you, mom” to which the parent replies “I love you too, honey”.

Let’s skip the fact that it is a translator’s hell. Czechs NEVER EVER say “I love you, mom” to their parents under such trivial circumstances like coming home from school one hour later and seeing an angry mother saying “I was worried sick”. Nope.

Many Czech men do something that sounds much worse, if you think about it.

They call their wives “mom”. Of course, the meaning is transferred and it is supposed to be affectionate. But it sounds primitive.

Most often the term “mom” would be used by middle-aged less educated and “rather simple” men. The origin of this form of addressing is said to be in the fact that the married couples use the “mom” and “dad” to address the spouse in front of their small children and when the kids grow up and go to college the couples retain this form of addressing one another for some reason…

My theory is that these middle-aged couples never experienced single life. The men went from their parents’ houses or apartments straight into marriage where the pre-1989 roles were strictly defined. Emancipation, career women, equality of sexes? Pleeease… Mom was mom and dad was dad. And a few decades later, they are fifty-something, the world has changed but they didn’t…

Photo (c) Getty Images


7 Responses to “The worst Czech habit ever: calling your wife “mom”, calling your husband “dad””

  1. Yeah, this is a good one…I am going to link to you!!!

  2. […] We all know that the Czechs have some bad habits; we don’t like to say the words ‘I love you’, we have some bad table manners such as licking of the plate and many of us like to smoke and drink…and not exercise on top of everything else. To add to our humility quest, the Czech Daily blog publicized yet another one of those ‘bad’ habits (Peter actually calls it the worst Czech habit of all!), although this one may not seem bad to everyone….read the whole article right here. […]

  3. Hilarious! I always hated when my dad called my mom “mamka”. I mean, she is MY mom, not his!
    Now, that I have kids of my own, my hubby (not czech) and I call each other ‘honey’….so my kids think my name is ‘honey’…hehe

  4. Hehe, this bad habbit is really awful. Fortunately, my parents feel the same about calling themselves “mamko” and “taťko”! Lucky me.
    When I was in Germany, my host family served us some rolls/buns and butter with jam. Me and my friend didn’t want to make a mess with crumbs, so we spread the butter and jam on the upside instead of slit it in two halves. Then they admitted they consider this as the worst Czech habbit ever. They say that no other nation do this 😀 Czechs are unique

  5. Yeah, this is a good one

  6. Believe me, my American father had long, colorful years as a single man, but at 92 he still called my mother “Mother”. It may have stemmed from an old habit of address when we children were small, but in later life it came from deep appreciation that this woman chose him to bear and raise children with. My mother had similar feelings toward my father and often called him “Daddy” even after we kids were grown. This way of addressing each other came from pure love and a feeling of having faithfully shared the joys and hardships of marriage together for decades.

  7. EVERYTHING in this country is based on obfuscating one’s insecurities


    Right n wrong, morality, justice… the Czechs are way too ‘clever’ for any of that

    What a bunch of scumbags

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