What does "Papi" mean and appropriate to say?
Ok, Here is the situation.
I am from america and my fiance is from the dominican republic.
She was living in puerto rico for ten years and I met her there when I lived there.
I trust her completely. However, there is a problem that I have in one thing she does.
She calls other men "papi". (She also will call women she doesn't know "mi amor".)
She is in Florida right now and I am in North Carolina and will be moving in with her soon. She lives with one of her sons and her ex husbands sister, Edith.
Edith met her boyfriend 4 months ago and are talking about getting married and he will probably move into the apartment in January.
Recently, her older sons visited her on one of their birthdays and her ex husband came up to see them as well.
We were talking on the phone as she arrived home and said hello to her ex husband by the name Fernando and they said hola papi to Edith's boyfriend.
Now, I am not fluent in spanish and know it is used differently in many countries, but I was confused why she would be calling any other man besides her boyfriend or husband or son papi.
We talked later about it and she says she has learned many words and not everyone understands all these words and because of that words don't really mean anything. It is more about the Tone, Inflection of voice which is important. She says that in her job, if she thinks you are a decent person and does not know your name or there is a group around, she will call those men "papi"
To me, papi means: Daddy, Baby, My Love....you say it to the boyfriends, husbands, and sons...if you are in a committed relationship. If you are single, then to a man you have an interest in getting to know alot better.
To me, that is an important word. If I was not her fiance or boyfriend, I would not call her mami. If there was no interest in having her be my fiance or girlfriend.
And I would not want other men to call her mami either. That's my women/baby/love, not yours.
Now I'm not looking for someone to be on my side of this or her side of this.....but, I would like to know what "papi" and "mami" mean to most people and what it means most of the time you use those words. And when and who it is appropriate to be used with.
I can imagine there might be a situation that might 'break' the normal rule of when it is used, I'd like to know those as well.
Having her call other men Papi...daddy, big daddy, lover, boyfriend, husband, baby, etc.....bothers me. It doesn't seem to matter to her what she is calls others or what they call her as long as it is with good tone.
(although if I said como esta mami with the same tone as I said como esta puta or como esta pendejo", I don't think she would think those words meant nothing, just because they were used with good tone.)
Also, do you think I am overreacting? I feel it is very disrepectful to say that to another man when you are in a committed relationship. Would it bother you if your wife or girlfriend called others papi, or your husband or boyfriend called other women mami?
Are these words used differently in the Dominican Republic? What do they mean there? How are they used there? Are they appropriate to call everyone? etc....
And what would you think of a mans wife saying papi to another man, if you knew they were together? Would you still respect her? Would you still respect him?
Basically, any information, translations, thoughts, ideas...would be helpful in me understanding what's going on.
you know when you go in a store and you see a young lady that works there yo might feel inclined to say "excuse me hun do you know where the....?
or "I'm sorry sweety can I get a .....?
Are you catching my drift
Those are just words you say to anyone. Im a woman and Ill say "My love would you mind moving over" to a guy on the bus.
Come on if yo love her so much then this is pettyness that you should not even think about it. You should be worried had she called her ex-husband "papi". but as you wrote she called him by his name and called the other girl's boyfriend by that ever-popular word.
Its the same as if you're in Dr and a girl can say "Mi rey como estas" or "Mi negro" or "Chulo" or "Mi amor" or "Amor Bello" or "Dulcura"
do you catch my drift?
those are just fillers and make the other person feel welcomed or helps get things done fast (meaning the girl in store scenerio)
Hope to have been of assistance
Hey dont let that bother you,
Originally Posted by bdj
that is a dominican thing.....They will greet just about anybody with mi amor, mami, papi etc...the closest meaning to this would be sweetie...just like in the US many people who dont even know you call you sweetie.
Many times you can even hear a male dominican calling you papi and it is all good it does not mean that they are gay....They will also call you mi vida, carino, Negra, Negro, moreno, morena etc...Now if she calls other men papi lindo, papi chulo...then you should worry.
My very un PC opinion,
which you did not really ask for.
You girlfriend seems to be very uneducated, and has a very limited vocabulary and a tiny brain that is good a getting what she wants. Low class is where she was born and bred, and low class she shall remain.
Fact of life.
Make a better choice next time...
Thanks for the responses so far.
Although, hillbilly, she has a Masters Degree and is very educated.
Every country, people say and do things differently.
I think Papi and Mami are used VERY differently here in the United States, (where we are now).
Although I would still like to hear other opinions. I do appreciate the ones that have posted so far.
As far as being petty.... (The word is used very differently here in the United States....But Graciela is from the Dominican Republic and has lived many years in Puerto Rico and other latin american countries.....)
As far as being petty....that is why I am here, to understand more and educate myself on the Dominican Culture, and not just lump all spanish speakers in the same world. We have not argued or fought over this, but we have discussed this. With a better understanding, maybe it won't bother me as much.
Although, as I said, here, it it used quite differently and many if not most would start fighting if these words were used by a women or man..... It would be VERY disrspectful to say.....but, from what I understand, in spain, you would not say papi to anyone but your father.
I've talked to people from Peru and Puerto Rico, and Columbia.
In a slang book, Bizcocho means like cup cake. hey cup cake...like hey sweetie....but in another country, it basically is like saying puta......
So I did a search and it seemed like this would be a great place to ask and become more informed.
Again, I appreciate the posts and hope more come......Thanks.
I've never referred to anyone as mami or papi except, well, to Mami and Papi. Or to ask a child "where's your papi/mami?". However this is not true of everyone, if I had 1 cent for every time a total stranger has called me "mi amor", "cariņo", "bella", the dreaded "mami" or other such I'd be stinkinly rich. Trust her or don't, only you can decide.
I think what Hillbilly tried to point out was that your girlfriend regardless of her acquired formal education, appears to have little, plain, or no manners at all when trying to interact with others, which evidently tells that she had little interest in polishing up her "persona" while studying. Now my suggestion is to deal with it and forget it about it. In fact if you somehow let her know you disapprove her behaviour towards other men she will do it even more often. Make her jealous instead by calling women "mami" and "mi amor" right in front of her!, and you'll see she will eventually address less men as "papi".
Originally Posted by bdj
I did not mean to offend you by saying that "you" were petty. I just meant that those words are used so loosely that it seemed an insignificant thing to think about.
Im sorry if it did. It truly was not my intention
I thought about doing that and calling other women mami in front of her. But that would be in effect trying to do harm to the relationship, in my opinion.
Originally Posted by Oche
I somewhat doubt she will start calling others papi more, now that she knows it bothers me.
But we'll see. Honestly, I just want to be happy and have her happy and if we have to play all these games, it's just not worth it. Although, there is a slight chance I do that at some point just to see her reaction. But not for the long term. More for my own information. As in the United States, it is used more in the sense of the one you are committed to or want to be commited too. So I could imagine it back firing on me and getting into alot of fights with others and having her say i'm just not using it right or with the right tone.
We have talked about this and she has spoken with her mother, while we were on the phone....they spoke for a few minutes and I heard her mother chuckle a little bit. I asked what she said and Graciela told me she just laughed a bit. She didn't say WHAT her mother said.
We talked about maybe TRYING to use other words instead, like chico, nino, muchacho, hombre, amigo, compadre......I came up with those...she offered those and baby. (I don't like baby either, but not nearly as much as I don't like papi)
I have an idea. It's way off the wall
Why don't you tell her how much it bothers you to hear her call other men papi and everyone else mi amor and maybe just maybe she'll get it and stop. I know we are mind readers but not all the time.
Don't bother playing games it's toooo much work.
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