LOVE: Saying “Papi” and “Mami”

Latinos LOVE calling people “Papi” and “Mami” as a term of endearment. It could be a relative, significant other, or friend. Mami and Papi means in English, mom and dad. However, we do NOT say it in that context. When we call someone “Papi” or “Mami” who isn’t our parents, it is a substitute for “sweetie” or “babe”. We may say “Mamita” or “Papito” as well. It sounds sexier than the usual hun, love, or babycakes. Rest assure these words will make your partner melt and others feel special when you refer to them as such. Gosh, if Latinos were any sweeter we’d give people diabetes!



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  1. As someone learning “Mexican Spanish” , that is something very important for me to know, Miguel Angel K. It is interesting to me all of the differences in the different Spanish speaking cultures. But I guess it is no different than the US . Growing up in the south there are many words and things that traditionally we don’t use because we find them offensive that many northerners use even around their kids and elders.

  2. I grew up in central Mexico. The words Papi and Mami are linked to very low and vulgar ways. This language is not used among ‘high’ social circles or in families with higher education. Of course, this we will never know unless you grew up in one of those two. I do not share this often here in the US because I don’t want to offend my fellow paisanos, and understand that many did not have the same opportunities in Mexico as I did and came to the US to work and try their best.

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