I will find that 爸 (bà) is father if I look it up in a dictionary, but I've never heard anyone say that or 媽, only 爸爸 and 媽媽.

But can I still say just 爸?

  • 1
    Absolutely, in fact , only little child say 爸爸, otherwise you wannt to act like a spoiled child.
    – sfy
    Commented Mar 19, 2017 at 11:10
  • 1
    Might vary by environment. I certainly don't call my father 爸爸, but I might refer to him (to others) as 我爸爸. (Only to people with whom I'm familiar, though. Otherwise, I employ the usual 父親.)
    – Brian Tung
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 21:27
  • 1
    Same as when you called your father "Dad" vs "Daddy" and your mother "Mom" vs "Mommy". "Daddy" and "Mommy" are similar to 爸爸 and 媽媽.
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 20:08

11 Answers 11


Sure, there are many different ways to mean "father" in Chinese:

父亲:a formal and polite word, not usual for daily use

令尊:a very polite word to replace "your father"

家父: equals to “my father” when you are talking with someone else (more polite)

泰山 or 岳丈: a very polite way to call your wife's father,while "岳父" is more common

公公: your husband's father

爸爸 = 爸 = 老爹: just like "dad"

  • 1
    Also 老爸 is a possibility.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 14:03
  • I called my father 爹 Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 3:01
  • 父亲 is usually used for filling in the form about kinship
    – Victor
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 1:50




In my mind,I always say "爸爸" or "妈妈" when I was children.

But now ,I always say them "爸" or "妈“ .

Because,"爸爸" or "妈妈",It sounds very childish。




To be politer, you say 爸爸, although you can say 阿爸 with less formality and politeness, but 爸 is the worst. I get told off when I call my dad 爸. Hope this helps you.


In Chinese, may things are repeated for emphasis, etc. For example, 转转弯弯 is the same thing as 转弯. This is another one of those types of things.


actually,we use 爸爸 or 爸 as Dad.爸爸 and 爸,they are no difference.or you can say that 爸 is the abbreviation of 爸爸,the same as 妈 to 妈妈.but 爷 does not mean 爷爷,奶 does not mean 奶奶.usually,we translate father as 父亲,it is a very formal form of address.


爸 既能当 father 也能当 dad.

如果你叫你爸,你可以直接说 爸(dad).

如果你大声呼喊你的爸爸——比如距离很远,你应该用 爸~爸~!感觉这样持续时间长,中间能换口气……

如果你跟别人提起你爸爸,你可以用 我爸 或者 我爸爸。


我爸爸是个科学家。(好像在强调 我的爸爸 优秀)


You should always say 爸、媽 unless you are younger than 8.




I think 爸爸 more like daddy in English. And 爸 likes dad...

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