If you’d search in the dictionary for papi you’d probably see that it means “dad” or “father”. Yes, it’s your old man, but using it in that context would be a pretty weird. Why? It’s simple: papi is – nowadays at least – more used to say “darling” or “sweetheart”, in most parts of Latin-America at least.

In Spain it’s still used to say “daddy”. And while many people in Latin-America use it as a synonym for cariño or cielo, it’s still a bit sexist. Mami is no difference; it can mean “mommy” (mainly in Spain), but above all “sweetheart” (in a bit sexist way, in Latin-America).

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

ismresp June 28, 2011 at 8:15 am

In Spain saying papi (Daddy) or mami (Mommy) is very childish or it is said by girls. It's better to use papá (dad) and mamá (mom).

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Fiorella September 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm

"It’s simple: papi is – nowadays at least – more used to say “darling” or “sweetheart”,
in most parts of Latin-America at least."

-Ramses, exactly which countries use papi as a term of endearment instead of its literal sense?
Because I can assure no Latin American country does *and thats the greater part of Latin America*

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Helen October 31, 2011 at 11:09 am

My Colombian friends use the term Papi when speaking with their adult son. It had me confused for a while since I could find no reference to it.

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Denis August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

hi there, as you said pappi is used as darling and sweetheart, I understand that its not correct to use pappi for girls, but can I use mammi in the same way ? probably sorry for stupid question, but I have no idea about Spanish language and I'd like to know about it and start study Spanish in the future, thanks a lot any way..

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dolius April 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

for example if you are in a bar, or restaurant, or the dico and you see a guy that you like, you must say: "Hola Papi" then he will know you are into him and things can evolve from there, the word papi is essential in romantic relationships…

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