Thursday, January 04, 2007

"We're pregnant"?

Walker: I admit that I am a bit of a word curmudgeon. I embrace the wonderful fact that words and language change over time. And I embrace the fact that the ways in which words change reflect the tenor and tone of the people who used them.

But every now and then a change is afoot that rubs me the wrong way. You hear it everywhere these days, "we're pregnant!" or "guess who's pregnant? Bob & Cindy!" or "the Lockhorns are pregnant!"

One day about seven months ago I caught myself saying, "we're pregnant," when trying to describe a particular life-changing event to a friend. I walked away from the conversation scratching my head. Did I just tell my buddy that "I'm pregnant??!?"

Now please don't get me wrong - I’m all for the inclusion of fathers in parenting and parenting language, but not at the expense of accurate words like 'pregnant.' (Please note that I’m pissed that there is no “father” tab at

Obviously, I've had some time to ponder this language pickle, and without much ado, here is my guide:

"To be pregnant," "to birth," or "to go into labor":
The mother-to-be, always a woman, is pregnant, births, or goes into labor. Assuming there is a relationship, the non-pregnant person - in our case me, husband/father-to-be - helps the mother-to-be with all of these conditions.

"To deliver":
Sometimes a mother does this solo, but usually a mother and a doctor/midwife deliver the baby with the help of others.

"To be born"
This is what the baby, or in our case babies, get to do.

"We're having a baby/child/little monster/twins!"
This is perfect.

"We're due on..."
Related to "we're having a baby," a couple may say “we’re due on such and such date." This may seem illogical given the aforementioned rules, but don't worry, it's OK. Once the mother goes into labor, and mother and the doctor deliver the baby, and the baby is born, the baby is the couple’s responsibility. Thus, the couple is “due to be parents” at the same exact moment in time, so saying "we're due" is perfectly fine.

"I impregnated her"
Fathers, while accurate, don't say this under any circumstance. Stick with "we're having a baby."

You may also want to avoid saying, "we're breastfeeding."

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 1:52 PM

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you're such a postmodernist walker! btw, i'm having trouble with blogspot. just signed up and apparently i'm clueless. am i supposed to see my blog when i go to "dashboard"? silly question i'm sure, but why isn't it there?

Posted by Blogger Anamaria @ Thursday, January 04, 2007 4:23:00 PM #
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