Across the world, no matter what culture a person comes from, one thing remains pretty consistent from place to place: we don’t usually address our parents by their first names.
Every culture around the world instead uses some kind of words in the same way we use ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’.
And surprisingly, across the world, the different names for ‘Mum’ even sound kind of similar, with many starting with an ‘m’ sound. ‘Dad’ names however vary more widely across the world.
Linguists believe the sounds originated with baby talk, and then parents adopted the sounds to themselves: sounds like Ma, Ba, Pa, etc. These baby noises are universal, which is why similar sounds are often used across the world, regardless of what language was spoken in the home.
The detailed video below from "Today I Found Out" breaks down the various reasons for this interesting phenomenon. Take a look.