Any Lesbians go by Dad? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 06-13-2008, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PARENT NAME LIST:
Ahtay (Philipines)
Amou (loved one in Portuguese)
Baba (grandma in Ukranian)
Dad
Dada
Daddy
Dee
Ema (Yiddish for mom)
Ima
Imme (Arabic for mother)
Love
Ma(ma)
Ma(first initial/name)
Maia (great mother)
Maman
Mia
Mimi (beloved in Italian)
Mojo
Mom
Mommy
Muh(muh) (Mumma)
Mum
Mummy
Mumsy
Papa
Popo (Korean for kiss)
Tata (dad in Ukranian and iciBemba)
Yaya (Greek for grandma)
Zizi (Perhaps don't choose this if you or your loved ones are francophones )


Please list any additional suggestions in bold and I will add them to the list - thanks!

__________________________________________________ __________________________

So, we may be putting the cart before the horse here, but I was wondering about this.

DP and I are TTC and have been passing the TWW with everything from imagining symptoms to talking about how we imagine life once our little one is here.

So, we were discussing what the LO might call us one day and going over the names we've heard, and none of them really seem to fit. DP is pretty (or handsomely, I suppose) butch, and while she doesn't identify as trans, she is often mistaken for a man and is extremely comfortable in her masculinity. We are leaning towards just letting our babe figure it out on his/her own (she/he may be able to teach us a thing or two) - but I was curious if anyone know of any women who go by dad. I know the lesbian dad blog writer goes by baba (which we would prefer to no use), but would love to hear any input or other suggestions! Thanks!

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#2 of 41 Old 06-13-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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We've been tossing the same question around for almost a year and haven't come up with a satisfactory answer.

Baba = I like what lesbiandad is doing with it, and would like to support the word as it edges into our lexicon to include differently gendered parents on the spectrum. Doesn't fit for us, though. I wonder about that. Why doesn't it? We figure if we lived in the city and had a large queer community, we would use it. As it is, we live in a very small town, and we don't want our school-aged child to have to the explaining.
Mama= That's me.
Mommy / Mom = Doesn't swing with her uber butchiness
Mama J = Her initial. Maybe?
Maman = She's French. Still too 'femme' in her words.
Papa = Again, not willing to have our kid be the political t-shirt.
Her first name = Not okay with me. Distances her from what is her rightful role as a primary parent. Socially negligent.

Other suggestions?

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#3 of 41 Old 06-13-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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Hmm, yes, we've been struggling with this as well, though my situation is a bit different. I was in the process of becoming a single parent by choice when I started dating my darling not-quite-DP (not quite partner, definitely dear). Now baby is due soon, and I've started to think more seriously about these things.

My (nq)DP identifies as genderqueer, and uses male pronouns, but neither of us is sure of how we feel about "dad." Partially it's an issue of us just not being ready to go there- he's definitely involved, part of my family, etc., but we haven't been together long enough to start thinking about legally becoming co-parents.

I think too, though, that I'm having some issues with the gendered connotations of it all. DP identifies as trans, but doesn't necessarily pass, and is very committed to having a visible queer identity. Neither of us is looking for a normative, white picket fence existence, and we're a little freaked out about what it would mean for the kid to have a mom and dad.

Anyway, all of this just to say that no, I don't have any great ideas, but am hoping that others will post some here!

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#4 of 41 Old 06-13-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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We have had that discussion since we started ttc. Kate does not identify as trans either, but more times then not she is mistaken as a man. Often glared at when entering the women's room.
She has said that she wants to be called Dad. Her reasoning is that when ever someone says "a child needs a mom and a dad" the child can say they have a dad.
At first I was against the idea. We live in a very small town. But the more I have thought about it, if the child wants to call her dad and she is ok with it then so am I.
We have also talked about Mother's day and Father's day. Kate is all about Father's day because of the cool tools suggested as gifts.

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#5 of 41 Old 06-13-2008, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad we're not alone on this!

I do love the sentiment behind "Baba", but DP and her brothers called their grandma baba, so it's very familiar to them, and also very gendered.

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We have also talked about Mother's day and Father's day. Kate is all about Father's day because of the cool tools suggested as gifts.
hahaha! We were out shopping this week and DP was soooooooo excited by all the father's day sales - she was like "Everything I want is on sale!!!" - so perhaps that's not a reason to go with dad, but it does suggest that it fits!

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#6 of 41 Old 06-14-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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We are so there! When DP and I were planning for our now 3 yrs old daughter we discussed this endlessly. DP is not quiiiiiite FTM but is most definetly butch, passes pretty easily as male, etc... The idea of her being called Momma or any such thing is ludicrious.

We did shift through some regional and ethnic deriviatives that might not be so "obviously" male, but, decided, Why. She has been "Daddy" for 3 yrs and will be Daddy again in Oct.

We did worry, for our daughter not ourselves, about public opinion, teasing in jr.high that kind of thing. But, my opinion is children are Going to catch hell for Something. They will be teased for having two moms, being raised by grandparents, having a really hot mom, having a really Not hot mom, not being sporty enough, being too sporty, or having a female parent named Daddy.

She has been in Montessori schools since a yr and a half old and once the staff is told the names of her parents and hear us using it to her, to each other, and to them, they have never failed to follow suit.

Family has been tepidly supportative but we are parenting for us and our family, not our parents or extended family, so we don't let it get to us.

Maybe we've gotten some looks out in public, but, I've never noticed it if so.

Do what's right for Your family, not what you feel society will support or expect.

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#7 of 41 Old 06-14-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tygrrkttn View Post
We did worry, for our daughter not ourselves, about public opinion, teasing in jr.high that kind of thing. But, my opinion is children are Going to catch hell for Something. They will be teased for having two moms, being raised by grandparents, having a really hot mom, having a really Not hot mom, not being sporty enough, being too sporty, or having a female parent named Daddy.
TK


We tossed everything else around too, and the only thing, and I mean the only thing that felt right at all was "Dada".

So far, the only one with a problem with it is my MIL, but she is a problem in and of herself anyway

I wholeheartedly support more lesbian "Dada"s!!!!

My partner is Waaaaaay too butch for anything feminine or Gen. Neutral. It's just not right for her. And she is ALL about father's day!!!!!
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#8 of 41 Old 06-14-2008, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all the input, it has been really helpful. I'm at 85% sold on dada - and I think DP is too.

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Originally Posted by Tygrrkttn View Post
We did shift through some regional and ethnic deriviatives that might not be so "obviously" male
Could you share some of the names you considered? I'd love to consider everything!

Thanks - and happy Fathers' Day to all the Lesbian and Trans dads out there!!!

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#9 of 41 Old 06-15-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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My DP was just told by the kids she works with (she's shelter staff at a teen homeless shelter) that she's one of the shelter dads. It totally fits her. The kids are pulling less from the gender of the people and more from their expected roles of moms and dads. For them, dad means someone who is firm with boundaries and rule setting, and mom means someone who is more nurturing. Most of the men that work there have been labeled moms and DP had some interesting coversations with the kids about how some nights they have a mom and a dad, but other nights they have two moms, or two dads.
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#10 of 41 Old 06-15-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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I'm so glad to see other people are using Dad too. My partner is planning on being Dad. It's the only name that really feels right. She identifies as trans-ish in that she doesn't feel like a woman, and she generally is read as a guy.

We searched for a long time for something other than Dad. We looked to other languages and things, but felt as only English speakers that we were appropriating in some way, and the names just didn't feel right. We thought about Baba - and support what Lesbiandad is doing, but again it didn't feel right. We thought about Tata which someone told us is Ukranian for Dad (but who knows if she was correct).

We talked about using her name but I really want her relationship to be recognised as parental. We've decided to use both her name and Dad, so that if I or the kids don't feel safe using Dad in some situations, like when we're traveling in small towns, we can use her name.
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#11 of 41 Old 06-15-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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We are a mom/mama family, but I do have some ideas for alternatives.

"Ma," is, I think, less "cutesy" (not sure if that's the right word) than "mama" or "mommy." Dw wants our boys to call her "Ma" eventually, when "Mama" becomes too babyish. It doesn't really work so far, since they pronounce her name as "muhmuh," so they shorten it to "muh," which isn't exactly what she was going for, lol.

Another idea is to do Mafirstname or Mafirstinitial (i.e. someone whose first name was Jesse would become "MaJesse," or "MaJay").

I don't think there's anything wrong with "dad" or "dada," but I wouldn't want to use it myself just because "not having a dad" is such an integral part of the story we tell our kids. It also just kind of rubs me the wrong way, as if it's implying that a family needs a "mom" and a "dad" regardless of sex or gender (even though I know that's not what all lesbian families who use it mean to imply).

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#12 of 41 Old 06-15-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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I like the idea of Mafirstname, that's kind of cool! And a new way to look at it. You could pick any prefix you wanted and both go by Mafirstname, or Pafirstname, or whatever.
Neat.

We picked Dada because my partner id's as male trans, and will be filling the role that is traditionally that of father. And it is so cute to hear her say mamamamama and dadadadada!!
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#13 of 41 Old 06-16-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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I was telling my partner about this thread and she was wondering what folks who use Dad do about pronouns.
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#14 of 41 Old 06-16-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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(double post)

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#15 of 41 Old 06-16-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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This is so very interesting. We just can't come up with anything we're content with. 'Papa' feels right to us, but presents issues with the world outside our household.

My DP identifies as genderqueer, leaning towards trans, and is read as male pretty much all of the time, yet when we think about using any of the male pronouns, it just seems to heap a lot of work onto the child. I think anything goes for the first few years, but I wonder about when the kids are school age?

Does anyone here have school age kids who use a traditionally male moniker for a genderqueer parent? And in a small town?

You know ... why can't mamas be butch? And butches be mamas? Why can't we reclaim that very powerful, nurturing title for the male-identified, female bodied genderqueers who are parents?

Yes, DP will fill all kinds of stereotypically 'fatherly' roles with our child ... but why are they 'fatherly' in the first place ... why can't hunting and chopping wood and riding motorcycles and going fly fishing and putzing in the garage be mama things to do? Big, burly, tattooed, butch mama things to do?

I'm stumped. We have 8 months to come up with something ... and I don't think that'll be long enough.

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#16 of 41 Old 06-16-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
Does anyone here have school age kids who use a traditionally male moniker for a genderqueer parent? And in a small town?
With the parent being genderqueer, I think using a male moniker might actually make things easier for the kid(s) in a way. Other kids say, "is that your dad?" The kid says, "yes." In talking about things that happened at home, the kid is using the same terms as most of the other kids, no need to explain why there's a mom AND a mama (or whatever). The fact that the "dad" or "papa" parent is female (or was born female) is an issue that probably won't come up in school until the kids are older, and unless you live in a really conservative area (which I wouldn't recommend as queer parents regardless of moniker), I doubt it would be a big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel
You know ... why can't mamas be butch? And butches be mamas? Why can't we reclaim that very powerful, nurturing title for the male-identified, female bodied genderqueers who are parents?
I'm with you. My dw is a mix of feminine and masculine (I'm often surprised by her girly side), and I knew from the start of our relationship that I wanted her to be "mama," because she didn't have all of the stereotypical "mama" characteristics (she has more of them now, 5 years into it).

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I'm stumped. We have 8 months to come up with something ... and I don't think that'll be long enough.
You can always wait and see what the kid comes up with. He/she will surely think of something! All three of our kids called dw "dada" at first (when they didn't call me anything at all), and then it gradually morphed into "mama" as we encouraged it. If we hadn't given them "mama," they probably would have chosen some sort of a variation on her first name (Lena), or the name I call her (Love).

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#17 of 41 Old 06-16-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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I'm not in a lesbian marriage, so I hope you don't mind if I offer this. My friend's sister and her partner had the same issue and I thought they came up with something really cute....momi and dodi (sounds like Dottie). it suits them and yet it's a still kinda feminine (which is what they wanted).
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#18 of 41 Old 06-16-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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If we become parents, I'll be Mama (or maybe Mama Ter or Mama T) and turtle will be EA (or EAmama. Her nephew coined EA for her--pronounced AY-uh--which turns out to be her initials, which of course he didn't know when he started calling her that). That said, if our kids have another plan, so bet it.

The Small Friends already call her EA most of the time, and they call me Aunt Terri (and one of them spells my first name a special way, just her). IME/O, kids work these things out in ways that make sense to them.
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#19 of 41 Old 06-17-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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I can add that my partner and I raised her niece and nephew from the time they were 3 and 5yo, and are now 12 and 14. They have never had a problem with us being together, all thru school they brought friends over, and it was never an issue for the kids or their parents. Now that they are older we talk about gay issues once in a while, and while older generations are still a little stiff about things, this young teen generation seems to be *very* flexible about gender/gay/lesbian/etc issues. They have friends over and in all the interesting conversations that we overhear and the ones we are part of, there just seems to be a LOT of acceptance of differences and flexibility toward traditionally held ideas of they 'way things should be'.

When talking to our daughter they refer to my partner as Dada, and so do their friends, even new ones that have not met us before pick up on it and go with the flow so easily.

The kids are really popular in school and have lots of kids over, and we have lived in all sorts of places (small/big town-wise).

Does that help some?
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#20 of 41 Old 06-26-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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My mom's name is Jo, and I call her Mojo. My point...be creative. Have fun.
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#21 of 41 Old 06-27-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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My partner and I thought a lot about this before our child spoke. We kind of both wanted to be Mumma. Well the child is now 19 months old and all on his own - without ever hearing the words started to call my partner Dad. And he calls me D - like DEE - but I am never called DEE by anyone. No one around us is even addressed as Dad so all on his own that is what he is calling us. So you may plan all you want and in the end, he might decide on his own.
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#22 of 41 Old 07-07-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
You know ... why can't mamas be butch? And butches be mamas? Why can't we reclaim that very powerful, nurturing title for the male-identified, female bodied genderqueers who are parents?

Yes, DP will fill all kinds of stereotypically 'fatherly' roles with our child ... but why are they 'fatherly' in the first place ... why can't hunting and chopping wood and riding motorcycles and going fly fishing and putzing in the garage be mama things to do? Big, burly, tattooed, butch mama things to do?
Yeah that! Three cheers for butch mamas!!!

DP is gonna be “Ema,” I’m gonna be “Mama” or “Mommy,” haven’t decided yet.
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#23 of 41 Old 07-08-2008, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just edited the original post with a list to track all of the suggestions (so sorry if I missed one, just post in bold and I'll add it - I did my best to comb the posts).

One I really liked that I just saw on a thread on a different board is Amou meaning loved on in Portuguese.

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#24 of 41 Old 07-08-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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Just popped back in here to see how the thread was progressing, what a great conversation starter it's been for DP and I!

As far as the questions as to pronouns go, our daughter is 3, and has been in a Montessori school for the past almost two years. My partner identifies as, I suppose, gender queer. Not exactlytrans, but, definetly not "just" butch. So, we flip flop pronouns for her (DP), generally most used are male. My daughter also flip flops but seems to run to 90% male pronouns for DP.

We intend to keep open, honest, informative discusions on the differences between gender and sex, as well as issues of identity; both self chosen and societally imposed a part of our family discussions.

As far as peer relations goes we will have to see what her comfort levels are as she gets older and balance those against our family identity and my partners identity. Thus far it has been no problem for her, her school mates and their families or her teachers.

I totally agree that "dad" roles can be filled by feminine identified women! I was raised by my grandmother that could and did drive tractors, chop wood, kill poultry, fix trucks, etc....and she was Definetly female identified. She did all that in a housedress, don't ask me how, lol!

It simply doesn't fit Our family or My partner to have her in a female named role, doesn't mean that in Your family it wouldn't work.

I think one of the things I find so wonderful about our crazy gay/queer whatever family (in the global sense) is the way we choose the words we care to use and then rework those words and definitions to fit what We want them to!

TK
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#25 of 41 Old 07-08-2008, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My partner uses female pronouns - but I think mostly since it's the default.

As far as how our roles are gendered - She is much more masculine and is the one we are considering "dad" for and I am pretty feminine. But on the other hand - she is the one who cooks dinner, I'm the one that puts up shelves. She does the laundry and I manage the money.

Our roles are a mish-mash of gender. So it's not like we're considering "dad" because a butch can't be a mom - but because it's doesn't seem to fit for us. Maybe "dad" doesn't either. Who knows. I'm still counting on our future kid teaching us a thing or two about gender.

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#26 of 41 Old 07-08-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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In the Philippines, women who are older and respected (even older sisters) are called Ah-tay (not sure of the spelling). I am not sure of the male equivalent. I just really liked the way this term was used. It is very special and respectful.

Tricia, treehugger.gif wild.gif geek.gif mama of dd (6) 

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#27 of 41 Old 07-08-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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Oh I guess I totally forgot we started out thinking my partner would go by Popo (Korean for kiss). But that soon fell by the wayside as Dada felt more genuine.

But it is another thing to add to the list.
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#28 of 41 Old 07-09-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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my daughter and all her friends call me "captain" (a dane cook reference)
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#29 of 41 Old 07-13-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoelace View Post
We thought about Tata which someone told us is Ukranian for Dad (but who knows if she was correct).
I lived in Zambia (Sub-Saharan Africa) for a bit and Tata was father in iciBemba (the language of the Bemba tribe = largest tribe in the country). It was always so sweet hearing little kids calling for their daddy. Mayo (emphasis on yo) was mother and I really wanted my daughter to call me that, but she sort of fell into mommy.
Bemba tribe = http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes/bemba.htm
Languages that use Tata = http://www.websters-online-dictionar...on/bemba-/tata

Just thought you'd want to know.

Angela
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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#30 of 41 Old 08-04-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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From the pp, I love the idea of calling your mother Mojo.

There are so many wonderful suggestions from the OP. I just wanted to point out, because you were mentioning titles in other languages, that "zizi" in French means pee pee/weanie.
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