How To

June 15, 2012

The Dad Nod (or How to Speak “Dad”)

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Written by: William Scheckel
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When I first got married, I remember telling people that the most important husband code was “mmm”. It’s the perfect word. Depending on how you use it, it can mean, “I agree”, “I’m contemplating”, “it’s delicious”, “I remain noncommittal”, “huh?” and a world of other things.

But it wasn’t until I became a dad that I realized that that was only for speaking with a spouse. When you’re interacting with another dad, you don’t need words. Men convey everything through a nod.

I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before, but since Father’s Day is here, I thought I’d crack the code a bit more thoroughly.

Here’s how dads use the nod to mean different things in different situations:

Where What It Means
Passing each other Hello
Entering the playground Oh, hey, there’s another dad here. Hello.
Running around the playground How beat are you? I’m totally beat.
One in a car, one on a crosswalk Stop, or I will punch your car for getting too close to my child.
Restaurant Yes, our kids are sharing toys, that’s cute, and if we were moms, we’d be exchanging phone numbers now.
Beach We are both going to be scolding our children about kicking sand on people, but please don’t let them kick sand on me.
School drop-off I’m sorry you have to drive a minivan. I feel your pain.

I could go on. Women often say that men don’t talk or share their feelings. We do. Whether it’s “mmm” or a nod, we speak volumes. You just have to know how to crack the dad code.
And for all you dads out there, let me just nod a Happy Father’s Day.

Photo source

About the Author

William Scheckel
Editor-in-Chief of The Fathers' Lounge, Marketing Consultant, Social Media Professor and, of course, Dad. For more on the professional me, visit

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One Comment

  1. […] often start a short conversation with each other. We dads look at each other, smile slightly and, as I’ve mentioned before, […]

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