So, Uh, What's A Zaddy Anyway?

Partaking in the world means knowing the terminology that goes with it. With each generation come key words that the generation before and generation after need to learn. For example, Gen X had some winners like "take a chill pill," "as if," and for the kids on the West Coast, "hella." As Millennials got older, they too came up with their own slang, like "adulting," "totes," "smol," and the ever-popular "it me." Generation Z, so far, has introduced "simp," "slay," and "stan." Of course, Gen Z is just getting started, so we can expect that vocabulary to expand.

But every once in a while, a slang term pops up that defies generational attribution. Instead of being part of just one generation's vernacular, it's embraced by all generations. When this happens, the word takes on a life of its own. It appears in memes, in personal texts, in emails to colleagues, as hashtags on social media, and is even lucky enough to get covered on your favorite sites. It's a word that doesn't define a generation but becomes its own entity that spans all ages, uniting us together under the common knowledge that this word speaks volumes. What word could possibly be so important, so grandiose, so essential to our everyday conversations?

We are, of course, talking about the word "zaddy." Or, more specifically, a man named Pedro Pascal. We'll explain. 

What's a zaddy

Although the Internet — and pretty much the world as a whole — has decided that the very definition of zaddy is Pedro Pascal (which is true), he's certainly not the only one out there. A zaddy takes the term daddy to a new level. A daddy is an older man to whom you're attracted, but they also have this sort of father figure thing going on. For example, you want to jump their bones, they're probably your favorite masturbation fodder, and you'll doom scroll the night away just to take in every photo of them you can possibly find, but you also can't help but wonder, "Is this guy too old for me? Is he my dad's age?" Fact: If you're in your 20s, Pedro Pascal could possibly be the same age as your father.

A zaddy, on the other hand, is, well, pretty much a daddy. But the difference lies in two essential components: swag and a feeling. A zaddy is more stylish than a daddy and spotting a zaddy is just something you know when you see him. The feeling grips you by the heart, the mind, and the loins! It makes you call out, "Now there's a zaddy!"

History of zaddy

The history of the word zaddy is a little muddy. If we head over to Urban Dictionary, the holy grail of slang definitions, one of the earliest appearances of zaddy was posted in June of 2008. But, according to Parade, zaddy didn't hit pop culture until the 2016 song, "Zaddy," by Ty Dolla Sign was released. In 2017, Jezebel did a roundup of what zaddy looked like and their list included Idris Elba, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, "Justin Theroux in sweatpants," "Jon Hamm unleashed," and "John Slattery, eternal zaddy." So the term isn't exactly new. 

Fast forward to 2023. Now we're living in Pedro Pascal's world and we're just visitors. Although Pascal has been a working actor since 1996, it's only been in the last year or two that he's gained all this "zaddy" attention. "Game of Thrones" fans probably recognize him as the gold robe-wearing Oberyn Martell and Netflix bingers might remember him as Agent Javier Peña from "Narcos." But it's his portrayal of Joel Miller in HBO's "The Last of Us" and Disney's "The Mandalorian," in which he plays the title character whose main job is to protect Grogu, aka baby Yoda, have really been his breakout roles. Granted, he never takes off his helmet in the latter, but when you hear that zaddy voice, you know all is right with the world.

How to know you've found yourself a zaddy

It's important to realize that one doesn't have to be a father in order to get the zaddy label. So, if you think it involves signing up to be a stepmom, you can relax because it doesn't. However, a zaddy should probably be older than you. For example, Pedro Pascal is 47 and Idris Elba is 50 — which makes them ideal zaddy ages for someone in their 30s. Or 40s. Or 20s — no sense in restricting certain ages! As Pascal so perfectly put it, "daddy is a state of mind," so the same can be said for zaddy.

If we take a man with the state of mind of a daddy, throw a couple of years on him so he's older than you, give him the swagger that only a certain type of man can pull off, then mix in the fact that you know you're face-to-face with the rare unicorn-like creature that is a zaddy, that's all you need. You have found yourself a zaddy. Now don't let go.

What to do with a zaddy

What can't you do with a zaddy? For starters, let them take the lead on the fashion end of things. When it comes to style, a zaddy can do no wrong — fishnet sweaters, over-sized, hipster-like glasses, full-length coats made of velvet — they can pull it all off. So, see what they're wearing, then let them inspire your outfit. A perfect point of reference here is when Oscar Isaac wore a Thom Browne skirt to the London premiere of Marvel's "Moon Knight" or Taika Waititi in his pineapple romper with high-top Converse. 

Next, go out on the town with your zaddy. There are two reasons for this: 1) a zaddy needs to be shown off and shared with the world and, 2) you want everyone to know that you have landed a zaddy. A true zaddy will know all the hot spots to go to and because they're so zaddy, they'll be able to talk themselves into free champagne, the best table for you two, and all the wonder and merriment that only a zaddy can deliver with their zaddiness. 

Where to find a zaddy

Because not every man is a daddy, which means not every man is a zaddy, trying to find one isn't going to be easy. You need to think like a zaddy. Would a zaddy spend his lunchtime in Gucci buying new loafers? Probably. Would he be downtown after midnight buying shots for everyone at a bar while donning a pink satin robe and matching sneakers? Definitely. But while these two situations scream zaddy, that doesn't mean you won't see one just walking down the street or on the train (Pedro Pascal has been spotted on the train all over New York City). Because of this, it's necessary to be prepared at all times. What this translates to is being cool if a zaddy is in the area. As much as they love to be fawned over, you still want to maintain a level of decorum as opposed to freaking out — a response that a zaddy can easily cause any person, of any gender or sexuality, to do. 

More than anything zaddies exist to remind us that, even on the dreariest of days, there is true beauty in the world. They're not just pretty faces with personalities that exude sex appeal in ways that startle the libido, but they're good guys that champion human rights and environmental causes. Does zaddy mean perfect? Pretty much. Or as close to perfection as a human can get.