It's common to say that a pregnant woman is expecting, but is it acceptable to say that her husband is expecting? I ask because my male teacher's wife is expecting in a week.

In case you didn't know, to be expecting means (for a pregnant woman, at least) that one will be giving birth soon, but it could generalize to males as meaning "will have a new child soon."

  • 1
    Despite what @Edwin correctly notes, if it was clear you were talking about a man people would understand you were using figurative language, so long as the rest of your language use was competent.
    – Robusto
    Sep 8 '15 at 21:51
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    ... To be fair, I've heard the broadening 'We're expecting'. But I'd consider a father-to-be's use of 'I'm expecting' to be wry, self-centred, or weird. Sep 8 '15 at 21:57
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    Could be valid, if the father-to-be realizes that he should expect sleepless nights, constant worry, enormous college tuition bills, and eventual disappointment in conjunction with the likely disgrace of his family name.
    – deadrat
    Sep 8 '15 at 22:08
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    I agree with @EdwinAshworth. I think it's perfectly fine to say a mother or couple is expecting, eg. "They are expecting their third child in the spring." "She is expecting a new baby any day now." But not the daddy. I am already a bit creeped out by "We're trying to get pregnant." I guess it avoids saying in polite company, "I'm trying to get my wife pregnant." Sep 8 '15 at 22:10
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    Possible duplicate of "expecting a baby" Maybe it's the case that these two questions, closely related but not identical, could be merged.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 8 '15 at 13:05

The idiom for this is: expectant father. However, if you were to say your teacher was expecting most people would assume the teacher to be female and pregnant. Context is key here.

An expectant ​mother/​father/​parent is someone whose ​child has not ​yet been ​born.


  • So Id have to say that his wife is pregnant. Thanks! Sep 8 '15 at 22:18
  • Some clue as to gender is all that's needed. And even then only to sate curiosity. People eventually get curious about the gender for any character you describe. Sep 8 '15 at 22:25
  • @FarazMasroor The following terms are also used: Father-to-be, and the more colloquial, Dad-to-be. Otherwise, I'd just say "my teacher is going to be a dad/father soon" No confusion there.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 8 '15 at 13:36

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