Jenn & I were having a discussion last night and I wondered aloud why no ever says “Dad & Mom”, most people preferring to refer first to their mother, then to their father: “Mom & Dad”.
As a parent, I can definitely understand the maternal bond/relationship, so I think it’s a matter of familial primacy, but it got me thinking about other paired relationships and why we usually say them in a certain order. The first of which, Batman & Robin, spawned the post title. I for one would never put the Boy Wonder ahead of the Caped Crusader, seeing as Bruce Wayne’s ward is the sidekick, so that’s one rule: Leaders lead sidekicks.
Here are a few other examples – feel free to add others in the comments – and my thought process on their organization:
- Salt & Pepper
- Thunder & Lightning
- Bert & Ernie
- Sonny & Cher
- Oil & Vinegar/Oil & Water
- Frick & Frack
The spices and the hair color are always referred to in this order.
It seems odd that these two are in reverse chronological order. After all, thunder follows lightning in nature so why are they inverted in speech? (See also Sturm & Drang)
This one is alphabetical, I think, since Ernie is the star.
Arguably the name of a group, but still always arranged thusly.
Why is Oil always the star?
A great example of how two things/people can become inextricably linked (in order, no less).
This list is far from exhaustive, but I figured it’s a good jumping-off point for further research, discussion and tomfoolery.
Have at it!
UPDATE: Drew hit on the glaringly obvious one we missed: Peanut Butter and Jelly. I’ll add some more via the comments.