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students visits her teacher, to deliver some food. She has known him since she was little

speaker response carelessly attaching ~ちゃん to her name

student「先生、また『ちゃん』って言ってます」

先生「え? あ、あぁ すまんね。家だとつい癖で……」

speaker's response to the student saying that she came here to deliver food

先生「いつもすまないね。気を遣ってもらって……」

student「気にしないでください。先生には昔からお世話になってますから」

先生「ありがとう。男やもめだとつい簡単に済ませてしまいがちで……」

先生は奥さんを十二年ほど前に亡くしてから、ずっと一人で暮らしていた。

家だとつい癖で - if it's at home, unconscious habit (cause?) ....

男やもめだとつい簡単に済ませてしまいがちで - i find it hard to use ~だと as a quote for ~ nor the "if ~ is the case usage" for this sentence.

Thank you.

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The pattern XだとY can simply be thought of as "if (or "when", or "as") X, then Y."

Example: 家だと酔う = if/when I'm home, (then) I'm drunk (or "I get drunk").

つい is, as you noted, a phrase indicating carelessness or unconscious action, done (or left undone) by accident.

Example: 家だとつい酔う = if/when I'm home, (then) I unintentionally end up getting drunk.

so the first example of these two phrases together, 家だとつい癖で (『ちゃん』って言ってしまう)means as you thought

"when I'm home, (I just say "chan") by habit"

thanks to Naruto for pointing out the unspoken verb phrase, which means that 癖 is not being used as a simple noun as in "it's a habit", but is being used adverbially as 癖で "by habit"

... or more naturally in English "At home, it just comes out/slips out."

the second phrase in which this pairing is used, 男やもめだとつい簡単に済ませてしまいがち, the だと uses the "as" meaning, since being a widower is not a temporary state:

"As a widower, I unintentionally have a tendency to get it over with simply."

("it" being eating or making something to eat, in this context)

a more natural English phrase might be "As a widower I tend to eat simply, without thinking about it."

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    で after 癖 is a particle, not the te-form of だ. 癖で = "by habit". There is a omitted verb after it (『ちゃん』って言ってしまう). – naruto Nov 24 '18 at 11:48
  • ah. Or for example 癖で(呼んでしまう)? thank you. I will edit to reflect this... – ericfromabeno Nov 24 '18 at 12:22

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