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How do you say “mother” where you’re from?

Written By: daveski on May 9, 2010 3 Comments

Did you ever wonder why the word for “mother” in so many languages features the sound “ma”? Here’s a nice article courtesy of Langology (Facebook link; “@langology” on Twitter) in recognition of Mother’s Day.

And today’s special occasion for moms makes me wonder about a bunch of things related to moms and language:

  • How do you say “mother” in your language(s)? Does the word(s) feature the sound “m”? (mustikka on Facebook had something interesting to say about this in Finnish!)
  • What nicknames or other ways of speaking did you use with your mom, and what did she call you?
  • Is Mother’s Day even celebrated in the places where you came from, and where you’ve traveled or lived? How is it different than in the U.S.?

I’ll get the ball rolling on embarrassing self-disclosures by linking back to a post from last year, when I mentioned that my mom called me…well, go check it out. 🙂

In the meantime, I hope a few of you dear FIT readers will introduce us to your moms…


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3 Responses to “How do you say “mother” where you’re from?”

  1. jessica on: 9 May 2010 at 7:03 pm

    1. Madre

    2. I call my mom: Madre, Ama, sometimes Ma. When I was a kid I called her Mami.

    My mom calls me: Yessica or mija

    3. We celebrate American and Mexican Mother’s Day. So sometimes my mom expects gift on both days. I know American mother’s day always switches around, but Mexican Mother’s Day is always on the 10th of May. I don’t think it is any different. We give her flowers and candy on both days. The only difference I can think of is going to mass and hiring a mariachi band to sneak into our back yard at 5 am to sing at her window. No celebration is complete without Las Mananitas!


  2. valentina on: 10 May 2010 at 12:57 am

    1- “madre” (Italian).
    2- I call her “mamma” and she calls me “vale” or “valina” or “amore mio” 🙂
    3- On Mother’s Day my brother and I usually give her a little present and we all get together for a great dinner with my grandma, who is my mother’s mother and the only grandparent we have. This year we decided to buy a little present also for her since we all have been very busy lately and haven’t had much time to dedicate her.

  3. Tuller on: 10 May 2010 at 10:31 am

    1. Mere (with an “accent grave” on the first e > pronounced -ay in May. Interestingly, the word for SEA, “mer”, is pronounced the same..but we never confuse them (maybe sometimes).
    2. “Maman,” in general “Mamounette,” when I need to be extra sweet, “Maman cherie” when I say ‘Good night.’
    3. When my sister and I said ‘good night’ to my mom, we had a ritual saying. Years later, I still have to say it to my mom (when she is around) before going to sleep. This saying has a rythm, and specific intonations, that only the three of us know.

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