March 6, 2009

how do you say “mother”?

Parvati (Hindu Mother Goddess)

At 4 months, Kai started to call me “Uma”, his version of the word. This sparked my interested in the linguistic origins of the word “mother”. It derives from the root “mater” which means measure. Other words with this common root are: matriarchy, maternal, and matron. Did you know that the word mama means “breast” in Latin? Go figure.

Check out the word “mother” in other languages:

– Mata (Hindi)

– Ma (Mandarin)

– Madre (Spanish, Italian)

– Imi (Hebrew)

– Okasan (Japanese)

– Makuahine (Hawaiian)

– Me (Vietnamese)

– Mamma (Swedish)

– Ina (Tagalog)

No matter what, the word “mother” in any language is powerful. Ask any child, I’m sure the word conjures up comfort, nourishment, and authority.

How do you say it in your household?

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5 Comments on "how do you say “mother”?"


Guest
Joli
6 years 3 months ago

I say Me . I’m Vietnamese and my last name is Nguyen too!

Guest
quynh
6 years 5 months ago

Ma (also Vietnamese- Southern)

Guest
ly nguyen
6 years 5 months ago

no matter what language, the word mother sounds beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Guest
Dmitri
6 years 5 months ago

The Russian word for “mother” is Mama

Guest
Shivani Gupta
6 years 5 months ago

Amma … in a regional Indian dialect