Adopt a Mother’s Day Word


Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to honor Mom than by adopting a word in her name? And to further the maternal celebration, from today through Sunday, May 10, we’re letting you name the price for any unadopted, mother-esque word.

You might already be familiar with our Adopt the Word program, in which for just $50 you can “own” a word for a year. Plus your name and Twitter handle will appear on that word page, and you’ll get a downloadable certificate, suitable for framing (and giving).

Over 200 words so far have found loving homes, but that still leaves lots of “orphan” words. Each day we feature one special orphan, which, instead of the usual $50, you can pay any price for. Take a look at all the orphan words still in need of adopters.

Now what about those mother words? There’s mother of course, which we can hardly believe is still motherless, and other mother monikers like ma, mama, and mommy; mum and mummy, if you’re British; mudder, if you’re from Brooklyn; and the American-as-apple-pie mom.

Or you may want to honor the mom-like figure in your life, such as your stepmother; mother-in-law (once known as good-mother); your aunt, auntie, tia, and tante; or your grandmother, grandma, gram, granny, grandam, nana, or oma. You might also want to give a shout-out to all the nannies, amahs, au pairs, governesses, and other professional caretakers out there.

Symbolic mothers deserve love too, like Mother Earth, the motherland, and the mothership. Or you might prefer mom-in-charge terms like matriarchy, a community governed by women; matrilineage, line of descent through the mother’s side; materfamilias, a woman who’s head of a household; and mother-right, “alleged supremacy of the mother in the primitive family and clan.”

Another word for babytalk? That’s motherese. Innate intelligence or common sense? Mother wit of course. A mother’s love? Well, mother-love. Or perhaps you’d like to give some lovely mother-of-pearl, mother-of-emerald, or mother of amethyst.

For even more orphan mother words to adopt, check out these mummy dearest words, this mother of a list, and these motherhoodish neologisms.

Happy Mother’s Day words and happy adopting!

[Photo via Flickr: “Mum,” CC BY 2.0 by Jonathan Rolande/]