familiar term for mother

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    In England - mum.
    In USA - mom.

    When and how did this divergence take place?
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    When did any of them take place?
     
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    North of England: moom (oo sound as in book)
    Canada: pronounced mum but spelled mom.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    In the U.S. I've heard mother, mom, ma ma, mommy.
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Divergence in spelling would probably just have followed the divergence in pronunciation.
    To add more to the mix, in Ireland I've seen it as "mam".
    In the UK we tend to use "mum" / "mummy".
     
  9. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    The reason I raised the question was that the U.S. early settlers were mostly from U.K. and they would have the same dialects and pronunciations as those in the U.K. I was curious as to how and when the divergence took place.
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    A quick Google of the etymology (etymonline.com, for example) suggests "mum" was first used as a shorthand for "mother" in 1823. By then the ongoing difference in pronunciations of words from one side of the pond to the other was presumably already well established. "Mom" seems to have been first recorded in 1867. It doesn't say in which country these occurred, though.
     

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