Posted by Bruce Kahl on May 12, 2002

The origin of the word for "mother" in virtually all Indo-European languages is the baby-talk syllable "ma," (usually the first recognizable syllable uttered by a baby and also the basis of "mama") plus the kinship suffix -ter (-ther), also found in "sister, "brother," and "father." The original form, *mater- evolved into Latin "mater," Greek "meter" (as in "metropolis," the mother city), German "Mutter," French "mère," Serbian "majka," Russian "mat', materi," Italian and Spanish "madre," Portuguese "mãe," Danish "moder," Dutch and Afrikaans "moeder," Norwegian "mor," Swedish "moder," Icelandic "móir," Irish "máthair," Hindi "mataji," Gujarati "maataa," Farsi (Persian) "madar," and Pashto "mor."

To All the Moms out there--Happy Mother's Day!!