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What You Don’t Know About the Word “Mom”

“I know a name, a glorious name, dearer than any other, listen I’ll whisper the name to you, it is the name of mother.”

My “Real” Mom

What does that name mean though? Being adopted, whenever I spoke of my mother, I was often asked, you mean your real mom or adopted mom? I found that to be a confusing question. My adopted mother was my real mother – I mean what does it mean to be real? Exploring the word mother, and its historical changes over time does give some insight as to why the word sometimes can be confusing. Today, as a professor of communication, I’m interested in understanding the specifics of what words mean, and how we understand them.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a mother primarily in two ways.

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