Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ma / Mama / Amma / Mom / Mum

The first word that most babies say – “Ma”, “Ma Ma”

The word that most of us say when in pain/distress/grief/helplessness/sadness/against a tough wall is usually “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” and some derivative of this – with a prefix/suffix.

The person that most of us wish to be with us when we are very happy or experience a success is usually “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum”.

The last words that many dying people utter (and I’ve seen/heard this in so many instances) is “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum”.

What is it about the word “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum”, I wonder?
  • That makes one happy
  • That makes one feel better
  • That make it all worthwhile
  • That makes everything seem OK
  • That make the storms pass under
I don’t have all the answers, but here’s what I do know..
  • Just saying “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” – makes you feel better
  • Just being with “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” – makes life a lot easier
  • Just hearing the voice of “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” – makes the moment bearable (no matter what you’re going through)
  • Just seeing “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” – makes life complete
  • Just a smile from “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” – makes it all worth it

What does the word “Ma/Mama/Amma/Mom/Mum” mean to you? Leave a comment to let me know…

Ma forms the basis of the word for mother in many different and possibly unrelated language families around the world:
  • Latin mater
  • Greek meter
  • French mère
  • German Mutter
  • Russian mate
  • Icelandic modher
  • Sanskrit mata
  • Irish mathair
  • Welsh mam
  • Arabic oum
  • Hebrew em
  • Swahili mama
  • Chinese ma
  • Hawaian makuahine
Why so widespread a word? The sounds of m and a are among the easiest to make and among the first sounds acquired by a human infant.

More details here.

Originally published on Parentous

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