Mom words on Jabberwocky, Babble’s parenting dictionary by Mark Peters.

As any postal employee will tell you, Mother’s Day is to Father’s Day as Batman is to Aquaboy. Moms outnumbers dads in the dictionary as well as the mailbox: The mother lode of mom-describing words includes “mam,” “mum,” “mama,” “momma,” “mumsy,” “mums,” “mummy,” “mammy,” “momsey,” “moms,” “motherkins,” and “moopy.” Okay, maybe not moopy, but you get the idea.

Because of this asymmetry, I’m following up my column on dad words old and new with a look at mom words that are only new. These terms are all listed in Grant Barrett’s amazing Double-tongued Dictionary, the best website for new and obscure words, which shows us some of the ways moms have recently been – to use another newish term – momfluential.


Just as “poohuahua” brings together a poodle and a chihuahua in an unholy union, this blends “mom” and “manager.” Stories about Lindsay Lohan’s mom have brought attention, if not respect, to this term, plus there’s a 2004 book: The Momager’s Guide: Empowering Moms to Leave a Loving Legacy. “Momager” should not be confused with “momanger,” an obscurer word for mom-propelled wrath.


Though the momager concept involves more mom than all but the most mummy-adoring could embrace, there are worse situations. This non-cockles-warming bit of police jargon means “dad in prison, mom on meth.”

mom jeans

Oprah’s website explains this better than I can: “If the waistband of your jeans could double as a push-up bra or your backside looks flatter than a flapjack, you’re guilty of wearing ‘mom jeans.'” As indicated, mom jeans are highly correlated with the affliction known in the medical community as “pancake ass.”

mommy party

That’s the Democratic party, and this term is influenced by George Lakoff’s work on frames, in which the Republicans are united by a patriarchal, spankological, just-wait-till-you-get-home-mister philosophy while the Democrats project a nurturing, binkie-providing, let-mommy-kiss-the-boo-boo-and-here-have-a-juice-box worldview.

monkey mom

A monkey mom mothers a real monkey, whom she may call a “monkid,” in the same nausea-tastic spirit as “furkid” – a favorite of other semi-stable pet owners.

mom job

More commonly known as the post-baby “mommy makeover,” a mom job is like a nose job linguistically, but more parts are involved medically. Since I can’t watch Nip/Tuck without holding the remote in front of my peepers, I’m just going to move on now.

mommy factor

Due to a variety of issues (key among them, this fraking war), recruiting new members of the military is a hard sell. Anemic enlistment numbers are sometimes blamed on the mommy factor: mothers who have no desire to see their children blown up by IEDs and insist on keeping them out of the military.

Of course, “mommy factor” has been used to mean a lot of other things too. I like the version used by an anonymous blogger, who describes how her daughter “has a computation she does in her head as to how she is going to behave. The ‘mommy factor’ is an important part of this computation.”

Hmm. Since my mom is inevitably going to read this, maybe I’d better go back and edit out any raciness . . . I may have outgrown my Darth Vader underoos, but the mommy factor? It’s still a factor.

Article Posted 9 years Ago

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