Posted by: episystechpubs | May 12, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Mother

Sunday is Mother’s Day, so what better topic to discuss than moms? Actually, I won’t talk about your mom if you don’t talk about mine. J Let’s just cover the etymology and a little information from my favorite Online Etymology Dictionary.

mother (verb): 1540s, “to be the mother of.” Meaning “to take care of” is from 1863.

mother (noun): Old English modor "female parent," from Proto-Germanic *mothær (source also of Old Saxon modar, Old Frisian moder, Old Norse moðir, Danish moder, Dutch moeder, Old High German muoter, German Mutter), from PIE *mater- "mother" (source also of Latin mater, Old Irish mathir, Lithuanian mote, Sanskrit matar-, Greek meter, Old Church Slavonic mati), "[b]ased ultimately on the baby-talk form *mā- (2); with the kinship term suffix *-ter-" [Watkins]. Spelling with -th- dates from early 16c., though that pronunciation is probably older).

matron (noun): late 14c., "married woman" (usually one of rank), from Old French matrone "married woman; elderly lady; patroness; midwife," and directly from Latin matrona "married woman, wife, matron," from mater (genitive matris) "mother" (see mother). Sense of "female manager of a school, hospital, etc." first recorded 1550s.

matrix (noun): late 14c., "uterus, womb," from Old French matrice "womb, uterus," from Latin matrix (genitive matricis) "pregnant animal," in Late Latin "womb," also "source, origin," from mater (genitive matris) "mother" (see mother). Sense of "place or medium where something is developed" is first recorded 1550s; sense of "embedding or enclosing mass" first recorded 1640s. Logical sense of "array of possible combinations of truth-values" is attested from 1914. [KC – And you thought it was all about Neo and his adventures with Morpheus and Agent Smith!]

magna mater (noun): fertility goddess, 1728, Latin literally "great mother." See magnate + mother).

metronymic (adj): “derived from the name of a mother or maternal ancestor," 1881, from Late Greek metronymikos "named for one’s mother," from meter (genitive metros) "mother" (see mother) + onyma "name" (see name (n.)).

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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Symitar Documentation Services

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