Mum or Mom?

Do you think Mom is an American word for Mum and that the latter is the correct spelling in England? Think again. The word Mom is widely used in the Midlands.

C Parkes sent us the following email:

Mom and Mommy are old-English words, words that are stilled used in Birmingham and most parts of the West Midlands, we all use the term Mom and Mommy never Mum or Mummy, as here the correct spelling is Mom and Mommy has been for hundreds and hundreds of years, when people from the West Midlands went to America all those years ago they took our correct spelling with them, hence they use Mom and Mommy and we still do in the West Midlands. Here in the West Midlands the words Mum and Mummy are frowned upon as they look and sound wrong, thankfully our local schools teach our correct spelling of Mom and Mommy and the kids still come home with handmade cards with out correct Mom and Mommy Spelling on.

I believe parts of Scotland use the Mom and Mommy term too, as I have relatives there and whenever I visit them, they and the people I visit or see use the term Mom too, however I’m not sure how widespread its use is.

We in Birmingham and the West Midlands get annoyed when people wrongly think we are using American words, when the word Mom and Mommy aren’t American they were British to start with, it’s just unlike the West Midlands other areas changed their spelling.


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4 comments for “Mum or Mom?

  1. Danni
    28/09/2013 at 08:10

    Here in the North East (in Tyne and Wear) it’s Mam and Mammy. I believe this also applies to Scotland. It’s taken me a while to become used to being “mammy” (I used mummy when I was younger) but now it seems very natural.

  2. Xinny
    30/09/2013 at 17:14

    I believe this is a case of regional variation, with all options; mom, mum and mam being used correctly depending on accent.

  3. Lulu
    04/10/2013 at 14:12

    I’m from the American South and many of us still call our mothers “Mama” or “Mother” (I say both) and many black people do this as well. Many people around here have never said “Mom” in their whole life. It annoys me that most people just assume all Americans do this.

    Oddly enough, many of us will have a great-grandmother or some such that we call Mam (and then add either the first or last name) so this must be a more Celtic type influence. I had no idea growing up that white people in Britain were saying Mam and Mammy. Here it’s associated with the Old South and dying out but I just grew up thinking the whole mammy/pappy thing was of African origin even if white people said it.

  4. gerard
    30/10/2013 at 17:00

    I am from Northan Ireland and here as funny as it is we say ma for mum and da for dad.

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