Wonderopolis would like to wish all the moms out there a WONDERful Mother’s Day! Every year on the second Sunday in May, we set aside time to show our appreciation for our mothers on Mother’s Day.

Do you have the greatest mom in the world? Many children will proudly lift their hands and shout “Yes!” in response to that question. Moms are important influences in our lives and are special in so many ways.

What are some of your favorite things about your mom? Her unconditional love for you? The care and protection she gives you? The special cookies she bakes? Although all moms are different, they’re important in the lives of so many children.

Have you ever noticed that, in many languages, the most important concepts have multiple words attached to them? For example, the Sami people who live above the Arctic Circle in the northernmost regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia have hundreds of words for snow.

Where they live, snow is all around them at all times. Snow is an integral part of their day-to-day lives. As a result, they have developed all sorts of special words for different versions and variations of snow.

The same is true for the concept of a mother in the English language. What do you call your mother? Mom? Something else?

You may hear mothers referred to by different words from time to time. Some examples include mom, mum, mummy, mam, mammy, mother, motha, mommy, momma, ma, madre, mama and even maw. Do you use any of these names for your mom? Do you use another word not listed here?

All these different versions of mother just show us how important mothers are to our culture. For some, “mother” may seem too formal. Instead, the woman who makes you pancakes on Saturday morning needs a more informal word like “mommy” to capture what she means to you.

If you want to surprise your mom, your mommy or your mama this Mother’s Day, learn how to say mom in a foreign language. Here are some foreign languages from around the world and their word or words for mom:

  • Arabic: Ahm
  • Bosnian: Majka
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Mãe
  • Czech: Matka
  • Danish: Mor
  • Dutch: Moeder or Moer
  • French: Mère or Maman
  • German: Mutter
  • Greek: Màna
  • Italian: Madre or Mamma
  • Japanese: Okaasan or Haha
  • Norwegian: Mor
  • Polish: Matka or Mama
  • Russian: Mat’
  • Spanish: Madre or Mamá or Mami
  • Swahili: Mama or Mzazi or Mzaa
  • Swedish: Mamma or Mor or Morsa


60 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (17 votes, avg. 4.29 out of 5)
  1. I love my mom so much! I even made her breakfast! I have the best mommy ever! And I wonder what tomorrow’s wonder is. And I wonder why moms are so cool? And why are moms so special? I usually call my mom mommy when I’m happy and mama when I’m happy and mom when I’m mad or sad.

    • Hi, Ally! We sure enjoyed hearing how much you appreciate your mom! We bet she really liked her breakfast today! We’re proud of you for being so thoughtful and letting her know how much she means to you! :-)

  2. I’m in Mr. Draper’s class. Me and my brother and sister woke my mom up with cards and a song. She loved it. Have a WONDERful day.

    • What a SUPER special way to wake your mom up on Mother’s Day, Becca! We think that’s SO awesome that you and your siblings gifted your mom with that great memory today! Thanks for wishing us a WONDERful day…we hope you have one, too! :-)

  3. My Letter is
    Me’re or moer I love you me’re or mere do you me’re or mere?

    • That’s a WONDERful letter to your mom, Kelly! Thank so much for sharing it with your friends in Wonderopolis today, too! :-)

    • Hello, Aniston! Thanks so much for sharing your special name for your mom. We appreciate your comment and are SUPER glad you stopped by Wonderopolis today! :-)

  4. Happy mother’s day to every mom in the world!!!! I gave mine a hug and a kiss on the cheek. We’re taking her out to eat…can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Those are really sweet gestures to show your mom how much you love and care about her, “Wonder!” We’re sure all the other moms out there appreciate your super sweet comment today, too! Thank you for sharing it with everyone! :-)

  5. Hi wonder friends. I love my mom so much I sometimes make her breakfast and coffee. And I know my mom loves me really much because she tells me and I believe her.

    • Hi, Cameron! Thank you for sharing how much you love your mom. It’s really nice that you make her breakfast in bed sometimes…we bet she appreciates that very much! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing some of the different names you call your mom, Adam! We hope you had a WONDERful day with her today! We thought it was really cool to learn some of the ways to say “mom” in other languages, didn’t you? :-)

    • That sounds like such a WONDERful way for your mom to start her day today, Mark! We’re proud of you and your brother for doing something so nice to show her how much she means to you! :-)

    • We’ll all have to wait until tomorrow to find out for sure, but we think your guess for the next Wonder of the Day® is GREAT, “Wonder!” Thanks so much for sharing it with us today! :-)

  6. I was very close to guess today’s wonder. I loved today’s wonder! 😀 I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about flowers.

    Fast fact: I think why you put this wonder of the day How many ways can you say mom because today is mother’s day.

    Happy mother’s day! 😀

    I won’t be leaving another comment on Wonderopolis until Saturday, May 19, 2012. I think I should stop saying the reason now. Take another guess. This is the last time to guess.

    Goodbye, Wonderopolis until Saturday, May 19, 2012!


    • Thanks for wishing all the moms in Wonderopolis a happy Mother’s Day, TJ! We’re glad you left us a comment today…THANKS for letting us know you loved exploring this Wonder and learning different ways to say “mom!”

      We hope you have a SUPER week at school and that you learn a BUNCH of cool new things! We appreciate you hanging out with us on the weekends…you ROCK! :-)

    • We think it’s AWESOME that you gave your mom a card today, Lala! Thanks for sharing how you wished your mom a happy Mother’s Day and THANKS for being a Wonder Friend! :-)

  7. Happy mother’s Day WONDEROPOLIS. I knew there was going to be a mother’s day wonder. I probably say it 100,00 times.

    • We think it ROCKS that you wished all the moms in Wonderopolis a Happy Mother’s Day, Allison….THANKS SO MUCH! We hope you had as much fun as we did learning how to say “mom” so many different ways today! :-)

    • Hello, Morgan! Thanks so much for telling us that you enjoyed this Wonder of the Day®! It makes us really happy to hear that! :-)

  8. Hello, We are from Netherlands/Belgium, in both countries we speak dutch. We call our mother in lots of different ways. I tell you what we call our mother: Mama, Mam, Ma, Moeder, Moes, Moe and in the north of Holland they speak a language called Frisian and there they call there mother: Mem. The most used word is Mama. Thank you for your every day mail. Bye.

    • Thanks for adding something AWESOME to this Wonder of the Day® by sharing all the ways to say “mom” in Dutch (and Frisian), Astrid! We love learning new things, too, so we’re really happy you left us a comment today! Thanks for being a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing what you say when you call your mom, Wesley! We bet she makes GREAT snacks and meals for you! We hope you also tell her, “MOM! MOM! MOM! Thanks for all the AWESOME things you do for me! I really appreciate you!” We bet she would enjoy hearing that, as well! :-)

    • We’re glad you stopped by this Wonder and left us a comment, too, Tyndale! Thank you for being a friend of Wonderopolis! :-)

    • Happy Monday, Monnie! We’re so glad you stopped by Wonderopolis today to let us know what you thought about this Wonder of the Day®! YOU ROCK! :-)

  9. Hi, wonderopolis, I think you can say mom 2 times. Momey, mother. And my mom loved what we got her a flower and two Longabergers. And she loved it. She said she had the best mothers day. So for mothers day we took her to the newport aquarium. And after that we went to pump it up. We had a blast on mothers day. My mom said I love mothers day. I think she likes it becaase she gets to spend time with her kids, which I think every mom likes that. I think we have mothers day to thank your mom how respectful she is. Have a happy wondering day wonderopolis.

    • It sounds like you and your family had a WONDERful time showing your mom how much you care about and appreciate her, Olivia! Thank you for sharing about all the awesome things you guys together did on Mother’s Day! We agree with you…most moms LOVE to spend time with their kids on Mother’s Day and EVERY DAY! :-)

    • What a super nice comment you left for us, Rashell! Thanks for being such a WONDERful Wonder Friend! We think YOU ROCK, too! :-)

  10. Hello wonderopolis!
    We learned how to say “mom” in all these different langes like….
    French is mama
    Italian is mamma
    Japanese is mamma
    Russian is mat
    And Polish is mama

    Happy wondering day wonderopolis!

    • Those sure are GREAT ways to say, “mom,” Allison and Audrey! Thanks for leaving us a special comment today to let us know you guys stopped by this Wonder of the Day®! We have had a WONDERful WONDERing day so far, and we hope you guys have, too! :-)

    • Thanks so much for asking how we spent Mother’s Day, Madeline and Brianna! Here in Wonderopolis, we had a big Mother’s Day parade and had a picnic to celebrate our moms. It was a SUPER special day! :-)

  11. I love cheese! Can you name all the wonders about cheese?

    I LOVE CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. :) Hello wonderopolis. We hope you have a great summer! We love the wonder so much! We hope you are going to have a wonder on Father’s Day! And on BOSTON TERRIERS!

    Bye wonderopolis


    • Thanks for wishing us a great summer, Olivia and Kayla! We hope you guys have a WONDERful one, too, and visit Wonderopolis a LOT! We’ll be here all summer long sharing Wonders and learning new things! We even have some SUPER SPECIAL SUMMER stuff planned for our Wonder Friends! :-)

  13. Hi, wonderopolis. I am not in Mrs. Phillips’ class, because it is summer break. I am sad. I will miss my wonder teacher soooo bad. I will be in third grade. bye wonderopolis.

    • What a super nice thing to say about Mrs. Phillips, Olivia! We bet she will miss you and all of your other Wonder classmates just as much as you guys will miss her! You are super lucky to have had such a great teacher this year! She ROCKS! We hope you have a WONDERful summer full of learning and discovering and also hope that you will visit us again when you get a chance over the next few months! We’ve got lots of cool stuff planned in Wonderopolis this summer! :-)

    • Mat,

      Good catch! Thanks for letting us know. “Madre” is Spanish for “mother.” In Norwegian, “mother” is “mor.” We have made the correction to the Wonder–and we think you are WONDERful for helping us out! :)

    • Thanks so much for sharing how you say “mom” in Hindi, Aparajita! We’re so glad you are our Wonder Friend…you teach us new things! Have a WONDERful day! :-)

  14. Hi, Im from Czech republic and just want to make clear that we do not call our mothers “abatyse” in czech :DDD
    The offical way is “matka”.
    “Abatyse” is the one from monastery. Please could you correct that? Thanks!!

    • Petra, thank you SO much for catching that! We really appreciate your insight and we’ve made the correction. Thank you for WONDERing with us and leaving us this comment! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How many ways can you say mom?
  • Why do some languages have many words for the same thing?
  • Can you learn to say mom in a foreign language?


Wonder Gallery

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Try It Out

Ready to make a Mother’s Day gift that will knock your mom’s socks off? Grab a pen and some paper. That’s all you’ll need. You’re going to write her a letter.

A letter? That’s right! Nothing quite touches a mom’s heart like a letter from a child. The things you write will be cherished for years to come. We guarantee it!

Your letter can be to your mom, your stepmom or even a close relative who you look up to like a mother. In your letter, share some of your favorite memories of time spent with her.

Was it that time you made cookies together? Or was it a special nature walk you took together? Maybe it’s just the special time you spend together shopping or running errands.

Whatever those special times are, let her know how important they are to you. Use your words to let her know how much you care about and appreciate her.

If you want to let your Wonder Friends know how special she is, feel free to share your letter by posting it on Facebook. We can’t wait to read about those special memories!


Still Wondering

One of our favorite mothers is Mother Goose! Check out ReadWriteThink’s Acting Out with Mother Goose project to create a script and make costumes and props for your very own Mother Goose story!


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