[Ads-l] Fw: Media Inquiry (Mike Pence calling his wife "Mother")

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Fri Feb 3 12:34:04 EST 2017

Dear members of ads-l,

I received the inquiry below (about men who call their wives "Mother").  Would anyone

anyone be able to provide Ms. Garau information/insight/etc. about this?

Gerald Cohen

From: Annie Garau <annie at pbh-network.com<mailto:annie at pbh-network.com>>
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 9:51 AM
To: Cohen, Gerald Leonard
Subject: Fwd: Media Inquiry

Hi Professor Cohen,

My name is Annie Garau and I'm an editor and writer for the site All That Is Interesting.

I'm reaching out because a recent Rolling Stone article suggested that Vice President Mike Pence calls his wife "mother." I know this is a trivial topic in the context of an administration with such serious consequences. But, the Internet is intrigued nonetheless and I'm trying to find out the linguistic roots of calling your spouse "mother."

Was this ever a common use of the word? Do people in some areas still do that? How does a nickname like that come to be used in a family? Does it get passed down through generations?

I read about some of your work and thought you might have some insight into this matter. Any relevant information you might be able to share, or recommendations of other people to reach out to would be so helpful.

Thank you very much for your time!

All the Best,



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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