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

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Fri Feb 3 12:41:52 EST 2017

I have no insight into timing, but it reminds me of adult children who call their parents Grandma and Grandpa (or some variation of it) once they have children of their own.


Professor Emerita
French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU>
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 12:34 PM
Subject: Fw: Media Inquiry (Mike Pence calling his wife "Mother")

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,



All That Is Interesting | Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/AllThatIsInteresting/>
All That Is Interesting. 651,529 likes ยท 36,257 talking about this. Your curiosity knows no bounds. Neither do we.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list