CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?
Origin of mo
Words nearby mo
Definition for mo (2 of 8)
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Origin of -mo
Definition for mo (8 of 8)
BEHIND THE WORD
What else does MO mean?
MO—it’s a multifunctional set of letters. MO is commonly used as an abbreviation for modus operandi, meaning “mode of operating or working.” It’s also commonly a postal abbreviation for Missouri.
You may not always encounter mo in uppercase letters in informal contexts in digital communication. So, two other widespread, popular uses of mo you may encounter are: Mo, a guy’s name, and mo, a dialectical pronunciation of more.
In the U.K. and other English-speaking places around the world, mo is a slang shortening of the word moment.
How is MO pronounced?[ em-oh ] or [ moh ]
What are some variants of MO?
or M.O. or mo’ or mo
What are some other words related to MO?
Where does MO come from?
The acronym MO is short for modus operandi, an expression directly from Latin meaning “way of operating.” Modus operandi was first recorded in English by the 1650s. The phrase specifically refers to the particular, often characteristic manner someone goes about doing something—later broadened to one’s “style.”
Modus operandi was adopted by early 20th-century criminologists who sought to establish patterns in crimes. These researchers identified criminals on their methods, called the modus operandi system, shortened to MO. As any fan of TV police procedurals can tell you, MO spread as an expression for a criminal’s signature pattern of committing the crime.
Starting in 1831, Mo. was the official postal abbreviation for the state of Missouri, written as MO by 1963.
Mo is also a short form of the common men’s name Muhammad or Mohammed, borne by the likes of the great British-Somali runner Mo Farah.
Furthermore, or should we say furthermo’, mo’ is a pronunciation of more in Black English, which often drops word-final Rs. (English once had, in fact, a word mo that meant “more.”) Mo’ reached the top of the Billboard charts thanks to the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 hit song “Mo Money Mo Problems.”
In British slang, mo is also a slang shortening of moment, as in I’ll call you in just a mo!
How is MO used in real life?
MO is a go-to shorthand for modus operandi to describe someone’s style or manner of doing things, e.g., His MO is going to coffeeshops to get his writing done.
Using mo’ for more is common in Black and Southern American English. As rapper Kendrick Lamar raps on his 2017 “XXX.”: “Johnny said books ain’t cool no mo’, no mo’.”
As the official abbreviation for Missouri, MO is very useful when addressing things to or from there.
And as Muhammad is one of the most common men’s names in the world, expect to meet lots of men who go by Mo for short.
Finally, if you’re in the U.K., drop a casual mo for moment if among friends.
More examples of MO:
“Pastry chef shows you his M.O. in the kitchen”
—Inger Sandal, Arizona Daily Star (headline), April 2010
Example sentences from the Web for mo
The Daily Show was on hiatus when the tensions in Ferguson, MO escalated.Viral Video of the Day: Finally, a 'Daily Show' Rant on Ferguson|Alex Chancey|August 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
KSDK-TV captured video of Ferguson, MO police firing tear gas at a small camera crew from Al Jazeera America.Viral Video of the Day: TV News Crew Tear-Gassed in Ferguson|Alex Chancey|August 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, another conservative opponent of the bill, agreed.
Scheduled speakers include Sen. Ted Cruz, Reps. Steve King and Mo Brooks, and former Rep. Allen West.The Shady Group Behind the African-American Anti-Immigration Rally|Michelle Cottle|July 12, 2013|DAILY BEAST
He told Mohammed that he was just there clowning and that Mo had a real shot and could have his spot.The Next Arab Idol: Palestine's Boy Wonder and Stereotype Buster|Maysoon Zayid|May 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
He ain't no mo'n push it out'n de way, 'fo' yer it come back in de way.Nights With Uncle Remus|Joel Chandler Harris
A Gegence ya pachige muyule tigita tin sapatetas lichuas consolar mo Cabildo Real.The Gegence; A Comedy Ballet in the Nahuatl-Spanish Dialect of Nicaragua|Daniel G. Brinton
"You hought to 'ave a mo' larger sto' an' some clerque," pursued Aurora.The Grandissimes|George Washington Cable
Mo din lalaki inpūina di lūpot sin dalum di dakalan sin adīna inīla.Kankanay Ceremonies|C. R. Moss
She woulder say mo' on de same line ef she wasn't afeard he'd turn erginst de boys.The Hills of Refuge|Will N. Harben