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momma

[ mom-uh ]
/ ˈmɒm ə /
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noun
a variant of mama.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does momma mean?

Momma is an informal word for mother.

Momma is also commonly spelled mama. Less commonly, it can be spelled mamma.

Momma is informal, and it’s often used by young children, much like the word mommy. Adults also sometimes use momma to refer to their mothers, especially when they have a close relationship.

The word can be used as a title for one’s mother, as in You should call Momma, and as a way to address her, as in Hi, Momma—happy Mother’s Day! In these two uses, the word is usually capitalized since it’s used like a proper name.

Momma can also be used as an informal way to refer to one’s mother, as in You should call your momma. 

Call your momma whatever you want—just remember to call her.

Where does momma come from?

The first records of the word momma come from the 1800s, but the very similar mama is recorded in the 1500s and was certainly used in speech much earlier than that. The word for mother in many languages around the world begins with the m sound, which is one of the first sounds babies learn how to make. In mama, the syllable ma is reduplicated, which is a fancy way of saying it’s said twice. This is very common in the speech of young children—the same thing happens in the word dada, the baby word for “daddy.”

Informal, affectionate terms for parents (and their spelling) often vary from region to region. The spelling momma is often associated with the Southern United States, but it isn’t only used in the region. Using the word momma often implies a closeness between a person and their mother, as well as a sense of respect. A mother may even use it to refer to herself, as in Y’all have made me such a proud momma. To which you would say: I love you, Momma!

Sometimes, the word momma is used as a slang term to refer to an attractive woman, especially an older one (perhaps one who is a mother, though not always), as in I was one hot momma in my day, let me tell you.

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What are some other forms related to momma?

  • mama (more common alternate spelling)
  • mamma (less common alternate spelling)

What are some synonyms for momma?

What are some words that share a root or word element with momma

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing momma?

 

How is momma used in real life?

Momma is always used informally, and it’s often affectionate.

 

 

Try using momma!

True or False? 

Momma should be capitalized when it’s used to address someone directly, as in Thank you, Momma.

How to use momma in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for momma

momma
/ (ˈmɒmə) /

noun
US and Canadian another word for mother 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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