Living in England

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Mum and Mom

Do you think Mom is an American word for Mum and that the latter is the correct spelling in England? Think again. The word Mom is widely used in the Midlands.

"Mom and Mommy are old-English words, words that are stilled used in Birmingham and most parts of the West Midlands, we all use the term Mom and Mommy never Mum or Mummy, as here the correct spelling is Mom and Mommy has been for hundreds and hundreds of years, when people from the West Midlands went to America all those years ago they took our correct spelling with them, hence they use Mom and Mommy and we still do in the West Midlands. Here in the West Midlands the words Mum and Mummy are frowned upon as they look and sound wrong, thankfully our local schools teach our correct spelling of Mom and Mommy and the kids still come home with handmade cards with out correct Mom and Mommy Spelling on.

I believe parts of Scotland use the Mom and Mommy term too, as I have relatives there and whenever I visit them, they and the people I visit or see use the term Mom too, however I'm not sure how widespread its use is.

We in Birmingham and the West Midlands get annoyed when people wrongly think we are using American words, when the word Mom and Mommy aren't American they were British to start with, it's just unlike the West Midlands other areas changed their spelling."

C Parkes
(Sent via email to


  • At April 11, 2006 , Danni said...

    Here in the North East (in Tyne and Wear) it's Mam and Mammy. I believe this also applies to Scotland. It's taken me a while to become used to being "mammy" (I used mummy when I was younger) but now it seems very natural.

  • At April 23, 2006 , Xina said...

    I believe this is a case of regional variation, with all options; mom, mum and mam being used correctly depending on accent.

  • At April 26, 2006 , Carolyn said...

    Here I am from the Northeast US, daring to comment. My mother-in-law lived with us here (she arrived on her 80th birthday, brave woman) for 18 years. She was from Chesterfield, Derbys., and was always "Mum". My friend from Northeast England (Stockton-on-Tees) says "Mum". My friend in the South (near Oxford) says "Mum". Might it be more family tradition, somehow, than region?

    Never any easy answers ...

  • At April 29, 2006 , Anonymous said...

    I'm from the Northeast of England and we say Mam and Mammy. Stockton on Tees is veering out of the NorthEast somewhat, so that could explain the variation.

  • At January 07, 2007 , Dean said...

    I live in Dudley West Midlands, But my partner lives in Gillingham Kent, Her girls go to Woodlands Primary School, Gillingham she insists it is spelt mum and says the girls all spell it mum at school! but i have only come across mum in wide use down London/Kent areas. shouldn't all kids be taught the correct spelling not there areas version?

  • At March 31, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    I'm from the American South and many of us still call our mothers "Mama" or "Mother" (I say both) and many black people do this as well. Many people around here have never said "Mom" in their whole life. It annoys me that most people just assume all Americans do this.

    Oddly enough, many of us will have a great-grandmother or some such that we call Mam (and then add either the first or last name) so this must be a more Celtic type influence. I had no idea growing up that white people in Britain were saying Mam and Mammy. Here it's associated with the Old South and dying out but I just grew up thinking the whole mammy/pappy thing was of African origin even if white people said it.


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