5 Words That Trace Back to the Word "Mother"
By Arika Okrent, the mag
Make Mom proud this Mother's Day—incorporate her in your vocabulary.
1. Alma Mater
From the Latin for “nourishing mother.” Now refers to the school where one has presumably received some mental nourishment.
From the Greek combination of meter (mother) and polis (city). A metropolis is a “mother city.”
Materia, from Latin mater, originally referred to a tree’s trunk, the mother of all its branches. It came to stand for wood in general, then extended to building materials, then more generally to stuff out of which something is made, then even more generally to a subject under consideration.
From Latin mater plus the feminine suffix -trix, this first meant womb but later came to mean any kind of protective, supportive structure.
From mater + abstract noun for state. State of motherness.
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