Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories. Each week at this time, we tell about everyday expressions in American English and how to use them.
In the United States, Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday in May. It was back in 1908 when a woman named Anna Jarvis created this unofficial holiday to honor mothers. However, Ms. Jarvis would later criticize Mother's Day. She said it had become too commercial -- too much about spending money.
She had a good point.
Traditionally, children and husbands celebrate mothers of all ages by buying flowers, cards and other gifts or taking them to dinner in a nice restaurant. But today, you will not need any money at all. We instead will talk about some expressions that use the word "mother."
To start with, most mothers give birth. So, your motherland is where you were born and your mother tongue is your native language.
Some cultures believe Mother Earth gave birth to everything that exists on our planet. In Greek mythology, a goddess named Gaia was the great mother of all. She was said to have created the Earth and the Universe. Mother Nature is a little different. This term relates to the natural world as if it were a woman.
It has been said that there is nothing as great as a mother's love. Some mother expressions mean just that. The mother lode comes from mining. It means the place where the largest amount of gold, silver, or anything else of value can be found.
But now, the term mother lode means a rich supply of anything. We often use the word "strike" with this expression. For example, you might say, "She just graduated college and struck the mother lode with her new job!" In other words, the woman's new job is making her rich!
When we call something "the mother of all," this means it is the biggest or best of something. Here is an example: "We are going to throw the mother of all parties this weekend. So you have to come!"
Naturally, the word "mother" can be used to mean to give birth, even to something you cannot touch, such as an idea or wisdom. The saying "necessity is the mother of invention" means that when people really need to do something, they will find a way to do it. And "experience is the mother of wisdom" means that people learn from what happens to them.
You might think all expressions about mothers are sweet and loving. Not so.
A boy who is "tied to his mother's apron strings" is controlled by his mother. We can also call him a "mama's boy." Both of these terms are even more insulting if you are talking about a man, not a young boy. It can be a huge mistake for a woman to marry a "mama's boy" who is still "tied to his mother's apron strings."
A show about mothers would not be complete without talking about the very popular but mysterious Mother Goose. The short poems and songs that Mother Goose supposedly wrote are very much a part of growing up in the United States. Real or not, you could say Mother Goose is the mother of all nursery rhyme writers.
We do know that writer Robert Louis Stevenson was real. He is famous for such stories as "Treasure Island," and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." He also wrote this poem titled, simply, "To My Mother."
You too, my mother, read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance to hear once more
The little feet along the floor.
To all mothers of all types around the world, we here at VOA Learning English wish you a very Happy Mother's Day!
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.mother tongue 母语；本国语言
English is neither our mother tongue nor second language.
2.apron n. 围裙；[航] 停机坪；舞台口 vt. 着围裙于；围绕
She stitched a pocket on the new apron.
3.nursery n. 苗圃；托儿所；温床
He has painted murals in his children's nursery.
4.Treasure n. 财富，财产；财宝；珍品 vt. 珍爱；珍藏
It was here, the buried treasure, she knew it was.
1.In the United States, Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday in May.
fall on 降临，落到；指向
According to the calendar my birthday falls on a Sunday this year.
A vastly disproportionate burden falls on women for child care.
2.It can be a huge mistake for a woman to marry a "mama's boy" who is still "tied to his mother's apron strings."
tied to his mother's apron strings 依赖母亲
Even he grew up , he was still tied to his mother's apron strings.
Before his marriage he was tied to his mother's apron - strings and now to his wife's.
一些文化认为Mother Earth(大地)诞生出地球上的一切，在希腊神话中，盖亚女神是万物的母亲，据说她创造了地球和宇宙。Mother Nature(大自然)有点不同，这个词与自然界有关，好像它是一位母亲 。
据说什么都不如母爱那般伟大，一些与母亲有关的表达就是这个意思。The mother lode(母脉、主矿脉)这个说法来自矿业，意思说黄金、白银或其他任何有价值物品储藏的地方 。
但现在，mother lode表示任何供应丰富的东西，我们通常把这个词和strike放一起用。比如，你可能会说，“她毕业了，找到的新工作让她发了财 。”
我们称一些东西是the mother of all，意思是最大或最好的东西。这里有个例子，“我们本周末会举行盛大聚会，你一定要来！”
自然了，mother一词还可表示生孩子，甚至是一些无法触摸的东西，比如点子或智慧。“需求是发明之母”这个表达的意思说，当人们真的需要做某件事时，他们就会想出做的办法 。“实践出真知”意思说人们从经历中学习东西 。
一个男孩唯母命是从是说他被母亲所控制，我们可以称他为“奶嘴男”。如果用这些表达来形容一个男人并非小男孩，那么就是在侮辱人 。对于女人来说，嫁给唯母命是从的奶嘴男是个巨大的错误 。