Momma or Mama – Which Is Grammatically Correct?

No matter which language you speak, slang & nicknames are used. You might call your brother Nicholas by his nickname ‘Nick’. You might also call your mother by her nickname ‘mama’. But is this correct? In this article, we’ll teach you how to choose between momma or mama. It is important to use the right nickname in the correct context.

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Should I use Momma or Mama?

man thinking if he should say momma or mama with a green background

Momma and mama have the exact same meaning & are used the same way in conversation. It is a matter of phonetics or phonics as both words are pronounced similarly. However, that does not mean they can be used interchangeably. These two words need to be used in the correct context.

  • Momma – Momma is the colloquial form of the word mother. It’s a more informal way of saying it, and many people use it because it’s easier to say.
  • Mama – Mama is baby talk for the word mother. Anyone who has ever tried to get a young child to say “mother” instead of “mama” knows that it is a losing battle.

Takeaway: Both momma and mama are informal versions of the word mother. However, mama is more commonly used by babies. They are both slang terms just like hon vs hun!

How & When To use Momma

The word momma (mom-ma) is used as an informal way to refer to their mother. Momma is a word with a lot of power. It can be used as a term of endearment, a sign of respect, or a way to get someone’s attention. But you would not use “Momma” in your formal essay writing or other types of formal writing.

Another example of slang or informal writing is saying “where is he at” instead of “where is he?”

How & When To use Mama

“Mama” is the most common American English spelling of the word, although “mamma” and “mommy” are also used. “Mama” is generally used when addressing one’s own mother. “Mommy” is a less formal version of “mama,” and is often used by young children. Just like how its less formal to same “Name and Me” instead of “Name and I”. The exact spelling of “mama” is a regional thing & is pronounced slightly differently in certain areas of the country. These is just one of many confusing words, like unto or onto in the English language.

Invented By Babies

Babies often do not get credit for inspiring language. After all, it seems all they want to do is eat & sleep. They may not be able to differentiate between similar words like drier & dryer, but they did invent the phrase -ma.

However, babies often use the phrase -ma in their day-to-day life. In fact, it is one of the easiest sounds for a baby to produce.

Both mama and momma are pronounced with the same -ma sound.

You might be surprised to hear that -ma actually doesn’t refer to momma or mama. It is a sound that babies actually use to refer to food. And remember, just like we saw in our post about is brung a word, informal terms should not be used in formal writing!

What about British English?

Most people think that English is English no matter where you are in the world. However, there is a difference between British & American English in many words.

How do British people say mama? They typically say ‘mum’ or ‘mummy’. Becasue of the spelling, these words are pronounced differently that momma or mama.

Here are some examples:

  1. My mum is always ready with a hug and a kind word.
  2. Mum always knows just what to say to make me feel better.
  3. I couldn’t ask for a better mum.

However, just like we saw in our comparison of “Infront vs In Front” some words & phrases are spelled the same in American & British grammar rules.

FAQs – Mama or Momma

Is momma or mama more common?

Mama is the more common word in English. However, the word momma and mama are both used to refer to their mom.

How do you write mama?

Some people write “mama” as “mamma” or “momma”. Although there is a slight difference in the spelling of these words, they are all informal versions of the word mother.

What does the slang momma mean?

Momma is an informal term of endearment for one’s mother. For example, a child might call their mother “momma” as a way of showing affection. Although it is also used as slang to refer to an attractive woman.

What is the plural of mama?

The plural of “mama” is “mamas”. Mama is an informal word for the word mother. The words mama and mamas are considered to be informal baby talk.

How old is the word mama?

Mama is an ancient word that has been around for centuries. The earliest known usage of the word was found in a 1500s poem, and it has been used in various languages throughout the years.

Which is correct mother’s or mothers’?

The possessive form of Mothers is mothers’. For example, “The mothers’ love for their children is unending.”

Does every culture say mama?

Many languages and cultures say “mama” or a similar word for mother. This is because the sound is globally recognized as meaning “mother.” In fact, mama is one of the first words babies learn in their lifetime.

The Bottom Line

The words momma & mama are very similar words just like greatful & grateful. These are two different words that have very similar pronunciations and meanings. However, they are not used in the same context. If you need help double-checking your word choice, give our grammar software a try free of charge!