Two examples of memes using Mother

Mother (Slang Term)

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Updated Mar 18, 2023 at 03:10AM EDT by Rebecca Rhodes.

Added Mar 10, 2023 at 03:29PM EST by sakshi.

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Mother, often used in the phrase X Is Mother, is a slang term from LGBTQ+ culture that signifies an older, caregiving member of a queer community. While the queer practice of calling people "mother" can be traced back to the 17th century, the present use of the term can be traced to Black American ballroom culture, where community leaders were often referred to as "mothers." In 2023, "mother" began to be widely used in internet stan culture to refer to female pop stars.


Use of the term "mother" to refer to people who are not literally one's mother has been prevalent in LGBTQ+ communities for decades, with some scholars tracing it back to the late 1800s, and others drawing more direct linguistic lines to Black American ballroom communities in the 90s.[1]

The term likely entered mainstream use with the rising popularity of shows like RuPaul's Drag Race. RuPaul dropped a song called "Call Me Mother" on March 23rd, 2017, gathering over 8.8 million views on YouTube[2] in over five years (seen below).

In recent years, the popularity of queer and AAVE slang terms in stan culture has led to the word being used to applaud various pop stars. The earliest known notable instance of the word "mother" being used to describe a pop star is a March 22nd post from 2022, where Twitter[3] user @ICYRIH posted a photo of Nicki Minaj, saying "the way she can do the messiest thing and then serve kunt an hour later she really is mother i’m sorry," gathering over 1,000 likes in over a year (seen below).

Jay (fan account) @ICYRIH Mar 22, 2022 the way she can do the messiest thing and then serve kunt an hour later she really is mother i'm sorry Nicki Minaj @NICKIMINAJ Mar 22, 2022 Hoes ain't phkn wit Barbie Blick Blick OUT NOW !! !! !! Q7 . t 125 dies 1,159 dla ↑


Use of the word "mother" to refer to pop stars and similarly celebrated women continued in subsequent months. On May 10th, 2022, Twitter[4] user @cineilsa posted a tweet that read, "elizabeth olsen is MOTHER!" and gathered over 5,000 likes in over 10 months (seen below).

On May 26th, 2022, Twitter[5] user @cruisespilled posted a tweet that read, "say it with me DOJA CAT IS MOTHER," gathering over 5,000 likes in over 10 months (seen below).

X (fan account) DIE FOR YOU & RED RU... @cruise... May 6, 2022 say it with me DOJA CAT IS MOTHER O 60 t 316 5,016 la 소

On September 16th, 2022, musician Rina Sawayama[7] described a track as "mother music," gathering over 2,000 likes in over five months (seen below, left). On September 28th, 2022, Twitter[6] user @korysverse posted a tweet celebrating the lead singer of the band Paramore, saying, "this is mother i don’t think y’all understand," and gathering over 13,000 likes in over five months (seen below, right).

RINA SLAYWAYAMA #Hold TheGirl track 8 Imagining are u gays satisfied yet C 1,177 266 @rinasawayama · Sep 16, 2022 19 RINA SLAYWAYAMA @rinasawayama I don't know what genre this is (mother music) 2:37 PM. Sep 16, 2022 9,879 258 Retweets 124 Quotes 2,563 Likes dla RINA SLAYWAYAMA @rinasawayama Sep 16, 2022 I actually wrote this after I did the Chosen Family video YouTube premiere cos there was technical issues and I was feeling chaotic 1 33 1,439 ↑ ار : ↑ .….. ... : ... ceo of kory @korysverse this is mother i don't think y'all understand. 2:00 PM Sep 28, 2022 2,220 Retweets 137 Quotes 13K Likes :

Various Examples

James @smokeismedicine Gay son: And this (pointing to a picture of Ethel Cain on his computer screen) This is 'mother'. She's serving cunt. Mom: Mhmm, that's nice honey. Remember this is the last week the junior college takes applications Gay son (moving the mouse really really quickly): Slayyyy 12:58 PM. Feb 18, 2023 153.3K Views • 396 Retweets 20 Quotes 5,107 Likes : Queer So Back @WhatQueerIsThis Gay guys in 1940 were like "Betty Boop is MOTHER!" 10:31 PM. Aug 18, 2022 1,522 Retweets 116 Quotes 23K Likes colorizations : @blairsmani one day she's gonna squeeze the wrong cheeks trying to force that dimple out and let out the loudest most monstrous fart ever in the room. but this is mother Ariana Grande Today @ArianaToday Oct 11, 2022 Ariana via Instagram 4:06 PM Oct 11, 2022 : 1,649 Retweets 405 Quotes 28.9K Likes Gui @stollendance french gay guys in the 60s were like "catherine deneuve is MOTHER!" 11:33 PM . Oct 6, 2022 262 Retweets 59 Quotes 2,638 Likes ... SPICE ★ @callmespice_ It's crazy to think that Mistress is legit the same age as me and Sugar Malaysia is MOTHER too! Love this fierce family foursome <33 POP Pop Crave @PopCrave Jan 15 RuPaul's #DragRace Season 15's Mistress Isabelle Brooks reveals that she adopted fellow castmates Sugar and Spice as her drag daughters. Show this thread 6:15 PM Jan 15, 2023 655.9K Views 242 Retweets 23 Quotes 8,080 Likes ficties he : THIS IS Mother @Lana Del Reyxp

Search Interest


External References

[1] Gay Times – Mother! A Word Centuries In The Making

[2] YouTube – Call Me Mother

[3] Twitter – ICYRIH

[4]  Twitter – cineilsa

[5] Twitter – cruisespilled

[6] Twitter – korysverse

[7] Twitter – rinasawayama

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