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29th Feb 2024

Mam, mum, mom, or ma? Ireland’s preferred term for mothers has been revealed

Jody Coffey


Surprisingly, a small percentage of people in Ireland call their mother ‘Irene’

Depending on where you are in Ireland, the way you call your mother will differ.

In cities, you’re more likely to hear ‘mum’ or ‘mom’ being called, whereas, in more rural parts of the country, it’s all but a guarantee that the family matriarch will be referred to as ‘mam’, ‘ma’, or ‘mammy’.

Regardless of what you call your mother or guardian, we all know that ‘superhero’ will always be a mother’s true identity.

Credit: Getty

It turns out Mam’s the word

FLYEfit has commissioned a survey to find out which name reigns supreme in Ireland.

In the leading position, 66 per cent of people surveyed said they refer to their mother as ‘mam’.

Following much further behind is ‘mammy’ as 13.7 per cent of participants use this term.

Next, 9.8 per cent of those surveyed call their mother ‘mum’.

‘Mom’ ranks as the fourth most used term, followed by ‘Mother’.

Lastly, a small percentage use ‘Ma’ and the name ‘Irene’ to call on their mother’s.

Credit: Getty

Why do people call their mothers Irene?

While we are unsure as to why some Irish offspring use the name Irene to refer to their mother, we can’t help but think it’s linked to the monikers meaning.

Irene is derived from the Greek words ‘eirēnē’, which means ‘peace’.

In ancient Greek mythology, Eirene was the goddess of peace, one of the three Horae, who were the goddesses of the seasons and natural order.

Eirene was instrumental in achieving the peace and prosperity that came with the arrival of spring, with the Greeks believing that Eirene was the personification of peace and that she could bring an end to conflicts and wars.

Sound like anyone? Our thoughts exactly.

However, maybe it’s not that deep. Do you call your mother Irene? If so, we’d love to know where it came from.