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A.Word.A.Day--momism

Pronunciation RealAudio

momism (MOM-iz-ehm) noun

1. Excessive attachment towards one's mother.

2. Excessive mothering; overprotection.

[Coined by author Philip Wylie (1902-1971).]

See more usage examples of momism in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"I, who grew up as a 'motherless' minister's son and hence was smothered in multimomism for a decade and a half, had an unusual opportunity to observe the phenomenon at zero range."
Philip Wylie; Generation of Vipers; 1942.

"Rhona arrives home with a load of guilt and dirty laundry. The first act consists mostly of Rhona trying to break through her parent's impenetrable wall of momism. Rhona blunders about in her mother's well-ordered life trying desperately to find out why she never grew up..."
Colin Maclean; Strong Performances in Homesick; The Edmonton Sun (Canada); Feb 27, 2000.

If you move a meeting forward, what would you call it? How does "prepone" (an opposite of postpone) sound? The word makes perfect sense and fills a need. It's listed in many dictionaries including the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). But for some reason it has not caught on outside India where it happens to be an everyday word. I wonder why.

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and that's one of the ways new words are coined in the language. In fact, all words are coined words. Someone used them for the first time, in writing or speech, and thus gave birth to them. This week's we'll look at words coined by known authors.

-Anu Garg

X-Bonus

We can put television in its proper light by supposing that Gutenberg's great invention had been directed at printing only comic books. -Robert M. Hutchins, educator (1899-1977)

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