So, I reread Magic for Marigold and then read The Coming Storm (set in P.E.I. in the mid 20th century) by a modern Canadian author. The former book used “mum” (L.M. Montgomery characters usually use “mother,” otherwise they use “mum”). The latter book used “mom.” I feel like I’ve only heard Canadians Youtubers* say “mom.”
I was wondering when the switch occurred, but maybe there wasn’t one? Here is an article (I couldn’t find any more linguistic site) mentioning the usage of “mum,” “mom,”** and “mam.”
In my searches, I discovered also apparently some places of England use “mom”?!
I knew about “mam,”*** for Ireland, but I thought maybe it was an older form or regional (I noticed that Hoil, Arms, and Hog use “mum” in their sketches). I know JK Rowling had Seamus using “mam” in Harry Potter, but she started writing in the 90’s.
*And all the Hallmark (a Canadian company) movies which while filled with Canadian actors and filmed in Canada are typically set in the U.S. The only other Canadian I know for certain I’ve met IRL was a professor (with the most stereotypically Canadian accent ever: “sore-y” and “to-moor-row”. . . which is that regional?) who I don’t think had any occasion during any lecture to use either “mum” or “mom.”
**Also, “mom” looks logically like it comes from “mother,” but no one pronounces the “o” in “mother” like we do in “mom” (“mahm”). We say “muhther” not “mahther.”
***When we went to Holland, Michigan, with the host family’s Michigan accent we heard “mom” that leaned toward “mam.” And “downtown” was more like “donton.”
When Brits get irritated with us about “their language” or us mentioning their accent:
- It’s our language too, and some of us are literally the same people.
- We literally have a ton more English speakers.
- And most to the point I’d heard (and have now confirmed), we actually have less of accent change than the Brits did. Can I just say this is hilarious? We didn’t as much develop an American accent (that did happen though) as much as the British accent changed.
I’d love to hear what the original accent (or rather accents, I’m sure regionally it varied as well which also probably affected the American accent) sounded like.
Also I say we, but I’m not sure which American accent would be the closest, maybe the South, less other influences, less movement? Also apparently some Northeastern areas are non-rhotic thanks to influence of the (relatively) newer non-rhotic British English.
Also, this applies to Canada obviously too. But why is Canada still grouped with the UK, South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand in English? You all don’t say things like “zed” and “haitch” (I can’t express how that sound makes me gag), do you?