The phrase "Your Mum" - where on earth did it originate?

The other day, I was on the bus, and overheard the following exchanges:

"Yuk! What stinks?"

"Your mum."

"Your face."

"Your mum's face."

Then there was this one:

"What's the time?"

"Your mum."

And how about this gem?

"Hey, I got an iPhone last week."

"Your mum got an iPhone last week."

Weird stuff. It seems that kids use "your mum" as a response for all kinds of things.

But where does this oddly ubiquitous phrase come from?

And why don't they ever say "your dad?"

Can you give more examples of this phrase's usage?


Hafwen x

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I had never heard this one.

    However, now that I have, I may have an answer. In Spanish, expressions containing the phrase 'tu madre' are insulting, being abbreviations for 'tu puta madre' - 'your w hore of a mother.' Spanish people take their mothers seriously, and any insult to them can be a fighting matter. Spaniards frequently avoid the posssibility of misunderstanding by referring to a friend's mother as 'tu mama' which neatly sidesteps the offending phrase.

    It is possible that the jocular teenage expression stems from this more seriously insulting one. If I am right, it would explain why they never say 'Your dad' - where the expression came from no man would be offended by being supposed to have multiple partners. In any case, your father's illicit affairs could not make you a bastard - your mother's might. Spaniards never say 'tu padre.'

    Hope this helps.

    • Tom6 years agoReport

      what a desperately far-fetched idea

      pro-tip: if you "have never heard" an expression before - how about you DON'T reply your self-certified clueless etymology of it.

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  • 6 years ago

    In UK it started off around very early 90's I'd say - the kids went through a BIG phase of the 'old classic' I-insult-your-mother insults, pretty much because you know majority of people have a mother and that they will probably love her so it became a 'classic' way to demand somone fight you. I can't explain it rationally, but the 'rule' was if someone insulted your mum they were insulting your honour and you had to fight them - or at least get really angry and threaten them.

    so mum insult jokes became so constant and common-place that people just started shortening it and responding "your mum". It's a bit like when a child age around 3 realises they can just keep repeating "why" to anything you say - you repsond "your mum" to whatever they say. It 'has' to be done quickly as a quick-reply though or it fails. I don't know why, this is just 'the rules'. "Where did you get that?" "your mum" etc.

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  • Gail
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    When trying to describe the flavor of meat the listener has never eaten, a common declaration is that it tastes like chicken. The expression has been used so often that it has become somewhat of a cliché. As a result, the phrase also sometimes gets used for incongruous humor, by being deployed for foods or situations to which it has no real relevance. The expression has made its way into popular culture in a variety of contexts. The phrase has made modern appearances in the media, such as in The Lion King, Six Days Seven Nights, The Matrix, Stargate, Surf's Up and the initial season of the reality television show Survivor. As an explanation of why unusual meats would taste more like chicken than common alternatives such as beef or pork, different possibilities have been offered. One suggestion is that chicken has a bland taste because fat contributes more flavor than muscle (especially in the case of a lean cut such as a skinless chicken breast), making it a generic choice for comparison. Also, chicken reportedly has lower levels of glutamates that contribute to the "savory" aspect of taste sometimes known as umami; processing or tenderizing other meats would also lower glutamate levels and make them taste more like chicken. Another suggestion, made by Joe Staton of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, is that meat flavors are fixed based on the evolutionary origin of the animal. Accordingly, birds (the most numerous form of meat by type) would naturally taste more like chicken than mammals. Furthermore, based on evidence for dinosaurs as the ancestors of birds, reptile meat might also taste somewhat like chicken. Seafood, however, would logically have a more distinctive flavor. Staton's lighthearted study of the question was published in the Annals of Improbable Research.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Grrr Boy Wonder 'Mum' is the proper word. not the awful Americanisms 'mom' amd 'mommy'. It means 'your mother'. It is obviously being used as a derogatory comment - although, here in the UK I've never heard it. Why is it used rather than 'your dad'? I would guess because it is thought to be more offensive to insult your mother than your father.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It comes from jokes which are known as "Yo' mamma" jokes, or "Your mum" jokes.

    For instance: "Yo' mamma so fat, she has her own area code."

    : "Your mum is so ugly, when she was born, the doctor had to slap her to see which end was which".

    "Yo' mamma so stupid, that when she went to Disneyland and saw a sign saying "Disneyland left", she turned around and went home".

    The jokes became so ingrained in popular culture that saying "Your mum" was understood to be a reference to them. Eventually, the "your mum" phrase separated from the jokes and became a kind of generic insulting reply. Occasionally it can be almost funny, as in things like:

    "What did you do last night?"

    "Your mum."

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  • 1 decade ago

    It originated in the UK, I think - they are the ones who call a mother "mum" instead of the proper word, "mom" or "mommy".

    A "mum" is a flower.

    Thank you.


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  • Vince
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I simply always thought of it as an formal English/British pronunciation of the word, "mom".

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    from the loins of your "mum"

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  • 1 decade ago

    ACH!!!!!! I HATE that so much!

    and Rachel is totally right.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Wow, Thanks! I was wondering the same thing the other day

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