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Expression talk:mother

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This article (mother) needs attention because:
Definition: A woman who has at least one child. is imho misleading and too narrow and should be replaced by A woman who has born or acquired the responsibility for at least one child during her life. --Purodha Blissenbach 17:28, 15 September 2006 (CEST)
It has been added to this category for attention. Thank you for your patience.


I think you mean a woman who has given birth to or ...". I both agree and disagree with you. :-) I think we should have more than one DM.

Firstly mother in a "technical" sense is a woman that has given birth to at least one human being. The problem with this definition is that there could be (and most probably are, too) women that have given birth to just one baby that has died immediately. Are they called mothers? Maybe this is the reason between the English and Esperanto definitions. The latter is virina naskigulino which I interpret as a woman that has given birth.

Secondly mother is a woman that has (any number of) children. Some of them haven't ever even given birth to any child but have acquired them by a marriage (for example). I just now realise that this must be the point in Purodha's request for a change. Earlier I thought he meant that a woman doesn't become a mother when she gives birth to her child, but only later when she has proven to also take the responsability for that child.

Anyway a DM for each of the two cases are needed since the latter seems to describe other expressions like step-mother (spelling?). Furthermore mother can be used figuratively (mother Earth) but I'm not sure if it should have a separate definition as practically every word can be used in such manner. --Mikalaari 09:59, 16 September 2006 (CEST)

A mother may have adopted children (adoption itself varying a whole lot between societies), be a stepmother or a (German:) 'Pflegemutter', i.e. jumping in bridging times of unavailability of (usually) the 'real' mother, etc. Yes, my approach was much from a functional view. Also, being a mother persists, even if children are gone or died, it does not bring the mother back to being called not-a-mother. You see, English does not even have an obvious antonym.

You are right, several more detailed DMs for the various contexts and types of 'mother' are needed and would help defining the term 'mother' too, since that would be an enumeration of " …, usually including 'step mother', including 'Pflegemutter', … etc." --Purodha Blissenbach 11:46, 16 September 2006 (CEST)