Don’t Call Me ‘Mammy’

I’m not sure why but I detest being called ‘Mammy’. ?’Mama?’ is the Irish for Mummy or Mother so I guess that is where the word Mammy came from but when I knew I was pregnant with Will, I decided that I’d be called anything but Mammy even though it seems to be the norm here in Ireland. I called my own mother ‘Mammy’ until I started secondary school and then it became ‘Mum’.

Mrs. Brown – perhaps the most infamous of Irish Mammies.

Photo credit: BBC

Meeting a friend for a game of bowling with the kids a couple of weeks ago, I was amused the first time when I overheard him chatting to the kids and referring to me as ‘yer mammy’. When I heard it the second time though, I could stand it no longer and teased ‘ You’re sounding a great culchie, you Dub!’ to which he replied ‘I thought you were all mammies down the country’. ?Not in Garrendenny!!

Colm O’Regan, an Irish comedian, has included the Irish Mammy in a comedy sketch show and is launching a book this autumn – all the things an Irish Mammy incorporates and I try to pretend I don’t possess any of them!

The kids started off calling me ‘Mummy’. They never really called me by my first name (apparently I called my parents by their first names until I was about 5 being the eldest). Will now calls me ‘Mum’ and Kate calls me anything from Mum, Mummy, Mom, Momma, Mommy, but never Mammy I’ve noticed.

Luckily, they haven’t noticed that if they wanted to irritate me, they could do so by calling me ‘mammy’. Will knows that calling me Mrs James drives me mad so he’ll taunt me with it if I’m nagging him to tidy his bedroom or empty the dishwasher!

What do your kids call you?

5 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me ‘Mammy’

  • Colette

    I called my parents Mammy and Daddy when I was little, as I grew older, it evolved into Mam and Dad, & that’s what I still call them 🙂 Our daughter calls me Mam too.

  • WiseM?na (@WiseMona)

    I never let mine call me ‘Mammy’ either. I always called my mum ‘Catherine’ or ‘Mum’ and I do not think any of my siblings called her ‘Mammy’ but for some reason or another one of my brothers still calls her ‘Mam’. Here at home I get called ‘Mom’, ‘Mama’, ‘M?na’, and the chef calls me ‘Honey’ …
    Tere are days when I feel like changing my name … but for the most part I have to say I like ‘Mom’ just fine xx

    • Lorna

      That comment reminds me of the confusion my gran used to cause for me. In order to get us to call our mum ‘Mammy’ rather than Ruby, she used to call her Mammy and my mum called her mammy – totally freaked me out – who was whose mammy?!! 😉

  • S-S Mattie

    I called my mom mummy for a while, then realized it sounded a little too like mummy, like tombs mummy. (Best way to check if someones a zombie – give them coffee. If they wake up, they’re just sleep deprived. If they don’t, well….)



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