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I'm just curious, as the term "your mom" as an annoying answer/reaction to any question/comment is also used in other languages. So what is its etymology?

UPDATE

I even found a reference on Serverfault.

Maybe it wasn't that clear what I meant, so I give two examples taken from the urban dictionary:

Guy 1: I'm going to tie my shoes

Guy 2: YO MOMA'S GONA TIE HER SHOES!!!

and

Girl 1: That Girl is a slut.

Random Guy 1: YO MOMA'S A SLUT!!!

I even remember an Episode from Miami Vice (season 3, maybe episode 22) where Crocked asks for the whereabouts of a suspect and he gets a kind of "Your Mom" as an answer.

Here's another reference:

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In Mexico, foreigners are advised never to say madre (standard Spanish for mother). Use the less controversial term mama or mamá instead. There are a few idioms or set phrases where it is acceptable, but they are so specific that it is better not to use the term at all. –  Henry May 20 '11 at 19:17
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@mbx, That's a different question. I'm withdrawing my former answer then. Sorry for the misunderstanding. –  Alain Pannetier Φ May 22 '11 at 22:34
    
Is this perhaps derived from the Russian all-purpose expression fuck your mother? –  Brian Hooper May 31 '11 at 20:49
    
@Brian Hopper I don't think so since it seems to be used even without the sexual context. As I described it can be used as answer to anything - just like 42 or meh. –  mbx May 31 '11 at 21:28
    
@mbx, I'm no authority on the subject, but I was under the impression that the Russian phrase meant about that... –  Brian Hooper May 31 '11 at 21:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Presumably people are generally assumed to be rather annoyed if the chastity of their mother is questioned?

Even the great rap-star Bill Shakespeare (from the West midlands massive) used it:

Demetrius: “Villain, what hast thou done?”
Aaron: “That which thou canst not undo.”
Chiron: “Thou hast undone our mother.”
Aaron: “Villain, I have done thy mother.”

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Sadly his wide range of "your mother is so fat" jokes have been lost –  mgb May 20 '11 at 18:16
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+1 for West midlands massive! –  FumbleFingers May 20 '11 at 18:35
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The Wikipedia article Maternal Insult includes this exchange, and is rather good. It also points out the Spanish equivalent “Y tu mamá también!” (“And your mother too!”) –  PLL May 21 '11 at 14:49

Some people trace it to a centuries old African-American game of trading insults called "the dozens". https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/The_Dozens

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protected by RegDwigнt May 20 '11 at 18:13

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