Could someone explain me please exact meaning of phrase 'to mother someone' and in which cases I can use it. As I managed to figure it out, means: to take care of someone or to look after of someone. Am I right?

Thank you in advance.

closed as off-topic by Dan Bron, ermanen, Robusto, user66974, Drew May 4 '15 at 1:54

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • To mother: to act as mother to, as in nourishing and protecting. thefreedictionary.com/mother. What exactly is unclear about this term? – user66974 May 3 '15 at 19:55
  • I'm just a bit uncertain about its context, for example: Mother her, she is ill Is it referred only to her mother, or another person can also 'mother' her? – Avag Sargsyan May 3 '15 at 20:00
  • It means act as a mother so the person in question who is acting as a mother can very likely be a different person. – user66974 May 3 '15 at 20:03
  • @Josh61 I know a guy who is a squaddie in the Royal Engineers, and the fearsome-looking sergeant they had on some recent infantry exercises was known as mum to all the chaps in the platoon. Whether he actually mothered them or not I didn't ask. – WS2 May 3 '15 at 20:07
  • Yes, it's to act as someone's mother, literally or (more often) figuratively. This can mean either taking care of them or being overly indulgent of them, or both. – Hot Licks May 3 '15 at 21:35

The phrase "to mother (someone)" literally means "to take on a mother's responsibilties as one's own".

Dictionary.com provides some good examples and definitions on the term:


verb (used with object)

  • to be the mother of; give origin or rise to.
  • to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
  • to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.