Where does the phrase 'mother tongue' originate from? Based on this phrase, in a literal sense is a language deemed to be feminine?
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According to the following extract from Wikipedia the expression mother tongue was first originally used by Catholic monks to refer to local languages which they used to preach in different countries.
According to Ivan Illich (philosopher, Roman Catholic priest), the term "mother tongue" was first used by Catholic monks to designate a particular language they used, instead of Latin, when they were "speaking from the pulpit". That is, the "holy mother the Church" introduced this term and colonies inherited it from Christianity as a part of colonialism.