From Therese O’Neill in The Week, a word we all know. In fact everyone knows it.
Every language has a word for water. In Swahili they call it maji. In Dutch, it’s vand. The Japanese say mizu. Even though these words describe the most common and plentiful life-giving substance on Earth, they have nothing in common linguistically. But why should they, evolving as they did on three separate continents among people with incredibly diverse histories and traditions?
But there is a word, and only one, spoken the same way in nearly every language known to humankind. That word, of course, is “mama.”
But “mama” doesn’t spring from love. It happens because of two things: Lazy little baby mouths, and boobs.
Makes sense to me.
So why do babies gravitate to the “m” sound instead of “p” or “b”? Because of breasts, of course! The “m” sound is the easiest for a baby mouth to make when wrapped around a warm delicious breast.
You learn something every day.