Interested in Language
I have two questions about the following sentence from a SF novel "Brain Twister".
What are we going to call that sweet little old lady, now that _mother_ is a dirty word?
(1) Why is "mother" a dirty word? I think this is one of the nicest words...
(2) Was an old lady often called "mother" whether she was the speaker's biological mother or not?
I hope you are all having a very merry Christmas.
Maybe in the context of the novel you are reading, "mother" has become negative? Without reading it, it's difficult to say! However "mother" is part of a very strong profanity, and if you say "You mother...." to someone, the entire profanity is implied.
It is possible that in some cultures, an old woman could be called "mother" whether she is or is not your biological mother. It could be a sign of respect?
(not a teacher)