Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories. Each week at this time, we tell about everyday expressions in American English and how to use them.
In the United States, Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday in May. It was back in 1908 when a woman named Anna Jarvis created this unofficial holiday to honor mothers. However, Ms. Jarvis would later criticize Mother's Day. She said it had become too commercial -- too much about spending money.
She had a good point.
Traditionally, children and husbands celebrate mothers of all ages by buying flowers, cards and other gifts or taking them to dinner in a nice restaurant. But today, you will not need any money at all. We instead will talk about some expressions that use the word "mother."
To start with, most mothers give birth. So, your motherland is where you were born and your mother tongue is your native language.
Some cultures believe Mother Earth gave birth to everything that exists on our planet. In Greek mythology, a goddess named Gaia was the great mother of all. She was said to have created the Earth and the Universe. Mother Nature is a little different. This term relates to the natural world as if it were a woman.
有些文化认为Mother Earth（大地）产下了地球上存在的一切。在希腊神话中，盖亚女神是最为伟大的母亲。据说她创造了地球和宇宙。Mother Nature（大自然）有点不同，这个词语与自然界相关，好像它是一位女性。
It has been said that there is nothing as great as a mother's love. Some mother expressions mean just that. The mother lode comes from mining. It means the place where the largest amount of gold, silver, or anything else of value can be found.
有人说，母爱（mother's love）最伟大。一些涉及母亲的词汇就是这类意思。 The mother lode（母脉、主矿脉）一词源自采矿业，它是指黄金、白银或其它任何有价值物品蕴藏量最大的地方。
But now, the term mother lode means a rich supply of anything. We often use the word "strike" with this expression. For example, you might say, "She just graduated college and struck the mother lode with her new job!" In other words, the woman's new job is making her rich!
但是现在，mother lode这个词语是指任何供应丰富的物品。我们经常把它和strike这个单词一起用。例如我们可能会说，“She just graduated college and struck the mother lode with her new job!”换句话说，该女子的新工作让她发财了。
When we call something "the mother of all," this means it is the biggest or best of something. Here is an example: "We are going to throw the mother of all parties this weekend. So you have to come!"
当我们称有些东西是“the mother of all”，意思是说它是最大或最好的东西。举例来说：“这周我们会举行盛大聚会，你一定要来哦！”
Naturally, the word "mother" can be used to mean to give birth, even to something you cannot touch, such as an idea or wisdom. The saying "necessity is the mother of invention" means that when people really need to do something, they will find a way to do it. And "experience is the mother of wisdom" means that people learn from what happens to them.
自然，mother这个单词可以用于指代生孩子，甚至是一些你无法企及的东西，例如想法或智慧。老话说，“necessity is the mother of invention（需求是发明之母）”意思是当人们确实有需求时他们就能找到实现的办法。而experience is the mother of wisdom（实践出真知）意思是人们从自身经历中学习。
You might think all expressions about mothers are sweet and loving. Not so.
A boy who is "tied to his mother's apron strings" is controlled by his mother. We can also call him a "mama's boy." Both of these terms are even more insulting if you are talking about a man, not a young boy. It can be a huge mistake for a woman to marry a "mama's boy" who is still "tied to his mother's apron strings."
一个男孩唯母命是从（tied to his mother's apron strings）是指被他母亲支配。我们通常称他为“奶嘴男（mama's boy）”。如果这些词语用于讨论一个男人，而不是小男孩那就更加侮辱人。女人嫁给唯母命是从的奶嘴男就是一个巨大的错误。
A show about mothers would not be complete without talking about the very popular but mysterious Mother Goose. The short poems and songs that Mother Goose supposedly wrote are very much a part of growing up in the United States. Real or not, you could say Mother Goose is the mother of all nursery rhyme writers.
We do know that writer Robert Louis Stevenson was real. He is famous for such stories as "Treasure Island," and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." He also wrote this poem titled, simply, "To My Mother."
我们知道作家罗伯特·路易斯·史蒂文森（Robert Louis Stevenson）是真实存在的。他以《金银岛》和《化身博士》等小说闻名。他还写了题为《献给母亲》的这样一首诗。
You too, my mother, read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance to hear once more
The little feet along the floor.
To all mothers of all types around the world, we here at VOA Learning English wish you a very Happy Mother's Day!
I'm Anna Matteo.