Mother of

The best or greatest of a type, as in That was the mother of all tennis matches. This expression originated during the Gulf War as a translation of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s term umm al-ma’arik, for “major battle”; the Arabic “mother of” is a figure of speech for “major” or “best.” It was quickly adopted and applied to just about any person, event, or activity. [ ; late 1980s ]


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  • Mother of all something

    noun phrase The largest, most impressive, utterly unsurpassable example of something; GRANDDADDY OF ALL something: The plan to fix the Hubble telescope in orbit is the mother of all repair missions/ I have the mother of all pains in the back [1991+ Gulf War; Muslim tradition fr Ayesha, second wife of Mohammed, and the Mother […]

  • Mother-of-coal

    noun 1. .

  • Mother-of-god

    noun 1. a title of the Virgin Mary. noun 1. a title given to the Virgin Mary: used in Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches to emphasize the belief that Jesus was God

  • Mother of parliaments

    noun 1. the Mother of Parliaments, the British Parliament: the model and creator of many other Parliaments

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