How do you say Mom in Spanish? 12 different options

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Without question, our moms are incredibly important in our lives and families. They are the ones who give us life, nurture our growth, and provide the foundation for our existence, so of course everyone has a few sweet ways to refer to their mom in Spanish.

In Spanish-speaking cultures, the deep-seated love and reverence for mothers is a fundamental aspect of society. Their crucial role in our development and personal growth is invaluable. As their offspring, we recognize them for always being there for us with their endless love, selfless sacrifice, and unconditional affection.

Indeed, in Spanish, mothers often use sweet terms of endearment on their kids. Mijo and mija are diminutives of mi hijo and mi hija, for example, meaning my son and my daughter. But from the perspective of the kids, how do you say mom in Spanish?

When it comes to articulating our emotions or addressing our mothers, the Spanish language provides a rich tapestry of terms, each carrying its own unique nuance of affection and respect. These terms can vary based on the region or the specific dialect of Spanish being used.

In this post, we’ll explore the various ways we address our cherished mothers in the Spanish-speaking world. We’ll learn different words for mom in Spanish, from the formal mother in Spanish to a number of terms for mom in Spanish slang. Let’s go!

Mamá: Mom in Spanish

Mamá is probably the first word a baby learns to say when learning to speak, and it’s the most standard form used in all Spanish-speaking countries.

In Latin America, the word mamá is used indistinctly by kids and adults. In other countries such as Spain, mamá is only used by kids, or by adults when talking to kids or referring to the kid’s mom.

  • Iñaki, tell your mom to come, please. – Iñaki, dile a tu mamá que venga, por favor.
  • My mom cooks the best empanadas in the world. – Mi mamá hace las mejores empanadas del mundo.

Madre: Mother in Spanish

Madre in Spanish is perhaps the most formal term we’ll see today, since it translates literally as mother rather than mom. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t express affection, though it does establish clear respect, especially in Latin America. In Spain, people use madre to refer to their mothers when speaking to another adult.

  • Have you seen my mother around here? – ¿Has visto a mi madre por acá?
  • Mother, you deserve all my respect. – Madre, mereces todo mi respeto.

Madrecita: Mom in Spanish

Madrecita is a term of affection, derived from the word madre but in a diminutive form. In Spanish, we form diminutives by adding the suffixes -ito and -ita to indicate something smaller or endearing. With this in mind, madrecita is definitely considered a term of endearment in Spanish.

  • My dear mom, I love you so much! – ¡Madrecita mía, cómo te quiero!
  • That’s my mom, the best of all. – Esa es mi madrecita, la mejor de todas.

Mami: Mommy in Spanish

Mami is another typical term of endearment when talking to our moms or when referring to them, as an equivalent of mommy in Spanish. If you ever see a Spanish-speaking mother with her child, we bet you’ll hear the word mami at least once in their conversation.

  • Mommy, help me get down the tree! – ¡Mami, ayúdame a bajar del árbol!
  • My mommy is the best tennis player. – Mi mami es la mejor jugadora de tenis.

Mamita, Mamaíta: Mommy in Spanish

Mamita is the diminutive form of mamá, so it’s another sweet term of endearment that kids use to name their beloved moms. Mamita is mainly used in Latin America, while mamaíta is the equivalent word used in Spain.

  • Mommy will come to visit us soon. – Mamita vendrá a visitarnos pronto.
  • Thank you mommy for all you’ve given to me. – Gracias mamita por todo lo que me has dado.

Mamacita: Momma in Spanish

Mamacita is widely used in Mexico and Central America. Keep in mind, however, that in those regions mamacita is also commonly used to refer to a girlfriend or a wife! Nonetheless, it’s still used as an informal term to express affection to mothers.

  • My momma always waits for me with my dinner ready. – Mi mamacita siempre me espera con la cena lista.
  • Hey momma, I missed you! – ¡Hola, mamacita, te extrañé!

Ma: Short for Mamá

Ma is the shortened form of mamá in Spanish. It’s extremely colloquial, and is usually used by kids when addressing their moms.

  • Mom, may I go to the park today? – Ma, ¿puedo ir al parque hoy?
  • Mom, tell Pedro to lend me his toy! – ¡Ma, dile a Pedro que me preste su juguete!

Amá: Another short form for Mamá

Amá is another informal and tender way of calling your mother in Spanish. This shortened form of mamá is mainly used in Mexico, but it’s also common enough in other countries around Central America.

  • Mom, I don’t want to go to school today. – Amá, no quiero ir a la escuela hoy.
  • I’m going to tell your mom you’ve behaved very badly. – Le voy a decir a tu amá que te has portado muy mal.

For more instances of clipped words like this, we have a full post on the practice, known as apocopation.

Mamucha: Mom in Spanish slang

Mamucha is one of those terms of endearment for our moms in Spanish that you’ll want to learn if you’re planning to visit or live in Argentina. For other vocab that’s unique to the country, check out our post on Argentinian slang.

  • Mom, is lunch ready? – Mamucha, ¿ya está listo el almuerzo?
  • You know I love you so much, mom. – Sabes que te quiero mucho, mamucha.

Vieja or Viejita: Mom in Spanish slang

Vieja and viejita may translate literally as old lady and little old lady, but these are nonetheless used to show affection to beloved mothers in Spanish. These two terms are common in Mexico and in several countries of South America such as Argentina and Uruguay.

  • Mi mom told me I should study Law. – Mi vieja me dijo que debía estudiar derecho.
  • Mom, I’ve brought you the cake you like so much. – Viejita, te traje la torta que tanto te gusta.

Jefa: Mom in Spanish slang

You may recognize this term, or know its masculine version of jefe, since both translate directly as Boss in Spanish. In Mexican culture, jefa is often used as a term of respect and endearment to refer to one’s mother, recognizing her as a person of higher rank or authority within the family. This term reflects the belief that mothers are seen as authoritative figures and role models within the household.

  • Your mother has told you that you can’t go out dancing tonight. – Tu jefa te ha dicho que hoy no puedes salir a bailar.
  • I don’t know anything about it. Ask your mother. – Yo no sé nada. Pregúntale a tu jefa.

Jefita or Jefecita: Mom in Spanish slang

As you may already guess, these terms are diminutive variants of jefa. In English, they literally translate to little boss or little boss lady. This is a peculiar and unique way in Mexican slang to blend a tone of respect and affection when referring to your mom.

  • My mom always buys everything in this supermarket. – Mi jefita siempre compra en este supermercado.
  • Your mom has always been good to me. – Tu jefecita siempre ha sido muy buena conmigo.

Conclusion: Terms for Mom in Spanish

Mothers hold a special place in our hearts and lives, especially within Spanish-speaking cultures. Their unwavering love, sacrifice, and support are the pillars of our existence.

The Spanish language, with its rich variety of affectionate terms, offers us many beautiful ways to express our gratitude and love for our mothers through the different ways we address them.

We’re sure that today’s post has more than answered our initial question of “How do you say mom in Spanish?” Indeed, we’ve provided insight into the diverse ways we can appreciate and refer to our beloved mothers in Spanish.

Remember, each term carries its own unique sentiment, influenced by regional dialects and cultural nuances. So, the next time you address your mother, consider using one of these words for mom in Spanish to convey your deep affection and respect!


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