Etymology
Advertisement
mother-in-law (n.)

late 14c., moder-in-laue, "mother of one's spouse," from mother (n.1) + in-law. Also in early use, "stepmother." In British slang c. 1884, mother-in-law was said to mean "a mixture of ales old and bitter."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
motion (n.)

late 14c., mocioun, "process of moving; change of place, continuous variation of position;" also "suggestion, proposal or proposition formally made," from Old French mocion "movement, motion; change, alteration" (13c., Modern French motion) and directly from Latin motionem (nominative motio) "a moving, a motion; an emotion," from past-participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").

From c. 1400 in legal sense of "application to a court or judge." To be in motion "in a state of motion" is from c. 1600; to set in motion "set working" is from 1590s. To go through the motions in the figurative sense of "pretend, do in a perfunctory manner" is by 1816 from the notion of "simulate the motions of." Motion picture is attested from 1896; motion sickness by 1942.

Rev. G.S. White said : The Presbytery does not favour the proposition of the Richmond Convention, and thinks the appointment of the Committee unnecessary; yet I suppose, that like the man who had nothing to eat, yet always spread the table, and sat down, and went through the motions—so we, according to our brother, are in honour bound, to appoint the Committee and go through the motions!—[Laughter] [The Presbyterian Magazine, May, 1858]
Related entries & more 
motivate (v.)

"to stimulate toward action, act as the inciting cause of," 1863, from motive + -ate (2); perhaps modeled on French motiver or German motivieren. Related: Motivated; motivating.

Related entries & more 
Motown 
recording label launched 1960 by Berry Gordy Jr., from Mo(tor) Town, perhaps based on Motor City, a nickname for Detroit attested by 1911.
Related entries & more 
earth-mother (n.)
1870, folkloric spirit of the earth, conceived as sensual, maternal; often a translation of German erdmutter. Earth-goddess is from 1837.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
mothering (n.)

"motherly care," 1868, verbal noun from mother (v.). Earlier it was used in reference to the rural custom of visiting one's parents with presents on Mid-Lent Sunday (1640s).

Related entries & more 
mothership (n.)

"motherhood, conduct befitting a mother," mid-15c., from mother (n.1) + -ship.

Related entries & more 
Mother Goose 
probably a translation of mid-17c. French contes de ma mère l'oye, which meant "fairy tales." The phrase appeared on the frontispiece of Charles Perrault's 1697 collection of eight fairy tales ("Contes du Temps Passé"), which was translated in English 1729 as "Mother Goose's Tales", and a very popular collection of traditional nursery rhymes published by John Newbery c. 1765 was called "Mother Goose's Melody." Her own biographical story is no earlier than 1806.
Related entries & more 
mottle (n.)

"a pattern or arrangement of marks or blotches of different colors or shades," 1670s, probably a back-formation from motley.

Related entries & more 
Mothers' Day 
the spelling used in the U.S. congressional resolution first recognizing it, May 9, 1908.
Related entries & more 

Page 6