‘Mom' vs 'Mum': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 28, 2022

Is the woman who gave you life your ‘mom’ or your ‘mum’? Wondering which version of the word to use? We’ll help you figure out the correct one, plus teach you how to use it in a sentence correctly.

The short answer is:

  • Both words are correct.
  • 'Mom’ is the American English spelling of the word.
  • The word ‘mum’ is the British English version of the word ‘mom.’

‘Mum’ vs. ‘Mom’ – The Mother of All Battles

Some people struggle with whether they should use ‘mum’ or ‘mom,’ but both versions of the word are okay to use, depending on your audience.

‘Mom’ or ‘Mum’ What’s the Difference?

As you've learned, the difference between ‘mom’ and ‘mum’ is that the former is the American English spelling of the word, and the latter is the British English spelling.

  • So, if you’re writing for an American audience, use the American spelling, and if you’re writing for a UK audience, you’d likely use the British spelling.

Similar Confusing Words

There are several words in the English language that have British spellings as well as American spellings.

Organization vs. Organisation

Many people use both spellings, ‘organization’ and ‘organisations’, interchangeably, not knowing that one is the English spelling and the other British. The American spelling is ‘organization.’

Tires vs. Tyres

The American spelling of the word is ‘tires,’ whereas the British spelling is ‘tyres.’ Only use ‘tyres’ if you’re writing for an audience outside the U.S.

Nighttime vs. Night-Time

Nighttime is another word that some people get confused about. Do you spell it ‘nighttime’ or ‘night-time’? Well, if you’re writing for an American audience, you’d spell it ‘nighttime’ and the other way for a British audience.

Definition and Meaning

Now that we know that both versions of the word are correct, let’s quickly define the word.

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word ‘mom’ is:

  • a female parent: mother

The Cambridge definition of the word is: “a mother.”

Some synonyms of the word are:

  • Ma
  • Momma
  • Mommy
  • Mama
  • Mammy
  • Mother
  • Mamma
  • Old Lady
  • Mater (chiefly British)

Plural of ‘Mom’ and ‘Mum’ 

The plural version of the word ‘mom’ is ‘moms’ because it follows the standard rules for pluralizing words in English.

  • That rule is to add an ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the end of a word to make it plural.
  • The same rule applies to ‘mum.’ The plural would be ‘mums.’

Take a look at some examples:

  • Bed > Beds
  • Chair > Chairs
  • Photo > Photos
  • Watch > Watches
  • Tux > Tuxes
  • Ex > Exes

How to Use ‘Mom’ and ‘Mum’ in a Sentence Correctly

Now that we have a clear definition of the word, we can see how to use it in a sentence.

Here are a few examples of how to use the singular form of the word in a sentence:

  • I’m going to see my mom for the upcoming holiday.
  • My mom is my best friend in the whole world.
  • My mom likes going hiking in the forest.
  • I feel bad for my friend; she just lost her mom.
  • I’m the room mom for my son’s kindergarten.

Now let’s see some examples of how to use the plural version of the word in a sentence:

  • Today is a day to celebrate moms around the world – Mother’s Day!
  • My niece is now part of the moms club; we have to go get her a baby gift.
  • Our moms are best friends, and so are we; it’s kind of crazy!
  • Moms are like superheroes.
  • My moms getting older now; I need to help her out a bit more.

And remember, you can use the British English spelling of the word the same way you’d use the American version of the word.

Final Advice on ‘Mom’ and ‘Mum’

Now that you know that both spellings are correct (just in different contexts), you can use both appropriately when you need to.


  • The American spelling of the word is ‘mom.’ If you ever get stuck, you can always come back to this page (bookmark it if you need to) and refresh your memory.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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