Mother’s Day Singular Possessive?

May 11, 2017

If your mom ever corrected your grammar, you might consider this interesting story about Mother’s Day. Notice how “Mother’s Day” is written? It’s singular possessive, not the plural possessive: “Mothers’ Day.”

That’s because in 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrase. As a social activist, she founded Mother’s Day Work Clubs, designed to unify communities during the American Civil War. Through her activism she became friends with American poet and writer, Julia Ward Howe, who had first advocated in 1870 for such a day. The idea was simple: Create a day that would rally mothers throughout the world to work together for peace.

Which brings us to why Mother’s Day is singular possessive. Anna Jarvis wanted every family to honor their own mother, and not merely mothers in general.

So in that spirit, enjoy spending some time with your mother this weekend. And mind your grammar.