Word to your mother is a colloquial expression that bears various meanings depending on the context. In slang, saying “word to your mother” at the end of an argument signals that you agree with your discussion partner.
Sometimes the slang is used as an insult, implying that the speaker is romantically familiar with the mother of whoever the insult is meant for.
Originally, the use of the term referred to the continent of Africa as the “motherland.” The rise of hip hop culture in the 90s saw the phrase become popular with recording artists and with street language.
Eventually many people started using word to your mother as a phrase to confirm that they understood what the other person was saying to them or to impress a point on them.
The phrase gained huge popularity after the rapper Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) used it at the end of his smash hit song “Ice Ice Baby” in 1990.
Online, various image macros and reaction memes were created during the early 2010s about the expression, mostly featuring an image of Vanilla Ice.
- Linguaholic.com – “Word to your mother”: Here’s What It Really Means
- English-Grammar-Lessons.com – Word to Your Mother – Meaning, Origin and Usage