I have seen people writing on social media like 'Mom to 2 Yorkies' (mostly for pet animals). Is that usage grammatically correct?

My question is about 'to'. What is the difference between Mom of 2 Yorkies and Mom to 2 Yorkies? Are both have the same meaning?

  • It's not a sentence. But it's fine in very informal contexts like social media profiles (some style guides will tell you to write "two", and to write in complete sentences, if you're being more formal). Why do you have a problem with it? (Apart from the obvious, a human being a mother of dogs.)
    – Stuart F
    Jul 19, 2022 at 9:45
  • It is grammatically correct. It is metaphorically correct. It is "questionable" whether it is factually correct or it is logically correct !
    – Prem
    Jul 19, 2022 at 10:10
  • I know someone who might be described in an SMS as 'mom to 2 Bengals'. I quite envy her. Jul 19, 2022 at 11:06
  • @StuartF - 'a human being a mother of dogs' - I know plenty of guys who might be described as 'sons of dogs'. I gather that these days we may not use the correct word for a female dog, which considerably irritates my sister who breeds Springer spaniels. She has refused to sell to someone because they got funny with her when she said 'bitch'. Jul 19, 2022 at 11:17
  • [She is a] Mom to 2 Yorkies. It's fine.
    – Lambie
    Oct 10, 2022 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


In this particular context, being a mother of someone, and being a mother to them can be quite different.

For example, you might say of a step-parent, foster parent or anyone else that has raised you that they are 'like a mother to you'.

That's not to say that step-parents or similar cannot legimitely say that they are a parent 'of' their step-children - you'll find that people make their own rules of language on a case-by-case basis there. But 'Yorkies', as hopefully you know, are dogs. Their 'parent' (or 'pawrent' as I'm hearing more and more) definitely didn't give birth to them, but she can be a mother to them.

  • 1
    'pawrent' - oh dear. Jul 19, 2022 at 11:10
  • 1
    I think, as a BrE speaker, that 'mother to' and 'mother of' can both apply in the case of natural birth, I think the distinction might be that 'to' discusses role, and 'of' is a matter of biology. Lauren Conrad recently opened up about struggles she's faced since becoming a mother to two boys. Daily Mail 4 May 2022. She is discussing the changes in her life following birth of her second child. Jul 19, 2022 at 11:14
  • @MichaelHarvey Yes. You're covering the same ground as me but from a different angle. Of course, wherever there is a step-parent or similar there is always a biological parent. As I said in my answer, a step-parent may decide to say they are both. A biological mother who raises their own children is of course both by default, but then arguably one that does not raise them may not be a mother to them.
    – Astralbee
    Jul 19, 2022 at 12:03
  • Yes, of course you could say 'I was mother to those two boys after my brother's wife left him/died/went crazy'. But 'Marie de Guise was [natural] mother to and regent for Mary Queen of Scots', and there is a book about a nun who was 'mother to the orphans of Hunduras'. Jul 19, 2022 at 12:10
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    @MichaelHarvey Hey, BrEng speakers don't say 'butt'!
    – Astralbee
    Oct 11, 2022 at 11:19

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