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Native wit, a ready reply; the wit which “our mother gave us.” In ancient authors the term is used to express a ready reply, courteous but not profound. Thus, when Louis XIV. expressed some anxiety lest Polignac should be inconvenienced by a shower of falling rain, the mother-wit of the cardinal replied, “It is nothing, I assure your Majesty; the rain of Marly never makes us wet.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Mother Bunch
Mother Carey’s Chickens
Mother Country
Mother Douglas
Mother Earth
Mother Goose
Mother Hubbard
Mother Huddle’s Oven
Mother Shipton
Mother of Believers
Mother of Books
Mother of Cities [Amu-al-Bulud]
Mother of Pearl
Mother of the Gracchi
Mother’s Apron Strings
Mothering Sunday
Motu Proprio