from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of mother wit.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The songs were knowing, wisecracking and full of slang, mother-wit and sexual cockiness.

    The Fall online - latest Fall News

  • Shrewd French mother-wit is not easily caught napping.

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

  • This horrible old woman — worthy of her nephew — whose thoughts were all centered in the prisoner, and who was defending him with intelligence and mother-wit that were a match for the powers of the law, had a permit made out the evening before in the name of the

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • Longueville showed even more mother-wit than her brother, for she did not even look as if she were hiding a secret, and kept the conversation to subjects unconnected with personal interests, while, at the same time, she gave it so much charm that

    The Ball at Sceaux

  • But in recognizing her ignorance of the ratio between words to women and deeds to women in the ethical code of the bachelor of the club, she forgot that human nature in the gross differs little with situation, and that a gift which, if the germs were lacking, no amount of training in clubs and coteries could supply, was mother-wit like her own.

    The Hand of Ethelberta

  • Had it not been for the sharpness of his mother-wit, he would certainly have been landed at that moment.

    He Knew He Was Right

  • But the truth is, that the idea adopted by too favourable judges, of my having some aptitude for that department of poetry, has been much founded on those scraps of old plays, which, being taken from a source inaccessible to collectors, they have hastily considered the offspring of my mother-wit.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • Neither Mr. Franklin, with his wonderful foreign training, nor I, with my age, experience, and natural mother-wit, had the ghost of an idea of what Rosanna

    The Moonstone

  • Shakespeare picked it up in his Taming of the Shrew, with Kate asking mockingly, “Where did you study all this goodly speech?” and Petruchio replying, “It is extempore, from my mother-wit.”

    No Uncertain Terms

  • In Growth of Popery 1677, the poet Andrew Marvell of coy-mistress fame immortalized the phrase in an apothegm: “An ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound of clergy.”

    No Uncertain Terms


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