3

In my language, the title of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has been translated as Боевой гимн матери-тигрицы, which translates to "Battle hymn of the mother-tigress". I think Ms Chua meant the word "tiger" as a noun, not as an adjective. So, in this case "mother-tigress" would be right. Is this correct?

1
  • 3
    Both tiger mother and mother tigress are perfectly good English phrases that mean essentially the same thing. In the first, tiger is an attributive noun (so a noun that behaves a little bit like an adjective) and in the second, mother is an attributive noun.
    – Peter Shor
    Jun 26, 2021 at 20:03

1 Answer 1

7

There are a couple reasons: first and foremost, the term “Tiger Mother” was already in common use, particularly among Chinese-Americans to describe the kind of parenting style that Chua writes about in her book.

Second, is that in English, “Tiger Mother” has Tiger modifying mother and describes a mother with the attributes of a tiger (the term is a bit hyperbolic, intentionally so). “Mother Tigress” on the other hand would be a tigress who is a mother, and would be more likely applied to an actual female tiger than a human being.

2

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.