Kim and Kanye Might Have Hired a Surrogate Mother

From TMZ to the dictionary.


Surrogate mother was among our top lookups on June 21st, 2017, following reports that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had recently hired a woman to act in this capacity.

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Photo: champja

A soon-to-be mother.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have made a deal with a surrogate mother to have their third child, according to reports from People and TMZ … Should the pregnancy result in more than one child, the surrogate mother will receive an additional $5k per extra child.
—Anna Lewis, Cosmopolitan (cosmopolitan.com), 21 Jun. 2017

Although neither surrogate nor mother are new words (the noun form of surrogate is over 400 years old, and mother considerably older), the two words were not married in the sense that the compound noun is used today (“a woman who becomes pregnant usually by artificial insemination or surgical implantation of a fertilized egg for the purpose of carrying the fetus to term for another woman”) until fairly recently.

Perhaps it’s not marriage at all you’re interested in but procreation. In that case you might prefer artificial insemination by the donor of your choice, with or without embryonic transplant to a surrogate mother, to relieve you of the burden of mating.
—Mary Maher, The Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland), 15 Sept. 1972

The words were occasionally found used in conjunction well before this, but not with the medical meaning described above. Surrogate would occasionally be used to modify mother, in the sense of “one that serves as a substitute,” but in reference to the non-procreative role of the mother.

Wanted another guardian. Girl told surrogate mother and step-father were improper persons.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (headline), 21 Nov. 1911



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