Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever heard somebody say that something is the “mother of all ______” in English?

This is a phrase that may sound a bit confusing if you are not a native speaker.

This is a word and phrase that is all about expressing extremes.

If you want to know how to say that something is extreme in some way, then this is what you would use.

We’re going to look at this phrase and others like it so that you know how to talk about this common situation.

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Talking About Extremes

Do you know how to say something is super extreme?

How can you express that something is super important or super intense?

This is something that is bound to come up in conversation often, and the word that you use might actually surprise you a bit.

The word you would use to describe any of these extremes is “mother”–it may sound word but it works really well.

The phrase that you would use is “the mother of all BLANK”

What exactly does this mean?

It’s a way to say that something is super extreme or something descriptive.

This word and phrase is common because you may find yourself trying to describe extremes more than you realize.

You can see from these examples exactly how this works.

“This bakery is the mother of all delicious food.”

“We had the mother of all arguments last night.”

“This is the mother of all job interviews for me. I am so nervous!”

This is a very helpful way to add color to your English.

Instead of saying something is “Very” or “extreme” you are using a very natural phrase that makes something sound very exaggerated . 

It can be for both positive and negative situations or things.

You may find that it can also add a bit of humor to what you are saying as well.

Roleplay To Help

With a phrase like this you want to hear it at work in conversations.

There are so many different scenarios that you can use this phrase in, and so we’re going to look at a few of them.

Whenever you want to describe something extreme as you will see, this is a great phrase to choose.

You can use it about something delicious you ate or food in general.

Lindsay: “What did you eat for lunch?”

Michelle: “Oh my gosh Lindsay, I had the mother of all sandwiches today. It was turkey and brie and so delicious.”

You can use it to describe something that was harder than you thought it would be, like a test.

Michelle:” I had the mother of all tests today. I was so nervous.”

Lindsay: “Yeah? How did you do?”

Michelle: “I think fine, but boy that was hard.”

This helps to convey an extreme in a fun way, and so you may find multiple uses for it in your conversations.

Try it out and see how you can use it to talk about something extreme.

Other Ways To Say This

Though using this word in this type of situation can work well, sometimes you may want to have other options.

If you use any of these phrases, you will help to convey that something is extreme in nature.

They can all work well and convey what you are trying to say to those you are talking to.

  • Ultimate: You might hear this one a lot as it’s talking about something that is that sort of extreme. It’s almost in another category, usually in a good way. You might say “That was the ultimate dinner. Thank you. Delicious!”
  • The best of the best: This says exactly what you are trying to say in a very direct way. This is talking about something being the very best out there. This is as if you are saying there is truly nothing better. You could say  “This designer is amazing. Really, she’s the best of the best.”
  • The very worst: This is another extreme but at the lower end of the spectrum. This is of course a very negative reaction and you are trying to describe something that you feel negatively about. You might hear something like “That party was terrible. Really, it was the very worst.”

Think of the things that you may have extreme feelings about.

These phrases can help to describe your feelings and ensure that you get your point across.

When it comes to describing something extreme, these phrases help you in expressing that just perfectly.


These phrases and words all describe extremeness in some way.

You want to be sure to only use them if you’re trying to express something that is extreme.

Other language is used for more casual feelings and so this is reserved for the more extreme situations and things.

Try this phrase or others like it in conversation, and you will see that people understand the extreme nature you are talking about.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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