Mobile Banner


moral codes


mores = Sitten, Gebräuche, Gepflogenheiten, Konventionen, Sittenkodex (traditionelle) Lebensweise — working-class mores = Lebensweise der Arbeiterklasse



“Viewers get to enjoy the nostalgic schadenfreude and voyeurism of reliving scandals from yesteryear, but in an intellectual way that both deconstructs media coverage and social MORES that have already shifted in just over a decade.”

Colby Hall — MediaITE (23rd February 2024)

Did you

plural noun

- the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a society or community

The Cambridge Dictionary


The noun "mores" in English was borrowed directly from the Latin plural mores, derived from the singular Latin mos referring to customs, manners, morals and accepted behaviour within a society or culture. The earliest recorded use of "mores" in English dates back to the mid-1600s.


"Mores" is a word you really need to have heard spoken. Its near-homograph, “moors” meaning Mauren, has a different pronunciation and is much more common.

The standard pronunciation of mores has two syllables, and the second can be either \ayz\ or \eez\. Just don't pronounce it with only one syllable as \morz\ meaning Mauren.


Here are a few examples of "good-luck" mores practised around the world:

- INDIA = Baby Tossing
In rural Maharashtra and Karnataka, Hindus and Muslims partake in baby tossing, a custom where infants are dropped from heights of 30 to 50 feet. In this ritual, a priest shakes the baby a few times and then drops it down 30 to 50 feet from a mosque or shrine — a group of men are standing below holding a sheet for the safe landing of the baby. Celebrated in early December, this ancient practice is believed to ensure the infants' healthy and prosperous future.

- SCOTLAND = Blackening of the Bride
A pre-wedding ritual, normally carried out the day before a wedding, in Orkney, Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Fife. The future bride or bridegroom are seized by friends and covered in soot, treacle, flour and feathers — then put on top of a pick-up truck and driven around to the sound of horns and claxons. This pre-wedding tradition is believed to bring good luck and fortitude for the couple’s marriage.

- FINLAND = Wife-Carrying
In Finland, the wife-carrying contest sees male competitors race through obstacles while carrying their female partners. Several types of carrying may be practised: either a classic piggyback, a fireman's carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style (wife upside-down on his back with her legs over the neck and shoulders). This quirky tradition, now popular worldwide, is believed to bring good fortune and strengthen marital bonds.


accepted standards, age-old observances, behavioural codes, ceremonies, codes of conduct, cultural practices, customs, dogmas, ethical guidelines, folkways, ingrained habits, moral/social codes (conventions, customs, legacies, principles), MORES, norms, prescribed conduct, societal expectations, traditional beliefs, unwritten laws (rules), venerated practices (rituals), ways of life

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation, say something like:

“The MORES of some other cultures are as incomprehensible to us, as ours are to them.”

THANKS to Johannes for suggesting today's word.

Why Support OWAD?

On evenings and weekends, I research and write your daily OWAD newsletter together with Helga (my lovely wife and business partner) and our eagle-eyed daughter Jennifer. It remains FREE, AD-FREE, and ALIVE thanks to voluntary donations from appreciative readers.

If you aren’t already, please consider supporting us — even a small donation, equivalent to just 1-cup-of-coffee a month, would help us in covering expenses for mailing, site-hosting, maintenance, and service.

Just head over to DonorBox:


Bank transfer:
Paul Smith
IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

Important: please state as ‘Verwendungszweck’: “OWAD donation” and the email address used to subscribe to OWAD.

Thanks so much,

Paul Smith


More Word Quizzes: