mammy









mammy


mammy [mam-ee] ExamplesWord Origin noun, plural mam·mies.

  1. Informal. mother1.
  2. Disparaging and Offensive. (formerly in the southern U.S.) a black woman engaged as a nurse to white children or as a servant to a white family.

Origin of mammy First recorded in 1515–25; mamm(a)1 + -y2 Usage note At the time of the Civil War and into the 20th century, the Southern mammy was characterized as being strong, kind, and loyal. But her image was also that of an overweight, unattractive, and often illiterate household slave. This reinforced racial stereotypes of inferiority and servility. See also Aunt Jemima. Examples from the Web for mammies Historical Examples of mammies

  • De chillun’s mammies, dey would come in from de fields about three times er day to let de babies suck.

    Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume II, Arkansas Narratives, Part 2

    Work Projects Administration

  • Dey had a separate house for ’em, and a granny ‘oman who didn’t have nothin’ else to do but look atter colored babies and mammies.

    Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume IV, Georgia Narratives, Part 1

    Work Projects Administration

  • I am a southern man, born and reared mid slavery, and I pay this tribute to the black “mammies” of the South before the war.

    Wit, Humor, Reason, Rhetoric, Prose, Poetry and Story Woven into Eight Popular Lectures

    George W. Bain

  • Where there were Negro mammies, white children were likely to be haunted in the night by fear of ghosts.

    Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest

    J. Frank Dobie

  • The black boys were shipped off to their mammies and I fear received their full share of “the condign.”

    The Long Hillside

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • British Dictionary definitions for mammies mammy mammie noun plural -mies

    1. a child’s word for mother 1
    2. mainly Southern US a Black woman employed as a nurse or servant to a White family

    Word Origin and History for mammies mammy n.

    1520s, diminutive of mam (see mamma). Meaning “black woman having the care of white children” is by 1837, Southern U.S. dialect, variant of mamma.

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