Aunt Jemima

[ antjuh-mahy-muh, ahnt ]

  1. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a Black woman considered by other Black people to be subservient to or to curry favor with white people.

Origin of Aunt Jemima

First recorded in 1885–90; after the trademarked name of a brand of pancake mixes and associated products, featuring a picture of a Black female cook on the packaging

usage note For Aunt Jemima

The trademarked name and image of Aunt Jemima, as formerly used by the Quaker Oats Company on some of its products, was also the name of a stereotypical African American character in minstrel shows of the late 19th century. The product packaging, originally featuring a fat, smiling Black woman with a kerchief in her hair, was updated over the years to eliminate features associated with disrespectful racial stereotypes. Then, in 2021, the company replaced both the image and product name in a clean break from its controversial brand origin.

Words Nearby Aunt Jemima Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Aunt Jemima in a sentence

  • Mr. Greenbank is the only person who has asked me, and Aunt Jemima says no one else ever will!

  • On the contrary, Aunt Jemima might impress on her that we count on her assistance to keep the pot boiling.

  • "We must make friends with Aunt Jemima, James," was the bride's thoughtful comment on the arrival of this present.

    Kildares of Storm | Eleanor Mercein Kelly
  • And here everything came to a halt and all the troops were sent back to the barracks—(Aunt Jemima will do for the barracks).

    Kennedy Square | F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Dey wants a li'l' trimmin' roun' de aidges, but I reckon we kin make 'em do—Aunt Jemima sont 'em home dis mawnin'.

    Kennedy Square | F. Hopkinson Smith