[ mam-ee ]
/ ˈmæm i /
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noun, plural mam·mies.
Disparaging and Offensive. (formerly in the southern United States) a Black woman engaged to take care of white children or as a servant to a white family.
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usage note for mammy
At the time of the Civil War and into the 20th century, the mammy was characterized as being strong, kind, and loyal. But her image was also that of an overweight, unattractive, and often illiterate enslaved household servant. This reinforced the association of this designation with racial stereotypes of inferiority and abject submissiveness. See also Aunt Jemima.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use mammy in a sentence
We all had our black mammies—they treated us as if we were their own babies.The Soul of John Brown|Stephen Graham
I should do; I fancy I've—I awd say it's what gentlemen aften are unless their mammies whipped 'em as lads.Bob, Son of Battle|Alfred Ollivant
And the real old uncles with white hair and the mammies with their heads tied up they said reminded them of "Aunty Bellum days."The Annals of Ann|Kate Trimble Sharber
These are what the mammies wear, she said arranging one of the kerchiefs about the lads head turbanwise.Peggy Owen at Yorktown|Lucy Foster Madison
Colored mammies rushed here and there seeking their charges.The Moving Picture Girls in War Plays|Laura Lee Hope
British Dictionary definitions for mammy
/ (ˈmæmɪ) /
noun plural -mies
a child's word for mother 1
mainly Southern US a Black woman employed as a nurse or servant to a White family
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012