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[mam-ee] /ˈmæm i/
noun, plural mammies.
Informal. mother1 .
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
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for mammy


noun (pl) -mies
a child's word for mother1
(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
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Word Origin and History for mammy

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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