Last modified on 19 May 2013, at 17:39


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From Portuguese ama, from Medieval Latin amma, perhaps an alteration of mamma, of imitative origin, or from Ancient Greek.


amah (plural amahs)

  1. A woman employed to look after children in India; a wet nurse.
  2. A maid in China and other parts of Asia.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 20:
      Then one day he disappeared and when Luke called apprehensively at his apartment the old amah told him that ‘Whisky Papa runrun London fastee.’

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