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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.’

Alternative formsEdit

See alsoEdit


Last modified on 19 May 2013, at 17:39