Amah (mother)

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Amah is a term for "mother" in several different languages and contexts.

Amah is the Mosuo term for mother.[1] In Mosuo, the word ammah or anmah means "mother", and ayah has an identical meaning in the Okinawan dialect.[2]

Another similar word is ima (אמא, pronounced /ˈimä/), the Hebrew word for "mother".

In Chinese, amah ("grandmother") is often used as an equivalent of the English word "nanny"—the term does not refer to a wet nurse or a servant, but rather, like a nanny, a "friend" who helps a family to raise a child. This is a common profession in China.

During the T'ang dynasty in China, the word Amah was used as an informal and poetic title for the Taoist goddess Queen Mother of the West.


  1. ^ It is used in this way in Yang Erche Namu's memoir Leaving Mother Lake.
  2. ^ See Ryukyu Island for more information about Okinawa.

See also[edit]