baby mama

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

African American Vernacular English (General American would be baby's mama), 1990s, popularized 2000s.[1][2] Possibly from or influenced by same term in Jamaican English, from Jamaican Creole baby-mother (pregnant woman) (1966),[2] alternatively due simply to grammatical similarities between AAVE and Jamaican Creole.[1]

Noun[edit]

baby mama (plural baby mamas)

  1. (US, slang) Mother of child in common, particularly unmarried.
    • 2008, Ebony Vol. 63, No. 8, Sidestepping Baby Mama Drama - Jun 2008, page 154
      For men who must deal with these situations and others like them, the result is what has now been deemed as "baby-mama drama."
    She's not his girlfriend now, but she's one of his baby mamas.

Usage notes[edit]

Contentious usage – sometimes used neutrally as a casual term, regardless of marriage status, particularly in the tabloid press,[2] or as a term of endearment. Often considered pejorative, particularly if applied to unmarried black parents – if used by one parent of the other, can imply “child in common but no meaningful relationship”, while if used by outsiders, can imply disapproval of children born out of wedlock; see citations.[3] More formal variants include “baby’s mama” and “baby’s mother”; in formal usage “mother of one’s child” is preferred. Similar considerations apply to baby daddy.

Related terms[edit]

Quotations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "What did Joe Louis have to tell us about Tina Fey?" on Language Log, December 10, 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Where Do "Baby-Daddies" Come From? The origins of the phrase. by Julia Turner, Slate, posted Sunday, May 7, 2006.
  3. ^ Was It a Slur?”, by Tobin Harshaw, New York Times, June 12, 2008