Word of the Day – Tuesday, April 16th



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AMAH (AH-muh)

A housemaid, especially a wet nurse, in the Far East.
clues: Oriental nursemaid; Far East wet nurse; Asian nurse; Nanking nanny; Eastern nanny; Indian housemaid; Chinese nurse; Nurse from the East
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

Frequency in English language: 86604 / 86800
King Tut’s Wet Nurse

An amah is a woman employed by a family to clean, look after children, etc. This word is particularly common in East Asia and India (ayah, though, is a more common variant). It has been part of the Cantonese prevailing in Hong Kong, having a similar meaning to "maid" or "wet nurse". The more "politically correct" term for maid, instead of "amah", in recent years (since about the mid nineties), is "helper". In Taiwan and Northern China, this word, although considered slang in recent days, may even refer to any old lady in general.

Toshiusai SHARAKU1794-95 active
Hanshiro IV as Shigenoi, a wet nurse 1794
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Collection

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Amah".