An amah or ayah (simplified Chinese: 阿嬷; traditional Chinese: 阿嬤; pinyin: ā mā, Portuguese: ama, German: Amme, Medieval Latin: amma; or ayah, Portuguese: aia, Latin: avia, Tagalog: yaya) is a girl or woman employed by a family to clean, look after children, and perform other domestic tasks.
The word amah may have originated from the Portuguese ama meaning "nurse". Some however argued that it is the English form of the Chinese word ah mah (ah is a common Chinese prefix, and mah means "little mother"), while others say that it originated as nai mah (wet nurse in Chinese, literally "milk mother"). This word is common in East Asia, South East Asia and India to denote a maidservant or nursemaid.
Variants such as Amah-chieh or mahjeh (chieh or jeh means elder sister in Chinese dialects) have also been used in some countries. In China, amah may even refer to any old lady in general. In Taiwan and southeastern China where the Minnan language is spoken, amah refers to the paternal grandmother. Similar terms in the same context includes ah-yee (Aunt), yee-yee (aunt), or jie-jie (elder sister). Since the mid-1990s, it has become more politically correct in some circles to call such a person a 'helper' rather than a maid or ayah.
Amah may refer to:
Amah, a unit of measurement described in the Bible (See Biblical and Talmudic units of measurement.)
Amah (mother), a term for "mother" in several contexts
Amah (occupation), the Chinese or south Asian term for a girl or woman employed as a domestic servant
Amah, an informal and poetic title for the Taoist goddess, the Queen Mother of the West, during the T'ang dynasty in China
Amah Rock, a rock located on a hilltop in southwest Sha Tin, Hong KongAmah (term)
Amah (阿媽, Ama) is a term for "mother" in several different languages and contexts, see mama and papa. It has also become a term for the job of a combined nanny and housemaid.
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 a "friend" who helps a family to raise a child. This is a common occupation 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.
Amah is the Mosuo term for mother. In Mosuo, the word ammah or anmah means "mother".
It is a specific Hokkien honorific.Amah Rock
Amah Rock (Chinese: 望夫石,Mong Fu Shek, lit. "the stone gazing out for her husband") is a naturally shaped rock located on a hilltop in southwest Sha Tin District, Hong Kong.Ayah (disambiguation)
Ayah may refer to:
Ayah, a verse of the Qur'an
Ayah or Amah (occupation), a domestic servant
Paul Abine Ayah (21st century), member of the National Assembly of Cameroon
Princess Ayah bint Al Faisal (born 1990), Jordanian princess
Ayah Marar (born 1980), singer
Ayah () meant "nanny" in India during the colonial period