Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 23:17:58 -0400
From: BARBARA HILL HUDSON BHHUDSON[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GROVE.IUP.EDU
Subject: Re: Your Momma -- Sexual Connotation?
In reference to the use of yo' mama
I agree that the term is shorthand for a longer insult about the person's
mother. In New Jersey and in Chicago where I grew up, it was part of a game
called the dozens which consisted of making derogatory remarks about family
members (especially, but not exclusively the mother). Many of the insults were
in form of rhymes and children would start the game by reciting...
Now I don't play the dozens cause the dozens too bad
But I can tell you how many children you mama done had
In any case for most of the children who went to school with me "Yo mama" was
often seen as fighting words, but sometimes the term was used when someone was
acting smart. For example if asked who was buried in Grant's tomb, some smart
a-- would say, "Yo mama." Boys engaged in this kind of play more than girls
did, and when the verbal deuling was friendly, the insults were hyperbolic, but
nonsensical (yo mama wears combat boots).
Barbara Hill Hudson
BHHudson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]grove.iup.edu