Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 16:16:46 -0500
From: Ditra Henry udhenry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU
Subject: Re: Your Momma -- Sexual Connotation?
On Fri, 28 Jul 1995, Tom Uharriet wrote:
Shana Walton wrote:
I also have been cautioned by Northeastern and West Coast friends
(WASP-types) that it is rude, or at least can appear nosy, to inquire after
people's mamas, as in "how's your mama and them?" People apparently don't
all bring their families into their cognitive work world. Some told me
it's rather elitist, not a sign of civil concern (as in we're all
supposed to be seen as indivduals, family-free?) to ask about people's family
backgrounds (as in "who's your mama and them"). My friends said only people
who were concerned with your pedigree would ask this question and therefore
that people will take it wrong, as if you're trying to "sniff them out." Is
I'm from Los Angeles. I've never noticed any offences by questions
about parents. But then, I don't ever remember anyone asking about
them unless they already personally knew them. On the other hand,
I've seen fights break out in response to the words, "Your Momma!"
I'm not sure, but these words may have a sexual connotation.
One person insults another.
The second responds, "F___ You!"
The first says, "Your Mother!"
Is this a California thing? I've lived in Utah for six years and
haven't heard it here once.
utom[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]admin.712.nebo.edu
Interesting that everyone picked apart this phrase yo mama and them and
took it out of context. So let's see if we can clear up the pieces and
fragmens and then let's look at the whole phrase.
First Yo Momma, in balck amercan English..etc, is the worst comment that
youcan make when you are seriously insulting someone. The intesity of
this comment can lead you to akncok down,drag out fight on the streets.
However, it is also a game of one up manship played among kids and some
adults that has been a part of Black amercan culture for as far back as
my parents go. Before there time I could'nt comment on. There usage and
my sisters were in rhyme form.
Yo momma don't wear no draws(panties). I saw her when she took'em off.
She threw'em on a railroad track. That train jumped fifty miles back!
Today, Yo momma so dumb..she thought a quaterback was a refund.
or Yo Momma so old she new burger King when he was a prince.
These are used in game form and each person gest a turn to insult the
others and who(m) ever acan make the group laugh the hardest is
understood to be the winner or the best.
It also seems to me that many cultures have insults that involve talking
about one's mother that don't seem to be in the mode of sexual
connotations but again as the worst inusl that you could put on someone.
Tu madre in Spanish. In Persian, I think you can say that someone's
mother is a Bitch. and In Morrocan I can spit on your mother. these all
seem to be derrogatory by nature and can probably get you into a fight.
NOw, to address the idea of yo momma n' dem.. this seems to be normal in
context for my Chicagolect of BAE.
How's yo momma n' nem? How is your mother and the rest of the family or
whoever lives in that house with her.
The answer might be oh-- dey jus fine. And This would not be viewed
here as prying but just as a greeting and politeness about asking how
your family is getting along.
Northeastern Illinois University
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Chicago, IL 60654