The Power of the “Mami”

by Migdalia Rivera

After yesterday’s post, I was asked what’s the difference between a “Mom” and a “Mami”. If you’re looking for a literal translation there is no difference. However, in real world translation, there is a HUGE difference. Mom is what you hear when you have children, while “Mami” is what men in the Puerto Rican culture call you when they find you attractive.

Let’s analyse this a little further with some “scientific” findings. I bring to you Exhibit A,  “The King of Queens: Season 7 Episode 15, titled “Deconstructing Carrie”. Said episode was originally shown on national television on Wednesday March 2nd, 2005.

As this is a very serious matter, I must first give you a little background on the characters: Carrie, Doug and … the Construction Workers. Carrie is a beautiful, vivacious, working class married woman, aged 35. Doug is a doting husband with a heart of gold. The construction workers, blue collar men, have unknown rights to the word “Mami” and variations thereof.

Carrie appears to have hit a midlife crisis; as a result, she begins to feel unattractive. Doug, a NOT very typical husband, decides to boost her ego by paying several construction workers to yell out catcalls to his wife, Carrie, as she walks down their street. One worker, knowing the power of the “Mami” yells out  “Wepa Mamita shake those maracas!” (Translation: Wow Sexy shake those ummm maracas!). Notice the word “Mamita”, an extended version of “Mami”, and the effect it has on this working class woman. The use of the word causes her to feel beautiful, sexy and inspired to please her husband!

That my readers is the proven difference between Mommy and Mami! I rest my case and exclaim “Power to the “Mami”!


Click HERE to see a portion of the above referenced episode. You can hear the construction worker exclaim “Wepa mamita! Shake those maracas” at 7:26. Enjoy!


Disclaimer:  This post is NOT intended to condone sexual harrassment or degradation of women.

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

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