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.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Theresa January 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Great explanation..my gringa griends always laugh when my husband..(AKA )papi calls me mami…I’ have to forward this to them..by the way ..I am enjoy your blog..

2 Sabrina January 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Big “King of Queens” fan. Love the way you illustrated the real word translation using that episode. Hysterical!

3 Rachel January 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm


I am also a HUGE fan of the sitcom The King of Queens! I remember that episode so well…its as always, hillarious! Great explanation MsLatina!

Still a Mami,

4 Rachel January 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm

FYI: The Contsruction Woker who yelled out that line is Carrie’s husband in real life!

5 Lisa January 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I remember that episode too. That show is so funny!!

6 Mommy Kennedy January 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

So happy you explained the difference. I wasn’t so sure myself!

7 Ms. Latina January 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

@Theresa @Sabrina & @Rachel: I thought that episode was the perfect explanatioon too and yup I’m a huge King of Queens fan too!
@Rachel: I didn’t knw the construction worker was her husband! Going to look at it again now!

8 Rachel January 12, 2010 at 11:32 am


Angelo is on many episodes… I even think her daughter was in the last season too, once I think.



9 betty rood January 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm

no clue until now! thank you…..;)

10 Kristi February 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Funny post! lol You go Mami! :)

11 MARY March 26, 2010 at 9:15 am

A very interesting and funny post. How can you do this? Everytime I go to your blog I get amazed of all the things you say on them. When I was reading this post it really remind me of some of my friends that used to say things like this to a woman and next thing you know they got slap for being fresh…. lol. Also in my house I call my boys and husband PAPI and next thing you know they all answer at the same time…lol.

12 Tamara B. April 3, 2010 at 11:15 am

I love watching that show! You have the best posts!

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