Words We're Watching

Sugar Mama

A woman, often married, who gives financial support to a lover

sugar mama slang definition

What does sugar mama mean?

Sugar mama refers to a woman, often one who is married, who gives financial support to a typically younger lover.

Where did sugar mama come from?

There is considerable semantic overlap between a sugar mama and a sugar daddy ("a well-to-do usually older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress, girlfriend, or boyfriend"). However, the terms are not synonymous; sugar mama, particularly in early use, tends to be used in reference to a married woman who is providing financial support, whereas sugar daddy is generally used without connotations of the provider's marital status.

How is sugar mama used?

There are some things that Iowa's coach, Burt Ingwersen, wouldn't even tell his mother these days and no member of the Hawkeye football squad will tell his sugar mama—if he's got one—about the things that are happening nightly on Iowa field.
Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, NE), 3 Nov. 1926

"Sugar Mamas" have much to answer for, this letter proves ... A man who would let a married woman spend her husband's money on him is worse than the lowest thief.
Greensboro Record (Greensboro, NC), 10 May 1928

Certain sugar mamma paying "Bad Boy" Bobbie Frazier's board bills; bought him a new car?
— Harry Levette, Chicago Defender, 25 Jul. 1931

A Summer avenue business man is expected to close shop next month because his "sugar mama" has definitely refused to throw any additional cash his way.
— Tommy Watkins, New York Amsterdam News, 20 Jan. 1940

I've been extremely upset, and don't think it's fair that he pays no rent, while making so much more than I do! I feel like his sugarmama!
The Winnipeg Sun (Winnipeg, Can.), 27 May 2018

Words We're Watching talks about words we are increasingly seeing in use but that have not yet met our criteria for entry.



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