21 Black Mama Sayings That We All Grew Up Hearing

Children of black mothers be knowing.

Mother and son.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Georgia Kuhn

| May 11 2019,

10:54 pm

No nonsense black mamas have a language of their own, and anybody who was raised by one will recognize it instantly. While I resent the idea that all black women are snappy and quick to anger, I do admit that we usually don't take kindly to disrespect. It starts at home with our mothers and from the time we are young, they have a series of sayings we hear well into our adult years. I'm sure if you're a mother now, you may find yourself saying the same things your mother said to you.

Here are 21 black mama sayings that I'm sure we've all heard at some point.

1. "I'm not one of your little friends."

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Black mamas love reminding you that they're the mama and not your friend, so act accordingly.

2. "Do I look like booboo the fool?"

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This is a rhetorical question. The answer is always no.


3. "A hard head makes a soft behind."

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When she says this, your best bet is just to straighten up before she tells you to go get the belt.


4. "First of all, check your tone."

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Usually followed by, "Oh! You got an attitude?!" Don't argue, even if you feel like you didn't have a tone or an attitude. Just be quiet.


5. "Stop all that crying before I give you something to cry about."

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At this point, she has probably already given you something to cry about, hence why you're crying. However, suck your tears up until she leaves the room, then quietly cry into a pillow. Quietly is the key word here. 


6. "You got McDonald's money?"

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I don't know what it is with black mamas and McDonald's, but they don't like to stop unless it's their idea. Even if you have McDonald's money, she probably isn't going to feel like stopping. Usually followed by, "We got food at the house." There may or may not actually be food at the house.


7. "Don't you get in trouble following behind them white kids."

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This is a conversation every black mama has had with their children at some point, when they begin doing foolish things under the influence of their white friends. She will usually follow up with the explanation of, "They won't get in trouble. You will." If you didn't have white friends growing up, substitute "white kids" with "lil' friends."


8. "I hope you know that school work like you know them songs."

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You know lyrics, but not algebra? How dare you. The root of all your problems is also the fact that you're always on that phone.


9. "You smellin' yourself."

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This is usually said by black mamas when you begin to think you're too cute or too good for your own good. It's a warning to humble yourself before she humbles you.


10. "When we get in this store, don't touch nothin'."

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Don't ask for nothin' either. Because it's going to be a big, fat NO.


11. "Fix your face."

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You probably have a look on your face showing emotions of being upset, that could be interpreted as disrespect. Go ahead and fix that before she threatens to fix it for you.


12. "I don't care what _______'s mama does. I'm not _______'s mama"

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And they aren't her child, you are. So using the argument of what someone else's parents allow is a dead end conversation.


13. "Keep playing and see what happens."

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Another warning call of black mamas.

Once again, just please stop playing with her because no one wants to see what happens next.


14. "Is that your lil' friend?"

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No one is your girlfriend or boyfriend, they're always your "lil' friend."


15. "Didn't I tell you..."

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Maybe said through clenched teeth and usually in reference to something she told you "fifty-eleven" times. FYI, "I forgot" is not an acceptable answer.


16. "Don't let your mouth write a check your ass can't cash."

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Another warning call of black mamas, especially older ones.

This time, it may not be in reference to playing with her, but whatever it is you're doing. Don't let your mouth get you in trouble.


17. "Stop running in and out of my house."

You're most likely are letting her cold air out and slamming her door. The nerve of you when you don't pay any bills in her house.


18. "You smell like outside."

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The smell of outside is highly offensive to black mothers everywhere. Either go back outside or take a shower.


19. "I brought you in this world, and I can take you out."

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Another warning call of black mothers, and at this point, you've probably really pissed her off. Go ahead and shut up. Apologize too.


20. "Go sit down somewhere."

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Black mamas always want you to sit down somewhere. If she's on the phone, if you're in the house or if you're out in public, just go sit down.


21. "If someone hits you first, you hit them back."

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Even though the teacher at school may have told you to tell them if someone hits you, listen to your mother. If you don't, she may follow up with, "You fight them, or you fight me." Fighting her is not the correct answer. It all goes back to respect. Even though black mamas don't like to be disrespected, they don't want their babies disrespected either.


What are some sayings your mother has said? Let us know in the comments!





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