Mama Used To Say: Wit and Wisdom from Our Black Mothers

Just when mothers think kids aren’t listening, they are. In fact, they’ve remembered lessons likely taught by their mother’s mother. Some may be coined, many curated. But whether wise, witty or downright funny, a mother’s words are not lost on their children.

Don’t follow no man nowhere.

Meaning: Don’t let a man deter you from your own path.

A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.

Meaning: Speak up. Ask for what you want or you surely won’t get it.

Now that’s too much sugar for a nickel.

Meaning: Too good to be true.

A Black woman birthed all y’all.

Meaning: Act accordingly.

Don’t ever let anyone have intercourse with your money.

Meaning: Don’t let people play with your cash.

There are no U-hauls on the back of hearses, honey!

Meaning: You can’t take it with you.

You got McDonald’s money?

Meaning: You don’t, so your ass is staying home and you’re eating what she’s cooking for you.

All money, ain’t good money.

Meaning: Be mindful of how you get your money and who gives it you.

You can’t reason with the unreasonable.

Meaning: Don’t bother with folks who don’t have good sense.

Just because it pops in your head, don’t mean it needs to pop out your mouth!

Meaning: Think before you speak.

Be mindful of the company you keep.

Meaning: Surround yourself with people who mean you well.

You can’t take back 3 things: time, lost opportunity and the spoken word.

Meaning: Be mindful of what you do, when you do it and what you say.

That child been here before.

Meaning: Wise child with an old soul

That dog won’t hunt.

Meaning: Not a good idea or plan.

Never leave the house without your lipstick on.

Meaning: Always look good when you go out.

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