Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What "Ah Sookie Sookie Now" Means

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents a definition of & theories about the sources of the African American colloquial expression "Ah sookie sookie now".

This post also showcases selected sound files or videos that include that expression or the phrase "suca suca". An addedum to this post also includes information about and links to the "sucu sucu" musical genre.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

Click for a related post on the meanings of the word "sukey jumps" and three "Sukey Jump" music examples.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Ah sookie sookie now" is an African American originated colloquial expression that is said in appreciation of the physical body of another person or persons.

"sookie sookie now
an expression of admiration, or satisfaction, especially in regards to the shape and beauty of a female
A beautiful girl with a tight body walks by and you look at her and say "Ahhhhhhhhhh sookie sookie, now!!"
by jojo Oct 24, 2003
Although it's less common, females can also say "Ah sookie sookie now!" in appreciation of a male's sexy physique. For instance, in the song "I Do" by the R&B/Hip Hop group Blaque, young women sing "ah sookie sookie now" in appreciation of attractive men.

Theory #1
The 1970s colloquial expression "ah sookie sookie now" has its source in the 19th century term "sukey jumps". "Sukey jumps" is a long obsolete 19th century and early 20th century African American English referent for country dance gatherings for Black folks and the fast paced dance music that was performed at those gatherings.

Those dance gatherings were named "Sukey Jumps" as a reference to the Black women ["Sukies"; "Sookies"] who would be enthusiastically dancing [jumping all around] there. The phrase "ah sookie sookie" could have evolved over a period of time from men's appreciation of the attractive females (the "Sookies") they saw.
Additional comments about the meaning/s of the referent "sukey jumps" can be found by clicking

Theory #2
The phrase "ah sookie sookie now" comes from the phrase "suca suca". "Suca" derives from the French word for sugar "sucre". Therefore, "suca suca" ("sookie sookie") means "sweet sweet". Men seeing a sexy, physically attractive female might respond with the exclamation "Sweet sweet" (as in "Sucre sucre").

The phrase "suca suca" is found in the Zap Mama recording of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian song "Iko Iko".* A sound file of that song is found below. The New Orleans, Louisiana connection between "suca suca" and "ah sookie sookie now" is reinforced by the fact that King Floyd, the singer who recorded the song "Groove Me" which begins with "ah sookie sookie now" is from New Orleans.

In previous posts [on the Mudcat Cafe Folk & Blues forum]*, I wrote that "ah sookie sookie" may have derived from the Spanish word for sugar "azucar". Hat tip to Mudcat blogger Q who pointed out that if that phrase came from any Latin language source, given the greater French influence in New Orleans, that Latin language source would have been French rather than Spanish.

*There are countless theories about the meaning/s of the phrase "iko iko" and the meanings of other words & phrases in that song. Click this page of my cocojams website for several theories about the meanings of the song "Iko Iko":

**I also previously wrote that the referent "sukey jumps" may have come from the West African (Akan language) female name "Akosua" (female born on Sunday). I now retract that theory, in large part because that name isn't pronounced the same as the word "sukey". If I'm not mistaken, the Akan pronunciation for "Akosua" is ah-KOH-su-ah.

[This isn't all the records that contain the phrase "ah sookie sookie" or similar spellings. If you know the title for other records, please add them in the comment section. Thanks!]

Example #1: Ah Sookie Sookie Now!

Abi Jenkins Published on Nov 25, 2012
This is a clip from the hit record "Groove Me" by King Floyd.

Example #2: King Floyd-Groove Me.flv

davedrummer7Uploaded on Sep 7, 2010

Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread

On this day in 1971 {January 16th} King Floyd performed "Groove Me" on the late Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand'...

Three months earlier on October 24th, 1970 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #6 and spent 20 weeks on the Top 100...

And on January 2nd, 1971 it reached #1 {for 4 non-consecutive weeks} on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart

King Floyd passed away on March 6th, 2006 at the age of 61...

R.I.P. King Floyd and Mr. Clark {1929 - 2012}...
-sauquoit13456, 2013

Example #3: Blaque - I Do

ghettoonline, Uploaded on Apr 18, 2009

- Big KRIT - Sookie Now (feat. David Banner) - Returnof4eva [Download MP3]

-Outkast's "Hootie Hoo"

WARNING: These records include the "n" word and some profanity. Also, the comments on these YouTube examples' discussion threads may contain profanity and other objectionable language.]

ADDITION: December 13, 2013
Example #4: STEPPENWOLF - Sookie Sookie 1968

SpindleRecords, Uploaded on Apr 13, 2007

Rare 1968 Live Performance

Zap Mama Iko-Iko

annathebest94, Uploaded on Aug 10, 2008
The title of Zap Mama's version of this song is also given as "Suca Mama".

"Iko Iko" is a Mardi Gras Indian song. There are countless theories about the meanings of that title and other words & phrases in that song. Click for a page about that song which is found on my cocojams cultural website.

In researching this post, I learned about the Cuban music and dance form called "sucu sucu". Could "sucu sucu" (also) be a source for the African American colloquial expression "ah sookie sookie now"?

Click for an article about "sucu sucu".

Thanks to the recording artists who are featured on this post. Thanks to those whose comments I quoted in this post, and thanks to the YouTube publishers of these sound files.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Suki Suki is a Japanese phrase, meaning to love or like some or something. Blacks also started using the term Skoch or sukoshi mean a little amount, which probably came from Black merchant marines frequenting Japan.

    Jose Greco
    Great Excuses Blog

    1. Thanks Jose for that sharing that theory. I know that its possible for a word or phrase in one language to be the same as or similar in spelling and in punctuation as a word or phrase in another language, but have different meanings.

      I'd be interested in knowing if there is any documentation for those theories that you cite.

  2. Jose is mostly correct, except for the use of these words is in no way limited to blacks and never has been. Sukoshi is particularly common in the Midwest among whites. Suki desu (好きです) and sukoshi (少し) have been in broad use by American servicemen returning from Japan and Okinawa since the end of WWII. Boondock is an example of a Filipino word that entered English in the same way, although probably earlier than the war. Incidentally, Americans almost always pronounce "suki" incorrectly. There is no stress accent on the first syllable or on any other syllable in Japanese. As for documentation, why bother? The 1% of the citizenry that bother to serve their country know this to be a fact from personal experience and simple observation. No documentation required for the same reason I know a doghouse is for housing a dog.

    1. Thanks for your comment, anonymous. I appreciate the information that mostly confirms what commenter Jose wrote.

      I understand that anecdotes are a form of documentation, but I wonder if the phrase "ah sukey sukey" was known before the end of WWII. If so, then the Japanese word "sukoshi" that Jose shared means "a little amount" may not be the source for African Americans' use of "ah sukey sukey" in various songs.

      Also, the "a little amount" meaning for "sukoshi" that Jose gave doesn't fit the meaning of "ah sukey sukey". That phrase refers to "cat calls" males might make when they see a sexually attractive woman.

      You wrote that "sukoshi is particulary common in the Midwest among whites". That's another reason why I'm not yet sold on your (and Jose's) theory that that Japanese word is the source for the phrase "ah sukey sukey".

    2. While Americans do almost always mispronounce suki, they don't pronounce it as sookey. The words look like they would be said similarly, but they aren't, and if the word did indeed come from Japan it would have traveled by speech rather than text. There's no reason in that context that Americans would make up a new word when suki already sounds so similar to a word used in English - ski. If they were saying "Ah ski ski now" then I'd think it came from Japan as that would fall in line with the other words that were borrowed (the parts that aren't very noticeable by American ears would be dropped, as in the case of sukoshi becoming skosh), but as it stands, I really don't think so. I think this is a case of two similar sounding words with similar meanings coming into usage in both America and Japan with completely separate origins - much like the word "yo" (used as a greeting in both America and Japan).

    3. Hello, s0nicfreak.

      Thanks very much for commenting.

      I agree with you that the two words suki and sookie (sukey) * "is a case of two similar sounding words with similar meanings coming into usage in both America and Japan with completely separate origins."

      *For those who may not know this, in the context of the phrase "Ah sookie sookie" (ah sukey sukey) which is used in R&B songs, the word "sookie" (sukey) rhymes with the word "lookie" which is mostly only used in "child talk".

  3. any attempts to claim ownership of this phrase by blacks is yet another attempt at afro-centrism. I have been in Japan since 1992 and have researched this throughout the years. Sorry, but this phrase belongs to the Japanese.

    1. Greetings, Jerry.

      What you are saying may indeed be true. I'm not an etymologist, but I know that there needs to be documentation for word origins. I also know that a word or phrase may sound the same or similarly and be spelled the same or similarly in different languages but have different origins and meanings.

      Best wishes.

  4. wow 1992? u must be an expert or something... anyway, the new orleans suca suca theory seems best to me, with the most documentation and closest meaning and pronunciation, as well as regional influence... probably combined over time with other influences, the least of them being the japanese one. lol. def a black phrase when used in the manner that we are speaking of: to announce approval of another person's appearance...

    1. Thanks for your comment asadULTRAwalker.

      For those reading this, your comment is at least in part a response to Jerry Carroll's comment.

      Like you, I doubt the Japanese origin of the phrase "ah sukey sukey" as used by African American males to praise an attractive woman.

  5. As a woman named Sukie, I can tell you it was originally an English nickname for Susan. It was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. I know that for a time it became a common name given to female slaves in America. Trust me, there are plenty of Sukies in the United States - just google the name and you will find out for yourself.

    1. Greetings, Sukie McCormick

      Thanks for sharing that information.

      Sometimes there's more than one origins & meanings for the same word or for the words with the same or similar sounds.

      I believe this is the case with the word/name "Sukie", particularly in the phrase "Ah suki suki!" as found in several R&B songs. In those songs, the word "suki" isn't a nickname for Susan. Instead, "Ah suki suki!" is a man's expression of admiration when he sees a woman who he considers to be physically attractive.

    2. Using proper nouns as regular nouns isn't unheard of though. We call men who buy prostitutes "Johns", or a "Becky" is a shady white girl. Saying "Sukie" towards a girl could be a similar thing.

    3. Thanks for your comment, Anonymous.

      I continue to believe that the word "suki" in the saying "Ah Suki Suki" that is found in some R&B songs is a compliment to a female regarding her sensuous appearance, and not a name or nickname.

  6. All of that is bull, at least on the Black American front. The phrase means that there is either gossip or trouble brewing.

    The best example of this is from Kim Fields' character, Regine, on "Living Single". It was her catchphrase on the show, which also references her earlier tv career, as Tootie from "The Facts of Life". Tootie's catchphrase was "Awww, you in trouble."

    I don't know where all the extra came from, but it's least on the Black hand side.

    1. Thanks for you're comment, Anonymous.

      I appreciate you adding it to this post.

      Perhaps the term "Ah suki suki" (however it is spelled) had/has more than one meaning.

      I stand by my opinion that in various songs "Ah suki suki!" is an expression of male admiration for an attractive woman.

    2. You are very close with your opinion. I am very well versed in multiple languages and can tell you folks here have confused the Japanese "Suki" with Sookie. Mostly because they are pronouncing Suki wrong. I found this blog because I had King Floyds song stuck in my head. I know I am a year out from most post but hope this helps you out.

    3. Thanks,Rob O for your comment.

      I deleted your other comment because it contained a curse word and this is a family centered blog.

      Best wishes!