Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sugar Mamas - Sweet Nicknames For Black Females

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post gives a shout out to all Black females -real or fictional -with sugar names.

Click for a companion post on "Sugar Daddies- Sweet Nicknames For Black Males."

Before I provide some information about Black females with sweet nicknames, I should clarify that I'm taking about a nickname that is either used in place of a person's name, or is attached in the front of that person's name. Those type of nicknames are more than an affectionate referent because they serve as a substitute for or an expansion of that person's name.For famous people, when someone said that nickname, you knew who she or he was referring to.

I believe that the five most common sweet nicknames -as opposed to just terms of endearment like "Sweetie"- for Black females (in no chronological order) are:

Obviously, these nicknames are also given to females who aren't Black. A shout out to those females also.

You may come up with other common sweet nicknames. If so, I'd love you to share them in the comment section of this post.

It's interesting to me that in contrast to the common usage in African American communities of the male nickname "Honeyman" (or "Honeyboy"), there's no comparative female nickname "Honeywoman" or "Honeygirl". Maybe "Honey" is the comparative nickname for females. Certainly "honey" can be used as a term of endearment for females or males. But is "Honey" by itself ever used as a male nickname? "Sugar" and modifications of that word, yes. But "Honey" without the added word "boy" or "man"? I don't think so.

That said, here's some information about real or fictitious African American females featured in this post (listed in alphabetical order)

COOKIE (Cookie Lyon) [This entry added on March 21, 2015]
"Besides [2015 American television series] "Empire's" eagerness to tackle explosive topics, another key part of the show's success has been Taraji P. Henson, who plays Lucious's ex-wife, Cookie. Henson has gained a cult following for her work on "Empire,",...

Cookie represents a hood-rat with a heart of gold who made many sacrifices to do what she thinks is right," [entertainment journalist Karu F.] Daniels continued. "She's not perfect and polished and doesn't try to be. But she, surprisingly, can be the moral center of the show.” ...
"Cookie' is also a street name for crack cocaine. ( That nickname choice on the Empire television series for a woman who served prison time for a drug charge is just one example of what I believe is the more than coincidental selection of names for that series' fictitious characters.

Click for a pancocojams post about the origins and meanings of the names of the main cast pf the Empire television series.

HONEY (Honey Daniels)
Honey is a 2003 American movie starring Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer, and Romeo. The name of the female lead character in that movie is “Honey Daniels"

PEACHES (of Peaches & Herb R&B group)
"Peaches & Herb was an American vocalist duo, once comprising Herb Fame (born October 1, 1942) and Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker (April 28, 1947 – August 13, 2005). Herb has remained a constant in "Peaches & Herb" since its creation in 1966, while six consecutive women have filled the role of "Peaches.""

SHUG (Shug Avery)
Shug is a modification of the word "sugar". Shug Avery is a fictitious female character in the novel & movie The Color Purple
"The Color Purple is an acclaimed 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker. It received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture."

""Sweet Mama Stringbean" was the name that attached itself to teenaged Ethel Waters when she started singing in nightclubs back in 1913."

"Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. She frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although she began her career in the 1920s singing blues."

One Act Play: "Sweet Mama Stringbean"
"Born in poverty, Ethel [Waters] was one of the greatest artists of her generation. She was the first Black woman to sing on the radio, the first to headline a show at New York's Palace Theatre and the first to star in a dramatic play on Broadway. In her later years, Waters was nominated for two Academy Awards."

FEATURED VIDEOS [Format Updated on January 24, 2014]

Here are five videos for my and your viewing and listening pleasure.

This video of the Four Tops song that epitomizes for me the subject of sweet female names:

The four tops - I can't help myself - Live HQ

bol2funk, Uploaded on Feb 25, 2008

classic soul

Here's a Peaches & Herb video featuring Herb Fame and Linda Greene as Peaches:

Peaches & Herb - Reunited

Paulo Baltar, Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

Although this song doesn't refer to being sweet, it is sung by "Sweet Mama String bean", Ethel Walters:

Ethel Waters Sings: I Ain't Gonna Sin No More

perfectjazz78, Uploaded on Apr 8, 2010

This 1934 clip features Ethel Waters and the Beale Street Boys singing "I Ain't Gonna Sin No More" Announced by Edmund Lowe. Gus Arnheim and his Orchestra perform in the background.
Also, click this link for a clip of Ethel Waters in the 1929 film "On With the Show":
Ethel Waters - Am I Blue-1929 Film

Using the definition of nicknames as a substitute or for or appendage on one's name, the word "Azucar!" (Sugar) technically wasn't the nickname of the Queen Of Salsa, Celia Cruz. Yet, the call "Azucar!" was definitely associated with Celia Cruz, and when Salsa fans heard or saw that word, they associated it with that star. For that reason, I'm featuring a video of Celia Cruz in this post:

Celia Cruz - Contrapunto Musical

Uploaded by CeliaCruzVEVO on Oct 24, 2009

Music video by Celia Cruz performing Contrapunto Musical. (C) 2000 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

And just because I really like, here's a video of Muddy Waters:

Muddy Waters - "Honey Bee"

myBeatclub Published on Apr 25, 2013

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