Meaning of mama-san in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmaməsan/


  • (in Japan and East Asia) a woman in a position of authority, especially one in charge of a geisha house or bar.

    ‘At night, Namie acted as a mama-san for Reiko, introducing her to boys from other private schools and letting them go off on their own.’
    • ‘From the age of 18, she's been a mama-san at three clubs, one being in Tokyo's posh Ginza district.’
    • ‘While he was doing that, I looked at the guard shack where the mama-sans used to get checked in and out.’
    • ‘He refused to speak to the mama-sans because his parents told him not to talk to any girls while he was overseas.’
    • ‘You can drink alone but in the end the mama-sans always win.’


Japanese, from mama ‘mother’ + -san.