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An amah or ayah (simplified Chinese: 阿嬷; traditional Chinese: 阿嬤; pinyin: ā mó, Portuguese: ama, German: Amme, Medieval Latin: amma; or ayah Hindi: āyā, Portuguese: aia, Latin: avia, Tagalog: yaya) is a girl or woman employed by a family to clean and look after children etc. It is a domestic servant role which combines functions of maid and nanny. The term, resembling the pronunciation for "mother", is considered as polite and respectful in the Chinese language when it is used to refer to a maid. They may often be required by employers to wear a uniform.
This word is common in East Asia and India (although ayah is a more common variant in India). Since the mid-1990s, it has become more politically correct to call such a person a 'helper' rather than a maid or ayah. In Taiwan and China, amah may even refer to any old lady in general. Similar term in the same context includes ah-yee (Aunt), yee-yee (aunt), or jie-jie (elder sister).