Expressão Idiomática – “Mama Bear”

Expressão Idiomática - Mama bear
Do you know what does mama bear mean?

Approaching Mother’s Day here in Brazil and other countries around the world, we start to think about expressions commonly used in our everyday life related to our mothers in English. Today I would like to share one expression that depending on the context it may have 4 different translations or meanings.

One more time I have to say that sometimes we learn much more with only one or two words rather than with a long list full of verbs and unique words.

This expression is called “mama bear“. Although I believe you will be turned into translating it as “mãe urso” in Portuguese, make sure that this expression has nothing to do with Urso in English as you will see in the examples below.

Also, the idea of writing this tip in English is so that you can take faster and better how those expressions are used and put it into practice perfectly.

The use of “mama bear”

– We can use “mama bear” as an adjective with the meaning of “just right, calm, without a problem”. Let’s see one example to understand it better.

  • Tell Tom it’s mama bear in here. – Diga ao Tom que está tudo ok/certo/tranquilo aqui.

– To explain the other meaning or context where the expression mama bear is used, I will make use of the Urban Dictionary explanation:

In its words, “mama bear” is: someone who takes it upon themselves to take care of others while drunk. Often has good intentions, and is the most in control of themselves. However, it is not always appreciated by everybody else. May try to take over drinking games without knowing the rules.

They can occasionally be cocky; often just as drunk as those around them but unwilling to admit it or to just give it a rest and submit to the same stupid behavior. Often will lead the group on the drunken walk back home from a party. In extreme cases, maybe even drunker than everyone else, but still convinced they are in a position to take care of their friends.

Veja mais exemplos no site Urban Dictionary

As you can see from the explanation above, in this situation, the expression mama bear is used for that person who can take care of their friends when going out but that sometimes it might not be the proper person to do so.


“Why is he trying to carry Elliot?”

“Ahh, he’s just being the mama bear again.”

“You know what, I don’t think you need any more to drink. Why don’t you go sit down.”

“I’m fine, mama bear. Go play some pong.”

“You guys okay back there? Need any help? How we doin’?”

“Damn, let’s get home fast so mama bear doesn’t have a hernia.”

– Sometimes a mother can be more than just protective, doing extreme things for their child or herself. It may be aggressive and tough with others and people she feels threatened. This kind of mother is also called “mama bear” in English.

  • Susan is the kind of mother who does everything for her child. Definitely a mama bear.

I’d like to make clear that the meaning above it is a little bit different from our “Mãe Coruja”, commonly used here in Brazil. To learn how to say Mãe Coruja in English, check this English tip out.

I believe that’s all for today folks. I hope you have enjoyed today’s tip. Comments or suggestions, please, let in the comments area below.

Cya next tip! =)

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