baba

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Contents

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

As one of the first utterances many babies are able to say, baba (like mama, papa, and dada) has come to be used in many languages as a term for various family members:

  • father: Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Yoruba
  • grandmother: many Slavic language (such as Bulgarian, Russian and Polish), Yiddish, Japanese
  • baby: Afrikaans, Sinhala

These terms often continue to be used by English speakers whose families came from one of these cultures. In some cases, they may become more widely used in localities that have been heavily influenced by an immigrant community. Some senses were extensions of one of these family terms in the original languages ("old woman" from "grandmother", "holy man" from "father"). The "cake" sense comes through French, from Polish baba (old woman). The Middle Eastern word baba (as in Ali Baba) is rather a term of endearment, and is ultimately derived from Persian بابا (bābā, father) (from Old Persian pāpa; as opposed to the Arabic words ابو (’ábu) and أب (’ab), as well as the Turkish word ata; see also Papak) , and is linguistically related to the common European word papa and the word pope, having the same Indo-European origin.

Noun[edit]

baba (plural babas)

  1. A kind of sponge cake soaked in rum-flavoured syrup.
  2. (esp. among people of East European ancestry) A grandmother.
    • 1993, Karen Dubinsky, Improper Advances: Rape and Heterosexual Conflict in Ontario, 1880-1929, University of Chicago Press
      My baba, Ksenia Dubinsky, tells me that my education makes her proud.
    • 2001, Brattleboro Remembers, edited by the Brattleboro [Vermont] Historical Society, Arcadia Publishing
      I walked first for my grandmother, and my mother was sorry she had missed my first steps. My Baba was so proud, my mother later told me.
    • 2004, A Woman's Europe: True Stories, edited by MaryBeth Bond
      As we made eye contact, I slowly began to wonder if she was Baba. I did not know my grandmother though I'd spoken with her several times on the telephone;
  3. An old woman, especially a traditional old woman from an eastern European culture.
    • 1914, Russell Sage Foundation, Wage-earning Pittsburgh
      Only two women, typical "babas" (peasant women) in the house from which I got my quilt and bedcloth, could be coaxed to pose;
    • 1986, Janice Kulyk Keefer, The Paris-Napoli Express
      Laura hadn't known that anyone's mother could look like that, like the babas you sometimes saw downtown, bandaged in kerchiefs and aprons, sitting toothless in stockinged feet on small verandahs, peeling potatoes or beets or just shaking their heads and grimacing.
    • 2003, Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets, edited by Colin Michael Hall and Liz Sharples
      According to some, new volunteers are becoming more difficult to recruit and there are dark suggestions that 'money is being made on the backs of the babas', the dedicated, but ageing ladies who still spend countless hours of their time preparing foodstuffs for the occasion.
  4. (esp. among people of Indian ancestry) A father.
    • 1849, Edward Bulwer Lytton, The Caxtons
      The first time I signed my exercise I wrote "Pisistratus Caxton" in my best round-hand. "And dey call your baba a scholar!" said the Doctor, contemptuously.
    • 1998, Mulan (movie)
      "The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter. I've missed you so." "I've missed you too, baba."
    • 2002, Bend It Like Beckham (movie)
      Okay. Okay. Fine, baba. Let's just do it before something else goes wrong.
    • 2003, House of Sand and Fog (movie)
      "Do not be disrespectful, son. Look at me." "Baba, were you a Savaki?"
  5. (Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism) A holy man, a spiritual leader.
    • 1995, Hugh J.M. Johnston and Tara Singh Bains, The Four Quarters of the Night: The Life-Journey of an Emigrant Sikh
      While I was in Port Alberni, three babas came to Canada to raise money ...
    • 2004, Andrew Robinson, Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye: The Biography of a Master Film-Maker
      But according to Ray, 'all the babas my uncle knew were genuine. None of them was exposed. They were fairly humble people, not show-offs like the Maharishi ...
    • 2006, Suraiya Faroqhi, Subjects Of The Sultan: Culture And Daily Life In The Ottoman Empire
      Most babas had little contact with written culture and are not therefore named in books and treatises.
  6. (India, dated) A baby, child.
    • 1876, Sir George Otto Trevelyan, The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay
      That is to say, if I do not take care, I shall go on calling my darling 'Baba' till she is as old as her mamma, and has a dozen Babas of her own.
    • 1904, Rudyard Kipling, Traffics and Discoveries
      For my child is dead--my baba is dead!
  7. In baby talk, often used for a variety of words beginning with b, such as bottle or blanket.
    • 2004, House (TV, episode 1.14)
      Oh, it's storytime! Let me get my baba.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

External links[edit]


Afrikaans[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba (plural babas)

  1. father

Verb[edit]

baba (present baba, present participle babaende, past participle gebaba)

  1. to treat with gentle care, to coddle

Albanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ottoman Turkish بابا (baba)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba m (definite singular babi, definite plural baballarë)

  1. father

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Crimean Tatar[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba

  1. father
  2. dad

Declension[edit]


Czech[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Noun[edit]

baba f

  1. crone, hag
  2. coward, milksop

Related terms[edit]


Finnish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Hyphenation: ba‧ba

Noun[edit]

baba

  1. Baba, babka, a type of cake.

Declension[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Polish baba, introduced in France in the eighteenth century at the court of Stanisław Leszczyński, king of Poland, duke of Lorraine and father-in-law of Louis XV.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba m (plural babas)

  1. baba (type of cake)

References[edit]

External links[edit]


German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A link of the term with the American bye-bye is possible but not certain.

Interjection[edit]

baba

  1. (informal, chiefly in Austria) see you, so long

Usage notes[edit]

  • In Austria, especially East Austria, baba is the most commonly used informal term for saying "goodbye".

Hiligaynon[edit]

Noun[edit]

bába and bâbâ

  1. mouth

Hungarian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbɒbɒ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ba‧ba

Noun[edit]

baba (plural babák)

  1. doll
  2. baby (very young child)

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Romanization[edit]

baba

  1. rōmaji reading of ばば

Lower Sorbian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Noun[edit]

baba f

  1. midwife
  2. old woman
  3. woman
  4. sponge cake

Luo[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba

  1. father

Malay[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Voiced bapa.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba

  1. father (male parent)

Synonyms[edit]


Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Noun[edit]

baba f

  1. (pejorative) old woman, woman
Declension[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba m

  1. baba (a holy man, a spiritual leader)
Declension[edit]

External links[edit]

  • baba” in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the hypothetical Latin word *baba.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba f (plural babas)

  1. drool, dribble

See also[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba f (singular, nominative/accusative, definite form of babă)

  1. the old woman

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /bâba/
  • Hyphenation: ba‧ba

Noun[edit]

bȁba f (Cyrillic spelling ба̏ба)

  1. grandmother
  2. granny, grandma
  3. (usually pejorative) old woman
  4. (pejorative) female person

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • baba” in Hrvatski jezični portal

Shona[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba

  1. father

Slovak[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Noun[edit]

baba f

  1. (colloquial) old woman
  2. (colloquial) midwife

Slovene[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bába f (genitive bábe, nominative plural bábe)

  1. old woman, hag

Declension[edit]


Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the hypothesized Latin *baba.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba f (plural babas)

  1. drool, dribble
    La chacha lavaba, y mientras lavaba, la baba se le caía — The maid washed, and as she washed, she drooled. (classroom example of b/v use)

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


Swahili[edit]

Noun[edit]

baba (n class, plural baba)

  1. father (male parent)

Coordinate terms[edit]


Tagalog[edit]

Adverb[edit]

baba

  1. low

Noun[edit]

baba

  1. chin

Verb[edit]

baba

  1. to descend

Turkish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /bɑˈbɑ/
  • Hyphenation: ba‧ba

Noun[edit]

baba (definite accusative babayı, plural babalar)

  1. father
  2. Saint (as in Gül Baba)

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Upper Sorbian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Slavic *baba.

Noun[edit]

baba f

  1. old woman, grandmother
  2. midwife
  3. dough, pastry
  4. pelican (bird)