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The word comes from the Yiddish bubbe meaning grandmother and is German in origin AFAIK. The second part I can explain more precisely. It comes from the Hebrew origin word ma'aseh מעשה meaning activity. In Rabbinic literature, anecdotes are often introduced by "action of" an important person. The word morphed into meaning an anecdote or tale and took on a connotation of being doubtful. 19:38, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Not quite right; באָבע(bobe) is actually Slavic in origin. I'm not exactly sure of the semantic path of the second element, but I believe it actually took on that meaning within Hebrew. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:26, 10 January 2016 (UTC)