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See also: babcią



From Polish babcia.


babcia (plural babcias)

  1. A Polish grandmother.
    • 2001, Whispers from Heaven for the Christmas Spirit, Publications International, Ltd., →ISBN, page 273:
      These cakes are from family recipes, from great-grandmothers and babcias, from kitchens as far apart as Knoxville, Tennessee, and Warsaw, Poland.
    • 2008, Gene Gomolka, Coal Cracker’s Son, Xlibris, page 191:
      I visited my babcia Lottie Korosz in Hunlock Gardens and all the relatives on my mother’s side of the family. My babcia Jadwiga Gobolewski died while I was still in Washington, but my grandfather Wiktor greeted me warmly in Glen Lyon.
    • 2010, Jaap Stijl, Pacing the Bird, Greenwinter Press, →ISBN, page 9:
      My babcia would only stare morosely at photographs of my father’s father, showing me the black and white albums, their youth in Poland, the countryside, the funny dress, the world outside a world outside a world of memories and lost hopes.
    • 2010 January 14, Mike Sula, “Not Your Babcia’s Pierogi”, in Chicago Reader[1]:
      But there’s no question she’s brought Polish food back to the neighborhood—the menu features potato pierogi, golabki, borscht, kielbasa, and a few items you probably wouldn’t recognize if you didn’t grow up with a babcia cooking for you.
    • 2015, Joanna Mishtal, The Politics of Morality: The Church, the State, and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland (Polish and Polish-American Studies Series), Ohio University Press, →ISBN:
      However, with the increased geographic mobility in Poland after 1989, and the greater push to look for jobs in other cities, fewer relatives are on hand to provide child care. Women who had babcias considered themselves lucky.
    • 2019, Rachel DeWoskin, Someday We Will Fly, Viking, →ISBN, page 49:
      The Germans were “kind” to some families in Poland, too. Just not us. What difference did it make if you were kind to some, if you were beating and stealing others’ mothers and babcias? I suddenly understood more than my father did.
    • 2021, Creating Inclusive Writing Environments in the K-12 Classroom: Reluctance, Resistance, and Strategies that Make a Difference, Routledge:
      My babcia was hired to attend funerals and weep for those who had few friends or family members.
  2. A Polish old woman.
    • 1964, Eva Fournier, Poland, page 110:
      There are many women in these processions, many of them old babcias with cheeks pink as a young girl’s under their flowered headscarves.
    • 1971, Letters to the Alicia Patterson Fund on the Status of the Elderly in Various Societies Around the World, page 1:
    • 1988, The Georgia Review, pages 605–606:
      The tram was packed, and I stood squeezed among three cabbage- and apple-breathed babcias heaving their bosoms and bristling out to the curly white hairs on their furious chins because a man, also among us and smelling of gin, was weeping. [] All the way across the river and to the zoo, while the three babcias took turns saying how bad he was, the man examined his bits of metal and paper, and wiped the quiet tears rolling out to the end of his nose.
    • 1995, The Polish Studies Newsletter, page 4:
      Babyboomers now are starting to “get it” regarding wisdom dispensed by Babcias.
    • 1996, The Sarmatian Review, page 410:
      [] babcias, adolescents and students, children and parents, the elderly, and they are generally well-dressed.
    • 2017, Joanne Bunyak, On Hunter’s Point, Xlibris, →ISBN:
      “That’s the first time you’ve mentioned your mother,” Cindy stammered. “Is she in good health?” “Oh, yeah,” Jerry said with a startled chuckle. “She’s one of those tough old Polish Babcias. She’s gonna like you, for sure.”
    • 2018, Jay Martin, Vodka and Apple Juice: Travels of an Undiplomatic Wife in Poland, Fremantle Press, →ISBN:
      Gaggles of babcias were standing by the side of the road, with baskets of products. [] The babcias informally kept order when formal grass enforcement personnel weren’t around. [] I’d watched him [Donald Tusk] many times on TV, as the babcias of Poland laid complaint after complaint at his feet – their living conditions, the failures of his and every other government, probably the fact that their children never visited them. [] Summer was technically in full swing but Central Europe hadn’t got the memo – it couldn’t have been more than eight degrees. A solid stage-two coat night. It wasn’t stopping the young couples huddling on the benches, nor the babcias walking rugged-up babies in prams.
    • 2019, Bob Dombrowski, Paczki Day: Stories About Growing Up Polish in Detroit, Page Publishing, Inc., →ISBN:
      In the old days, Polish people went to great lengths to let the world know they had a suitable daughter. They would decorate the house with wreaths and special colors of paint. In Krakow, for example, they would paint the whole house light blue. When a suitable boy saw this, he would have to go to the town’s intermediary, a babcia or wise woman, to intervene with the girl’s family.
    • 2019, Bob Proehl, The Nobody People, Del Rey, →ISBN:
      She’d chat with the babcias who ran the bakery and called her the Angel of the Market, or with Eva, who sold ropes of hair extensions and gave Fahima a leopard print shawl that Fahima’s mother wouldn’t let her wear as a hijab. [] It was the busiest weekend of the year, when all the babcias in the city descended on the market to buy butter lambs and crown roasts.



From baba +‎ -cia.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbap.t͡ɕa/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -apt͡ɕa
  • Syllabification: bab‧cia


babcia f (diminutive babunia or babusia)

  1. grandmother
    Synonyms: baba, babka, babunia
  2. (colloquial) old dear (an old woman)
    Synonyms: babina, starowina, staruszka


Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • babcia in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • babcia in Polish dictionaries at PWN