Possibly an alteration of brother or bub, said by a young child not yet able to pronounce brother properly, but note similar terms in other Germanic languages derived from Proto-Germanic *bō-, such as West Frisian bobbe, German Bube ("boy"), Swedish dialectal babbe ("little boy"), English babe, Dutch boef ("mischievous lad, rascal"), Middle Low German bōve, and Icelandic bófi. Also, compare sissy.
bubba (plural bubbas)
- (Southern US, childish) Brother; used as term of familiar address.
2007, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Low Red Moon, pages 27:
- "Hey, bubba, is that really you? Goddamn. I haven't heard from you in a coon's age." / "Don't 'hey, bubba' me, you sonofabitch.
- A working-class white male from the southern US (stereotyped as loutish).
2009 February 13, Ginia Bellafante, “A Pitcher’s Life After the Third Strike”, New York Times:
- Will Ferrell and his creative partner, the writer and director Adam McKay, are, let’s face it, our national poets on the subject of dimwitted, bubba arrogance and the redemptive powers of failure, their poems seemingly conceived in a midnight frenzy of brilliance on the back of a bag of Doritos.
- 2011, Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Penguin 2012, page 120:
- Their subjects were not bubbas from the bayous but affluent students at the University of Michigan who had lived in the South for at least six years.