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baba

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonizing preoccupation with self.
Iris Murdoch
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See also bába

English

Etymology

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: Chinese, Hindi, Bangla, Persian, Swahili, ...
  • grandmother: many Slavic language (such as Russian and Polish), Yiddish, Japanese, ...
  • baby: Afrikaans, ...

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 [[w:Template:lang:pl language|Template:lang:pl]][[Category:Template:lang:pl derivations]] 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

Singular
baba

Plural
{{{1}}}

baba ({{{1}}})
  1. A kind of sponge cake soaked in rum-flavoured syrup.
  2. 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. 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. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) 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. 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


Afrikaans

Noun

baba (plural babas)

  1. baby

Albanian

Noun

baba

  1. father

Bosnian

Noun

baba f (plural babe)

  1. grandmother
  2. grandma
  3. granny
  4. old woman

Declension

Declension of baba Singular Plural
Nominative baba babe
Genitive babe baba
Dative babi babama
Accusative babu babe
Vocative babo babe
Instrumental babom babama
Locative babi babama


Synonyms


Crimean Tatar

Noun

baba

  1. father
  2. dad

Declension


Croatian

Noun

baba f (plural babe)

  1. grandmother
  2. grandma
  3. granny
  4. old woman

Declension


Finnish

Noun

baba (stem bab-*)

  1. Baba, babka, a type of cake.

French

Pronunciation

Noun

baba m. (plural babas)

  1. baba (type of cake)

German

Etymology

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

Interjection

baba [[Category:Template:lang:de interjections|baba]]

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) see you, so long

Usage notes

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

Hiligaynon

Noun

baba

  1. mouth

Hungarian

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈbɒbɒ/
  • Hyphenation: ba‧ba

Noun

baba (plural babák)

  1. doll
  2. baby (very young child)

Declension


Japanese

Noun

baba (hiragana ばば)

  1. : old woman
  2. ババ: (playing card)joker
  3. 祖母: grandmother
  4. 馬場: riding ground
  5. : excrement, feces
  6. : excrement, feces

Mandarin

simpl. and trad.
爸爸

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [pa˥˩pa]

Noun

baba (Pinyin bàba, traditional and simplified 爸爸)

  1. dad, papa

See also


Polish

Noun

baba [[Category:Template:lang:pl nouns|baba]]

  1. old woman, woman (impolite)

Declension

Singular Plural
Nominative baba baby
Genitive baby bab
Dative babie babom
Accusative babę baby
Instrumental babą babami
Locative babie babach
Vocative babo baby

Portuguese

Etymology

From the hypothetical [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:pt:Template:lang:la derivations]] word *baba.

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈba.ba/

Noun

baba f. (plural babas)

  1. drool, dribble

See also


Romanian

Pronunciation

  • IPA: ['ba.ba]

Noun

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

  1. the old woman

Serbian

Noun

baba f. (plural babe) (Cyrillic spelling баба)

  1. grandmother
  2. grandma
  3. granny
  4. old woman

Declension

Declension of baba Singular Plural
Nominative baba babe
Genitive babe baba
Dative babi babama
Accusative babu babe
Vocative babo babe
Instrumental babom babama
Locative babi babama

Spanish

Etymology

From the hypothetical [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:es:Template:lang:la derivations]] word *baba.

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈbaβa/

Noun

baba f. (plural babas)

Singular
baba f.

Plural
babas f.

  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)

See also


Tagalog

Adverb

baba

  1. low

Noun

baba

  1. chin

Verb

baba

  1. to descend

Turkish

Etymology

The sense of "father" from Persian بابا (bābā).

Noun

baba

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

Declension

singular plural
nominative baba babalar
accusative babayı babaları
dative babaya babalara
locative babada babalarda
ablative babadan babalardan
genitive babanın babaların
Derived terms

Elsewhere on the web

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