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Baba may refer to:

People with the name

See also


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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See also bába, bàba, babà, and babă

Contents

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: Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hindi, Bangla, Persian, Swahili, ...
  • grandmother: many Slavic language (such as Bulgarian, 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 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

Singular
baba

Plural
babas

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. 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

Translations

Anagrams


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

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


Czech

Noun

baba f.

  1. A crone, a hag.
  2. A coward, a milksop.

Finnish

Pronunciation

  • Hyphenation: ba‧ba

Noun

baba

  1. Baba, babka, a type of cake.

Declension


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

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

Usage notes

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

Hiligaynon

Noun

bába and bâbâ

  1. mouth

Hungarian

Pronunciation

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

Noun

baba (plural babák)

  1. doll
  2. baby (very young child)

Declension

Derived terms


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

Noun

baba (Pinyin bàba, traditional and simplified 爸爸)

  1. (informal) (Beginning Mandarin) dad; papa
    The mother’s father is called grandfather (maternal grandfather).

Usage notes

  • Informal term for father. The more formal term is fuqin.

See also


Polish

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈbaba/

Etymology 1

Noun

baba f.

  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

Etymology 2

Noun

baba m.

  1. baba (a holy man, a spiritual leader)
Declension
Singular Plural
Nominative baba babowie
Genitive baby babów
Dative babie babom
Accusative babę babów
Instrumental babą babami
Locative babie babach
Vocative babo babowie

Portuguese

Etymology

From the hypothetical Latin word *baba.

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈba.ba/

Noun

baba f. (plural babas)

  1. drool, dribble

See also

  • babar-se

Romanian

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [ˈba.ba]

Noun

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

  1. the old woman

Serbian

Noun

baba f. (Cyrillic spelling баба)

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

Declension


Spanish

Etymology

From the hypothetical Latin 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)

Related terms

See also


Swahili

Noun

baba

  1. father (male parent)

This Swahili entry was created from the translations listed at father. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see baba in the Swahili Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) July 2009


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

Derived terms
  • Âdem baba
  • ağababa
  • ana baba
  • Arap Baba
  • baba adam
  • baba bucağı
  • baba evi
  • baba hindi
  • baba mirası
  • baba nasihati
  • baba ocağı
  • Baba Oruç
  • baba tatlısı
  • baba yadigârı
  • baba yurdu
  • babaanne
  • babacan
  • babayiğit
  • ballıbaba
  • büyük baba
  • dedebaba
  • devlet baba
  • efendibaba
  • Gani Baba
  • Gül Baba
  • Haçkalı Baba
  • iskele babası
  • kayın baba
  • Mimi Baba
  • Noel baba
  • paşa baba
  • Şam Baba
  • Somuncu Baba
  • üvey baba







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