From Middle English babe, perhaps a variant of earlier baban or representing Old English *baba (“boy, child”), from Proto-Germanic *babô, reduplicated variant of *ba-, *bō- (“father, brother, close male relation”), related to Old Frisian bobba (“child”), Old High German Babo (a male forename), see boy. Otherwise, origin obscure. Compare mama, dada, papa. Welsh baban (“baby”), believed by Skeat to be a mutation of maban, a diminutive of mab ("son"), is probably rather a borrowing from English. Cognate also with English bub.
babe (plural babes)
- (literary or poetic) A baby or infant; a very young human or animal.
- These events came to pass when he was but a babe.
- (slang) An attractive person, especially a young woman.
- 2002, Charles Hebbert, Dan Richardson, The Rough Guide to Budapest, 2nd edition, London: Rough Guides, →ISBN, page 73:
- During the 1980s, its vivid streetlife became a symbol of the “consumer socialism” that distinguished Hungary from other Eastern Bloc states, but Budapesters today are rather less enamoured of Váci: dressed-to-kill babes and their sugar daddies would rather pose in malls, and teenagers can find McDonald's anywhere, leaving Váci utterly dependent on tourists for its livelihood and bustle.
- She's a real babe!
- Darling (term of endearment).
- Hey, babe, how's about you and me getting together?
- For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:babe.
- (infant): baby, child, infant
- (attractive person):
- (darling): darling, dear, love, sweetheart
- ^ Whitney, The Century dictionary and cylcopedia, babe.
- Rhymes: -abi
- first-person singular present subjunctive of
- third-person singular present subjunctive of
- third-person singular imperative of