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”), Swedish dialectal babbe (“little boy”), 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.
- She's a real babe!
- Darling (term of endearment).
- Hey, babe, how's about you and me getting together?
- For usage examples 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