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Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Russian ба́бушка (bábuška, grandmother, granny), diminutive of ба́ба (bába, old woman).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /bəˈbuːʃ.kə/
  • (file)


babushka (plural babushkas or babushki)

  1. An old woman, especially one of Eastern European descent.
    1. (By association) A stereotypical, Eastern European peasant grandmother-type figure.
  2. A traditional floral headscarf worn by an Eastern European woman, tied under the chin.
    • 1966, Thomas Pynchon, chapter 5, in The Crying of Lot 49, New York: Bantam Books, published 1976, →ISBN, page 79:
      “Say hello to old Stanley,” he called as she pattered down the steps into the street, flung a babushka over her license plate and screeched away down Telegraph.
    • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin 2006, p. 78:
      The crowd falls silent, momentarily stunned, while a heavyset woman in a babushka pushes her way through, broadcasting the news […].
  3. Russian doll, matryoshka

Usage notesEdit

  • Note that the Russian term ба́бушка (bábuška, grandmother, granny; old woman) doesn't have the sense "Russian doll, matryoshka" or "woman’s headscarf".

Coordinate termsEdit

Related termsEdit