Origin of English word BABY

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









pupil of the eye, apple of one’s eye, any prized miniature that is the object of adoration and delight


ROOTS:  1. BABE and BABY are dismissed by most authorities as imitative of baby sounds. The "bow-wow" theory of word origins is weak because we have no dog words that sound like bow-wow, nor words for "infant" that sound like "ga-ga."

בבה BooBaH is a doll, derived from   בבואה BaBHOOAH (a reflected, miniature image).  Both terms may be traced to     בבה BaBHaH which infers the pupil of the eye, "apple of one's eye," or any prized miniature that is the object of adorationand delight - Zechariah 2:12.

A second, more natural etymology involves the IMBIBER from mother’s breast – see PIPE.


The double B or  double V BABY words around the world are too numerous to mention, but Finnish babies prefer vauva while North American Indians are partial to PAPOOSE.

ABHeeYBH is a green ear of corn or "baby" corn.   AiBH (youth, young sprout) became BABY just as ABH (father) reversed and doubled to ABBOT and PAPA. The BABOON (from Old French babuin) and babah (monkey in Malay: Sian) may have been seen as delightful, childlike creatures, or as miniature images of people.

Double B or P terms of prized miniatures include BUB, PUPA, PUPIL, and PUPPY.

BOOB, BOOBY, and (NINCOM)POOP demonstrate our tendency to call foolish people BABIES. BA(M)BINO (baby) is a compliment in Italian, but bambo (foolish, childish) is an insult. Without the diminutive suffix, an infant boy or girl is a bimbo orbimba in Italian. (Still, a nasalised BooBaH.)  Affectionate terms for an Italian baby are also pupo and pupa.  The Italian shifts to a negative baby meaning with pupazzo (one who is too easily manipulated, like a PUPPET.) [Helen Pomata]

More negative babies at MORON. Moro (baby) in Modern Greek is a cognate of MORON. A NINNY (fool) can similarly be linked with baby words like Spanish nene (baby) and nino (child), Chinese nan (child) or Malay niana (child) - all of these are from Hebrew   NeeYN (grandchild, offspring – see EL NINO).  More Bet-Bet-Hey prized miniatures at BAUBLE.

2.        Webster’s has 41 PPE words.   Words like PAP (nipple, teat), nature’s feeding tube, and BOOB, were not included. T.V. has been called the BOOB TUBE. TV watchers suck up popular PAP like BABIES who are BOOBIES (idiots).  More on the child as idiot equation at MORON.     

Middle English pappe and Latin pappila, whence  PAPPILA, and PAPULE, mean nipple.  Mothers pipe in nutrition, and sucklings IMBIBE like BIBLERS at a BIBB (faucet). Most of these young BIBBERS or BIBLERS need a BIB. The BABY or BABE is a suckling named for his beber (drinking in Spanish ).  The AHD has IMBIBE, BEVERAGE, BIB, BIBULOUS and IMBIBE coming from the so-called Indo-European “root” po(i) (to drink).  They had no trouble linking Latin beber, to drink, to a source requiring the same P/B bilabial shift.  Among the decendants of Latin beber (to drink), only Spanish and Portuguese have beber.  The suckling baby as drinker is established by Spanish bebe (baby) and beber (to drink). A bebida is a BEVERAGE.

 Spanish, adds Fernando Aedo, also has biberon (baby bottle to suck), emparpar (to soak), papar and papear (swallowing, eating – see PAP below). The noun and verb of slobbering saliva in Spanish, baba and babear, also evoke the BABY’s inelegant IMBIBING.   The French, Italian and Romanian words for drinking only have one B,  like the earlier Edenic word, recalling the first curious child who used a plucked swamp reed to blow out or drink in water as with a drinking straw.  An Indonesian imbibes with his lips, bibir, similar to the Tagalog mouth: bibig.

Back to the IMBIBING BABY or the Algonquian PAPOOSE, sucking in soft food either from a natural or man-made ABOOBH (tube… breast or bottle), the AHD feels that PAP (mushy food) is a “baby-talk root.”  Latin pupus and pupa, boy and girl, and the derivative PUPIL sound older than BABIES, but they too are fed PAP and POPPYCOCK in school as if they were PUPA (baby bugs).    The BABOON doesn’t suckle any more than newborn chimps, but its doglike muzzle makes it look like a suckling baby.

The Edenic double-bilabial etymon here is אבוב ABOOBH, a  hollow pipe or tube derived from jointed reeds or knotgrass, an extension of   AiBHeH (reed - Job9:26).  NiBHOOBH is hollow (Exodus27:8).  

See “BOOBY;” much more at PIPE.

Bible Verses

Zechariah 2:12 כי כה אמר יהוה צבאות אחר כבוד שׁלחני אל־הגוים השׁללים אתכם כי הנגע בכם נגע בבבת עינו׃

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts who sent me after glory unto the nations which spoiled you: ‘Surely, he that toucheth you toucheth the appleof his eye.’”

“For so says Jehovah of Hosts: He has sent me after glory, to the nations who stripped you; for he who touches you touches the pupil of His eye.” Alternate versions: Zechariah 2:8 (MKJV)



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