[Ads-l] Baba

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 4 11:57:19 EST 2018

From my quick search on the original article (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/books/trans-lit-transgender-novels.html <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/books/trans-lit-transgender-novels.html>), it seems that it does not discuss the origin of “baba.”

Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/baba <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/baba>) provides several languages that might be the origin:

• father: Arabic, Western Armenian, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Greek, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Yoruba, Shona, Zulu
• grandmother: many Slavic languages (such as Bulgarian, Russian, Czech and Polish), Yiddish, Japanese
• grandfather: Azerbaijani

It also has: 

• (esp. among people of East European ancestry) A grandmother. 
• An old woman, especially a traditional old woman from an eastern European culture. 
• (esp. among people of Indian ancestry) A father.
• (Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism) A holy man, a spiritual leader. 

The English OLD (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/baba <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/baba>) offers “father” or “holy man” as coming from Urdu.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 4 Nov 2018, at 08:01, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Because WB is never not cryptic, he can't just come out and say he's
> referring to the Aarne-Thompson-Uther classification of folk tales (which
> he also brought up in the "curtain-measuring" thread).
> http://www.mftd.org/index.php?action=atu&act=select&atu=313H
> http://www.mftd.org/index.php?action=atu&act=select&atu=510A
> http://www.mftd.org/index.php?action=story&act=select&id=3006
> On Sun, Nov 4, 2018 at 3:34 AM Mark Mandel <mark.a.mandel at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I meant the gibberish-looking citation, or whatever it is. Baba Yaga,
>> Wicca, Budapest I know, and somewhat strained connections, but not
>> the...street address, PO box number, Dewey Decimal's or LC's cousin, or *je
>> ne sais quoi*.
>> Mark
>> On Sun, Nov 4, 2018, 1:09 AM W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com wrote:
>>> WB:  Baba Yaga (*ATU 313H, 510A; Wicca, Budapestian*).
>>> MM:  How's that again??  Question Mark
>>> WB:  Like W.C. Fields, she liked children ... parboiled. (Apropos of
>>> Hallowe'en.)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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