Baby father

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Sun Jan 18 21:24:36 UTC 2009

To mark John Mortimer's death, BBC4 re-ran the original "Rumpole of the
Bailey" TV drama from 1975. A young West Indian accused of stabbing a man
in a bus queue referred to his "baby father", obviously as a set phrase.
This is three years before the first example in the OED. Do we know of
earlier examples still?

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: wordseditor at

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