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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : from the personal name Baba (babe or bobe in Yiddish), from Slavic baba ‘grandmother’, ‘old woman’. This name was sometimes given to a tenderly guarded or seriously sick child.
  • German : recorded in Eastphalia as a surname since the 15th century but of uncertain origin. In eastern areas of Germany the Sorbian (Slavic) word baba ‘old woman’ (see 1) may be involved; in the south perhaps a development from baby talk like Babo. Compare Baab
  • Perhaps also an Americanized form of Baab, Baba, or some similar name.

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