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A spider's first name, bubba, bee bo

Are we on a first name basis with this spider?

THE incy wincy/THE eensy weensy/THE itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout...
Incy wincy/Eensy weensy/Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout...

Is "bubba" a generic name for a baby?

Yes, I use "bubbas" to refer to babies.
Yes, I know people who use "bubbas" to refer to babies.
It's been an appropriate term for a baby all my life.
It's a fairly recent term for a baby in my experience.
What a strange thing to call a baby.

What does saying "bee bo" to a baby come from? A local class leader says it all the time to the babies in the class, and it's also the name of a line of baby clothing.

I hear quite a few mothers of Grouting's cohort referring to babies as "bubbas", but until this year, I'd never heard it used in that way before.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
In my day it was "Incy-wincy spider climbing up the spout."
Jun. 17th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
Seconded! :)
Jun. 17th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
I think of Bubba as a large chap in prison overalls, so hearing it used as a baby-name is weird to me, but I know people who use it both as a term of endearment and just a general term for babies.
Jun. 17th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
My answer on bee bo didn't fit in the box. There's some research that suggests that 'baby talk' between carers and babies is a form of linguistic training, it basically runs over all available phonemes. Some are easier than others (which is why "mama" appears so early - it's one of the easiest polysyllabic strings to say.) Then when they're learning a specific language they sort out which ones belong in that language. So bee bo, bubba, etc. all fit nicely into phoneme-training. This is just my theory, but I think it's a reasonable one.
Jun. 17th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
This is my answer but better!
Jun. 17th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
I have heard "bubba" used for babies, but in the north babies were "babbas". And just to go off on a slight tangent, I have been somewhat baffled recently to learn that "ta-ta" seems to be a slang word for "breast" in US English. When I lived in Manchester, a "ta-ta" was a walk, presumably because you said, "Ta-ta!" to people on setting off.
Jun. 17th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, as in bodacious tatas. I always assumed "breast" ta ta and "goodbye" ta ta were pronounced differently.
Jun. 17th, 2013 11:28 pm (UTC)
Me too.
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:46 am (UTC)
They probably are pronounced differently -- or at least I hope so, otherwise there is huge potential for embarrassment. :)
Jun. 18th, 2013 01:47 pm (UTC)
Babies can be 'babs' (that is, one bab, two babs) in the Midlands, too. My Grandma referred to her youngest grandchild (my sister) as 'the bab' until she was at least 12, much to her disgust.

I've never heard any variation with a 'u' in it.
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:23 am (UTC)
I'd use 'bubba' as a term of address, and 'bubs' as the generic noun. As in 'mums 'n' bubs' groups...
Jun. 19th, 2013 08:03 am (UTC)
Bubba: I thought that was a term of endearment for overweight wobbly American men from the mid west.
Jun. 21st, 2013 08:29 am (UTC)
Bubba seems to be a relatively new thing - didn't happen when I was a kid or when my first nieces were born, but their younger siblings are referred to that way, often by the older sibling as well as parents.

As for beebo, are you sure it's not peepo? Peepo is the UK version of peek-a-boo, the game where you interact with a small child by blocking eye contact, then removing the blockage and making an exclamation. This can involve putting a blanket over the child, or just putting a hand in front of your face. In the UK that exclamation is "peepo!" and it sometimes gets used almost as a greeting to a small child in an excited kind of way. It's a bit like saying "boo!" but with with the fright aspect turned down.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )