First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Baba

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Baba mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Baba

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ba"ba
A kind of plum cake.

Etymology: F

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A small cake leavened with yeast

As one of the first utterances many babies are able to say, baba (like mama, papa, and dada) has come to be used in many languages as a term for various family members:

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

These terms often continue to be used by English speakers whose families came from one of these cultures. In some cases, they may become more widely used in localities that have been heavily influenced by an immigrant community. Some senses were extensions of one of these family terms in the original languages ("old woman" from "grandmother", "holy man" from "father"). The "cake" sense comes through French, from Polish baba (“old woman”). The Middle Eastern word baba (as in Ali Baba) is rather a term of endearment, and is ultimately derived from Persian بابا (bābā, “father”) (from Old Persian pāpa; as opposed to the Arabic words أَبُو (ʾabū) and أَب (ʾab), as well as the Turkish word ata; see also Papak), and is linguistically related to the common European word papa and the word pope, having the same Indo-European origin.

  1. A kind of sponge cake soaked in rum-flavoured syrup.
  2. (esp. among people of East European ancestry) A grandmother.
  3. An old woman, especially a traditional old woman from an eastern European culture.
  4. (esp. among people of Indian ancestry) A father.
  5. (Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism) A holy man, a spiritual leader.
  6. (India, dated) A baby, child.
  7. In baby talk, often used for a variety of words beginning with b, such as bottle or blanket.

baba was also found in the following language(s): Afrikaans, Albanian, Cebuano, Crimean Tatar, Czech, Dagbani, Finnish, French, German, Hiligaynon, Hungarian, Japanese, Lower Sorbian, Luo, Malay, Mwani, Ngarluma, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Shona, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Turkish, Upper Sorbian, and Zulu

Notable Persons Named Baba

Baba was born on January 31st, 1911 in Strumica, Ottoman Empire. She breathed her last breath on August 11th, 1996.


Baba Rahman is a soccer player for the Chelsea F.C., Dreams FC, Asante Kotoko SC, SpVgg Greuther Fürth, FC Augsburg, Ghana national under-20 football team, and Ghana national football team. Baba was born on July 2nd, 1994 in Tamale, Ghana.


Baba Sehgal is an indian pop, music of bollywood, music of india, and telugu language musician. He was most active from 1992 to present. Baba was given the name Harjeet Singh Sehgal in Lucknow, India.


Baba was born on December 26th, 1914 in Hinganghat,Wardha.British India. He breathed his last breath on February 9th, 2008.


Baba Siddique is a former Member of Legislative Assembly and formerMember of Legislative Assembly.


Baba Azmi is a cinematographer. Baba was born as the child of Kaifi Azmi and Shaukat Kaifi in Mumbai.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Baba

Meher Baba was a philosopher. Meher was born on February 25th, 1894 in Pune. He died on January 31st, 1969.


Giant Baba was a wrestler. Giant was born on January 23rd, 1938 in Sanjō, Niigata. He passed away on January 31st, 1999.


Fumika Baba is an actress and model. She was most prominent from 2014 to 2014. Fumika was born on June 21st, 1995 in Niigata, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.


Devraha was born in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh. He left this life on May 19th, 1990.


Abdur was born in 1653 in Bahadur Kelay, Hazarkhwani, Peshawar, Mughal Empire. He died in 1711.


Nirmal was born on June 15th, 1952 in Samana, Punjab.


Where is the name Baba popular?

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Popularity of Baba as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Baba as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in California, Illinois, or Hawaii.

Common first names for Baba

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Baba U.S.
  White 48.58% 64.26%
  African American 11.70% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 32.83% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 3.65% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 0.00% 16.26%

Of Last Name Baba

People with the last name Baba are most frequently White, African American, or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Baba

  • How Popular is the name Baba? Baba is the 55,154th most popular name of all time. As a last name Baba was the 16,601st most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Baba have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 30 babies born with the first name Baba in the United States.
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Baba? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 2001 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  • When was Baba first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Baba is Thursday, July 15th, 1869.
  • What year had the most people named Baba born? The highest recorded use of the first name Baba was in 2017 with a total of 7 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Baba: Your name in reverse order is Abab. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Abab. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Baba? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,727 people with the last name Baba.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Baba? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Baba as their last name since less than 1 person in 169k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Babas Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Baba

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Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.