"soft food for infants, gruel, porridge," late 14c., from Old French pape "watered gruel" and Medieval Latin papo, both from Latin pappa, a widespread word in children's language for "food" (compare Middle High German and Dutch pap, German Pappe, Spanish, Portuguese papa, Italian pappa), imitative of an infant's noise when hungry; possibly associated with pap (n.2). Meaning "over-simplified idea" first recorded 1540s.
1590s of the fruit, 1610s of the tree, from Spanish, probably from Arawakan (West Indies) papaya.
1961, from Italian Paparazzo (plural paparazzi) surname of the freelance photographer in Federico Fellini's 1959 film "La Dolce Vita." The surname itself is of no special significance in the film; it is said to be a common one in Calabria, and Fellini is said to have borrowed it from a travel book, "By the Ionian Sea," in which occurs the name of hotel owner Coriolano Paparazzo.
rodent noted for its stout, clumsy body and the defensive spines or quills that cover the body and tail, c. 1400, porke despyne, from Old French porc-espin (early 13c., Modern French porc-épic), literally "spine hog," from Latin porcus "hog" (from PIE root *porko- "young pig") + spina "thorn, spine" (see spine). The word had many forms in Middle English and early Modern English, including portepyn (influenced by port "to carry," as though "carry-spine"), porkpen, porkenpick, porpoynt, and Shakespeare's porpentine (in "Hamlet"). The same notion forms the name in other languages (Dutch stekel-varken, German Stachelschwein).
The spines grow mostly on the rump and back of the broad flat tail ; they are quite loosely attached, and when the animal slaps with its tail (its usual mode of defense) some quills may be flirted to a distance. Something like this, no doubt, gives rise to the popular notion that the porcupine "shoots" its quills at an enemy. [Century Dictionary]
May (9 years old)—"Papa, things pertaining to a horse are equine, to cows bovine, to cats feline, to dogs canine, but to hogs, is what?"
Fay (5 years)—"Porcupine, O tourse."
[Health, August 1904]
late 14c., "infant, young child of either sex," short for baban (early 13c.), which probably is imitative of baby talk (see babble (v.)). In many languages the word means "old woman" (compare Russian babushka "grandmother," from baba "peasant woman"), and it is also sometimes a child's variant of papa "father."
The simplest articulations, and those which are readiest caught by the infant mouth, are the syllables formed by the vowel a with the primary consonants of the labial and dental classes, especially the former ; ma, ba, pa, na, da, ta. Out of these, therefore, is very generally formed the limited vocabulary required at the earliest period of infant life comprising the names for father, mother, infant, breast, food. [Hensleigh Wedgwood, "A Dictionary of English Etymology," 1859]
Crist crid in cradil, "moder, baba!" [John Audelay, c. 1426]
Now mostly superseded by its diminutive form baby. Used figuratively for "a childish person" from 1520s. The meaning "attractive young woman" is by 1915 in college slang (baby as "girl, young woman, girlfriend" is attested by 1839; see babe). A babe in arms is one so young it has to be carried; babe in the woods "an innocent among perils" is from 1795.