Etymology
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girlfriend (n.)
also girl-friend, by 1859 as "a woman's female friend in youth," from girl + friend (n.). As a man's sweetheart, by 1922. She-friend was used 17c. in the same set of senses, of the mistress of a man and of a woman who is a close friend of another.
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steady (n.)
1792, "a steady thing or place," from steady (adj.). From 1885 as "something that holds another object steady." Meaning "one's boyfriend or girlfriend" is from 1897; to go steady is 1905 in teenager slang.
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schatzi (n.)
"German girlfriend," from German Schatzi, diminutive of Schatz, a term of endearment for a woman, literally "treasure," from Proto-Germanic *skatta- (source also of Dutch schat "treasure," Gothic skatts "piece of money, money"), originally "cattle."
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doxy (n.)

"rogue's girlfriend, beggar's mistress," 1520s, slang, of unknown origin (see dell (n.2)). Liberman says it is probably from Low German dokke "doll," "with the deterioration of meaning from 'sweetheart' and 'wench' to 'whore.'"

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gal (n.)
slang pronunciation of girl, 1795, originally noted as a vulgarism (in Benjamin Dearborn's "Columbian Grammar"). Compare gell, 19c. literary form of the Northern England dialectal variant of girl, also g'hal, the girlfriend of a b'hoy (1849). Gal Friday is 1940, in reference to "Robinson Crusoe."
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bint (n.)
"girlfriend," 1855, British English, from Arabic bint "daughter;" adopted by British fighting men in the Middle East. OED reports it "in common use by British servicemen in Egypt and neighbouring countries" in the world wars.
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red-hot (adj.)

late 14c., "red with heat, heated till it glows red" (of metal, etc.); in reference to persons, "lively, passionate," it is recorded from c. 1600. Red-hot mama is 1926, jazz slang, "earthy female singer," also "girlfriend, lover."

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momma (n.)

1810, American English variant of mamma (q.v.). Apparently first used in the South and with a racial context. As a biker's girlfriend or female passenger, from 1950s.

An old negro woman is called momma, which is a broad pronunciation of mama ; and a girl, missy. I once happened to call a young negro wench momma"me be no momma," says she, "me had no children yet." [John Lambert, "Travels through Lower Canada, and the United States of North America in the Years 1806, 1807, and 1808," London, 1810]
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babe (n.)

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. Meaning "attractive young woman" is 1915, college slang (baby as "girl, young woman, girlfriend" is attested by 1839; see babe). Babe in arms is one so young it has to be carried; babe in the woods "an innocent among perils" is from 1795.

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