Etymology of Baba

Baba carries two meanings in the various Slavic languages: cake and mushroom. Today the word baba is used to refer to a sponge cake of leavened dough or the first words a baby utters—they usually sound like papa or mama (baba).

Baba comes from the Persian bābā (بابا), meaning father; Baba also comes from the Old Persian papa, which also means father.

The word itself dates back to 1827.


Onions, C. T, R. W Burchfield, and G. W. S Friedrichsen. 1966. The Oxford Dictionary Of English Etymology. Oxford: Clarendon.

Stankiewicz, Edward. 1986. The Slavic Languages. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.