Bosnian: Can baba be used for father as well as grandmother?

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by bcslearner, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. bcslearner New Member

    English - USA
    From a little bit of research and talking with a friend, it seems like baba can be used for father as well as grandmother in Bosnian. Is this the case? If so, are there examples online that talk about this?

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Yes, but the word is bábo; the -a form is Serbian, where the word is much less used.

    Like many others in Bosnian, the term is of Turkish origin (presumably; I did not verify).

    I'm not sure what online examples you are looking for. There is a recent internet meme "A da me vidi babo" ('What if daddy see me?!'), originating from a YouTube clip featuring a teenage girl confessing to heavy drinking and partying, uttering these words; it was later made into a turbo-folk song and even a football chant.
  3. bcslearner New Member

    English - USA
    Hi Duya,

    So baba being used for father is not used in Bosnian but just Serbian? I'm hoping for some examples online where baba is used for father.

  4. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Google "Al se nekad dobro jelo" -- it's a song by Đorđe Balašević, referencing baba a couple of times. I perceive it as an archaic regionalism by old Vojvodinians (the context of the song), not something you would often hear nowadays.

    I don't think it's used in Central Serbia; Bosniaks from Sandžak, an ekavian-speaking area, presumably use babo as their compatriots from Bosnia.
  5. bcslearner New Member

    English - USA
    I see. Hvala Duya.
  6. luchadora Member

    NZ / Serbia
    English / Serbian

    The song you are referencing I just had a listen to again, it sounds, given the accenting of the vowels, as if he refers to a grandmother. I wish these languages had some sensible accenting like spanish does.
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  7. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Ultimately Arabic, most likely. Cf. Ar. ba:ba:) ) "dad".
    Turkic languages, on the contrary, normally use just modified words for "father" (PT *ata) or, more rarely, derivatives of proto-Turkic *aba, so even if this word exists in Turkish or existed in the Ottoman literary language, it must have been loaned from Arabic anyway.
  8. dragonlight New Member

    It's two different words.
    Baba and Babo.

    In Bosnia, using baba for your grandmother is very very rare bcause it can have negative meaning here.
    Instead words comonnly used are baka, nana, and majka.

    Baba can have a bad meaning similar to old hag. It can be a short form for babuskara which stands for old crone or hag. Not a good word.

    Babo on the other hand is only used for father by Bosniaks (Muslim Bosnians) and its not used by Bosnian Serbs or Croats.
  9. Vanja Senior Member

    Babo sounds like dad in English, or good old daddy. And this is hard to hear in Serbia, thinking of father, hehee.. It is not used among Serbs and Croats. In Serbian it would be ćale, like the closest word.

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