Green’s Dictionary of Slang

baby n.

1. [19C] (also baby card) in cards, the jack, i.e. the ‘baby’ of the king and queen.

2. [mid-19C+] a man.

3. [mid-19C+] a woman.

4. [late 19C+] an object of one’s affection, usu. a person; also of animals; compare also senses 8 and 9.

5. [mid-19C+] a term of affection or general address between men and women; also less commonly between men and men or women and women.

6. as a container.

(a) [mid-19C+] a bottle or glass of liquor; thus kiss the baby, to take a drink; the baby is born, there is enough money to buy a bottle.

(b) [mid-19C+] a small or half-sized bottle, whether of spirits or a non-alcoholic drink, orig. soda water; thus baby and nurse, a small bottle of soda water with twopennyworth of spirits.

(c) [1930s] (US) a glass of milk.

7. [20C+] a person, often self-referential as in this baby.

8. [1900s–30s] an object of excellence; compare sense 4.

9. [1910s+] an otherwise unnamed item or object, esp. used of automobiles, weapons and machinery; compare sense 4.

10. [1920s+] one’s special interest or responsibility, usu. with the possessive pronoun, e.g. it’s my baby.

11. [1950s] (US Und.) a prostitute’s client.

12. [1960s+] (US gay) an under-age/teenage boy.

13. [1960s+] (drugs) marijuana [as a term of affection for the drug].

14. [1970s] (US) an attractive young woman.

15. (UK black) a very young gangster.

In derivatives

baby-o (n.) [-o sfx (1)]

[1960s] a general term of address, usu. to a woman.

In phrases

hot baby (n.) [hot adj. (7)/hot adj. (1a)] [late 19C–1910s]

1. (US campus, also warm-baby) a student who excels in a certain subject.

2. any person who excels in something.

3. (US campus) a promiscuous person, a sexually eager woman; also attrib.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

baby-ass (adj.) [-ass sfx]

[1990s+] (US black) childish.

baby-blues (n.) [SE baby-blue, a light shade of blue, often associated with a baby’s eyes; the implication is of candour and innocence]

1. [1910s+] (orig. US, also baby-blue eyes, icy-blues) human eyes, irrespective of their actual colour.

2. [1950s] (US) a police officer [play on blues n.2 (1)].

baby bonus (n.)

[1940s+] (Aus./Can.) a family allowance.

baby booking (n.)

[2000s] (US) juvenile detention.

baby buggy (n.) [play on SE]

[1970s+] (US gay) a convertible sports car.

baby bumpers (n.) [SE bumper, a railway buffer]

[1960s+] the female breasts.

baby buster (n.) [on analogy of the boom and bust of economic jargon]

[1980s+] one who was born in the decade 1965–1975, i.e. the period after the baby boom that followed WWII, thus one born during a baby bust.

baby button (n.) [the umbilical cord, connecting baby to mother]

[1960s+] the navel.

babycakes (n.) (also cakes, cakie) [SE cake; so intimate a friend is ‘good enough to eat’] [1960s+] (US)

1. a term of affection between friends.

2. a (pretty) young woman or handsome man.

baby-catcher (n.) (US)

1. [1930s–70s] a midwife.

2. [1960s–70s] a doctor.

baby child (n.) (US black)

1. [1920s+] a baby; a child.

2. [1970s+] a younger, less respected or less experienced individual.

3. [1970s+] an immature person.

baby chute (n.)

[1990s+] the vagina.

baby-doll (n.) [doll n.1 (5)]

1. [20C+] (US) a young woman, esp. when attractive.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

3. [20C+] a direct term of address.

4. [1920s] a success.

5. [1940s] (US) in pl., a style of high-heeled woman’s shoe.

6. [1980s+] (US gay) an attractive male.

baby factory (n.)

[1990s+] (US black) a woman who has had a large number of children.

baby-farmer (n.) [play on SE baby-farmer, one who reared orphan children, often in atrocious conditions]

[20C+] an older person, usu. a woman, who prefers affairs with people much younger than themselves.

baby-father (n.) (also baby daddy, …poppa, pickney father, father pickney)

[1970s+] (orig. W.I.) a boyfriend, esp. the father of one’s child although not one’s legal husband.

baby-fetcher (n.)

[1910s+] the penis.

baby fluid (n.)

[1930s] (US) semen.

baby gravy (n.) (also baby bouillon) [SE gravy/gravy n. (1b)]

[1990s+] semen.

baby jesus (n.)

see separate entry.

baby juice (n.)


baby-kisser (n.) [the campaigning politician’s propensity to believe that the babies encountered enjoy being kissed by a total stranger]

[20C+] (US) a politician.

baby-maker (n.) [the procreative function of the organ]

1. [late 19C–1900s] (also lady-maker) the penis.

2. [late 19C–1900s] the vagina.

3. [1960s] a sexually powerful man.

4. [1970s+] (S.Afr. gay) a heterosexual.

baby-mother (n.) (also baby mama, baby mamma, baby momma, baby moms)

[1980s+] (orig. UK black) a girlfriend, spec. the woman who has one’s baby but with whom one may not actually live.

baby paste (n.)

[1970s+] (US gay) semen.

baby plaster (n.)

[1900s] (US) semen.

baby-rape (n.)

see separate entry.

baby-raper (n.)

see separate entry.

baby’s arm (n.) [the supposed resemblance]

[1960s+] the penis, esp. when large.

baby’s head (n.) [the supposed resemblance; presumably that of the smooth suet cover rather than the meat and gravy it contains]

[1910s–60s] steak and kidney pudding; a suet dumpling.

babysit (v.)

see separate entry.

babysitter (n.)

see separate entry.

baby-skull (n.) [the supposed resemblance]

[1900s] (US campus) an apple dumpling.

baby’s leg (n.) [the supposed resemblance]

[late 19C+] meat loaf, jam-roly-poly.

baby-snatcher (n.) [ironic use of SE baby-snatcher, a kidnapper]

[1920s+] (US) an obstetrician.

baby-snatching (n.)

[1920s+] of either sex, marrying or having an affair with someone much younger than oneself; thus baby-snatcher, one who marries a noticeably younger partner.

In phrases

baby chick farm (n.) [pun on SE chick/chick n.1 (3) + SE farm]

[1950s] (US black) ‘the locations or towns where the girls look fine from a young age on’ (Durst, The Jives of Dr Hepcat, 1953).

baby in the boat (n.)

[1930s] the clitoris; thus kiss the baby in the boat, to perform cunnilingus.

baby in the bushes (n.) [such a baby is trad. conceived and/or delivered in the bushes]

[1970s+] (US) an illegitimate child.

baby’s public house (n.)

[late 19C–1900s] the female breasts.

deliver a baby (v.)

[1970s] (US gay) to remove one’s trousers in order to expose one’s erect penis.

hold the baby (v.) (also carry the baby)

[late 19C+] to be left to clear up a problem, to take an unpleasant responsibility.

like a baby’s arm with an apple/orange in its fist (adj.) (also like a baby’s arm holding an apple/orange, like a baby’s arm with an apple/orange in its hand)

[1930s+] a phr. used to describe an extra-large penis.

put a baby on (v.) [1990s+] (US black)

to claim a man as one’s child’s father, even though he is not.

this won’t buy baby a new frock (also ...a new dress)

[20C+] this is useless, this is pointless.