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baby (2)

noun; other word formation type Semantic change and an example of polysemy.
A first-year student or new member of a community, specifically in regards to orientation groups or teams. Known as babies by their advisors and other senior members of the community during their initial time in the new community (Orientation Week). Referred to as babies because of their unfamiliarity with the environment (school) and their recent matriculation to the institution. Not specific to university, but any first-year or new member can be referred to as a baby.
 
"That's my baby!"
Etymology : Baby from babi which is the diminutive of baban from the 14th century. Known as a "childish adult person" from 1600s, and "youngest of a group" in 1897. It slowly evolved to mean child and as a term of endearment for children. Can be used in a negative connotation to reveal the immaturity of some people.
Source : Friend, Rice University, August 16, 2013
Last modified: 26 November 2013


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