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Baby

noun; zero derivation
Any object, especially a common object; any thing. Apparent meaning: something in general, a synonym of thing Analysis of word: babe 'infant' plus affix -y 'characterized by.' However, these meanings have already been modified today, to the point where the whole word could conventionally mean 'something of great importance.' Hence the change to 'thing in general.' Possible reason used: the person wanted a new way to refer to items that would be more colorful than the term thing
 
Pass me the baby.
Etymology : Root babe 'infant' plus affix -y 'to act as'
Source : conversation with a friend
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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