• synonyms


[buh-boo sh-kuh, -boosh-]
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  1. a woman's scarf, often triangular, used as a hood with two of the ends tied under the chin.
  2. an elderly Russian woman, especially an elderly grandmother.

Origin of babushka

1935–40; < Russian bábushka grandmother, equivalent to báb(a) old woman + -ushka diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for babushka

Historical Examples

  • “Take me back, Babushka,” I could hear his shaken voice imploring.

    The Prairie Mother

    Arthur Stringer

  • Alexandra Ivanovna shuddered, and asked: "Babushka, at whom are you cawing?"

  • She's called Matushkin, because my babushka is no babushka to her, but is her matushka.

  • “I will pay you for it, babushka,” he said to the old woman.

  • Ask the babushka's forgiveness,” he said, “and don't you ever do it again; I saw you take the apple.

British Dictionary definitions for babushka


  1. a headscarf tied under the chin, worn by Russian peasant women
  2. (in Russia) an old woman

Word Origin

Russian: grandmother, from baba old woman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for babushka


type of head covering for women, 1938, from Russian babushka "grandmother."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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