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baby talk

the speech of children learning to talk, marked by syntactic differences from adult speech and by phonetic modifications like lisping, lalling, and the omission and substitution of sounds.
a style of speech used by adults in addressing children, pets, or sweethearts, and formed in imitation of the voice and pronunciation of children learning to talk: it is generally characterized in English by the addition of diminutive endings to words, the use of special words and pet names, and the systematic distortion of certain words, as dolly for doll, teensy-weensy for tiny, oo for you, and twain for train.
Origin of baby talk
First recorded in 1830-40
Usage note
Baby Talk is used as a label in this dictionary for well-known terms traditionally thought to exemplify the type of baby talk used by adults. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for baby talk
Historical Examples
  • All dialect and "baby talk" has been left as in the original.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • For William was using some of his "baby talk," which he often did when he was excited.

  • Unmistakeably it was baby talk and as such it moved my heart.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • He brought these offerings in lieu of baby talk, which he could never master.

    Round the Block

    John Bell Bouton
  • "baby talk" is not used and the parents speak to the babies just as though they were speaking to grown-ups.

    The Upward Path Various
  • When he does this the teacher may note his particular speech defect, or the special form of baby talk to which he may be addicted.

    The Montessori Method Maria Montessori
  • The tales told by the first Spaniards are baby talk to the stories told to-day by those who have been and seen and are fascinated.

    The Amazing Argentine John Foster Fraser
  • When in July the nesting has begun, the female talks the prettiest "baby talk" to her mate as he feeds her.

    Under the Maples John Burroughs
  • I chose a pleasant, shady road, and drove slowly, while Bessie and her mother filled the air with baby talk.

  • He monopolized the baby, and showed immense power in the way of baby talk and of tending.

British Dictionary definitions for baby talk

baby talk

the speech of very young children learning to talk
an adult's imitation of this
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
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