About This Word

bebe

[be-be] or [bey-bey] or [bee-bee]

What does bebe mean?

Bebe is an alternate spelling and pronunciation of baby, usually used playfully or affectionately.

See how it's used

bebe

babycenter.com

Where does bebe come from?

When bebe emerges is tough to pin down, but we can find the French-based bébé in written English-language dialogue in the late 1800s. Bebe, widespread on social media by the 2000s, simply seems to originate as a humorous, endearing corruption of baby and babe, words which, like French's own bébé, apparently originate as expressive terms for children and can be found in many languages around the world.

Bebe, like baby and babe, has extended as a term of endearment for a romantic partner.

Bebe, sometimes spelled Bébé and BéBé, is also a given girl's name or nickname for Beatrice and other B names. Some notable Bebes include writer Bebe Moore Campbell and singer Bebe Rexha (names usually pronounced [bee-bee]).

One prominent fictional Bébé was featured in the 1992 animated film Bébé's Kids, based on comedian Robin Harris's stand-up act about a group of badly behaved kids at an amusement park. Thanks to the act and film, the term Bébé's kids has become a shorthand for misbehaving children, sometimes used humorously among black persons or derisively to stereotype black children.

In Taglish slang, a mix of Tagalog and English spoken especially by younger people in the Philippines and Filipino diaspora, the word bebe is based on and used to mean baby. Bebe appears in the expression bebe ko ("my baby") and pabebe ("to act cute or childish").

Who uses bebe?

Bebe is used as an affectionate and playful pet name in colloquial speech and writing between couples or among friends, especially females. Such use of bebe, as opposed to baby and babe, appears to be for style or due to idiosyncrasy.

People may refer to actual babies as bebes, often exclaiming it quickly and in a lower, grumbling register, to communicate forceful excitement (e.g., OMG bebes! They are so cute I could just eat them up or I wanna have some bebes!).

Bebe, as noted, is also found as a common term of endearment among Filipino or Filipino-descended people. A 2015 Filipino romantic comedy, for instance, was called My Bebe Love.

Bebe is also the name of an American women's clothing retail brand. According to the founder, the name bebe refers to Hamlet's famous to be or not to be soliloquy.

This word shouldn't be confused with Biebs, the nickname for Canadian superstar Justin Bieber.

For example

Happy Tuesday bebes 🦋 / Hope everyone has a good day 😇

@NEXTDOORDOLAN, April, 2018

Bebe sent me a dozen pink roses!!! =) I'm arranging them into a tall vase right now. =)

@annings, May, 2007

An entrepreneur and philanthropist, [Manny Mashouf] is the founder and board chairman of the highly successful bebe chain of women's clothing stores.

The California State University, July, 2016

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