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a. a newborn or recently born animal
b. (as modifier): baby rabbits


The figure of a baby is a symbol of the new year in general and New Year's Day in particular. The New Year's baby often wears a sash draped across one shoulder. The sash bears the number of the new year (for example, "2003"). The New Year's baby shares its seasonal billing with another baby associated with the midwinter holidays, that is, the baby Jesus, whose birth is celebrated on Christmas Day.

Americans adopted the New Year's baby from German immigrants. In Germany, the history of the baby as a New Year's symbol can be traced back to a fourteenth-century folk song. At least one scholar has identified an even earlier use of the baby as a holiday symbol. Theodor Gaster claims that the ancient Greeks used the baby as a symbol of the wine and vegetation god Dionysus during Lenaia, a January festival honoring his rebirth that was widely celebrated in Athens. (For a similar symbol, see also Russia, Christmas in.)

Further Reading

Gaster, Theodor. New Year, Its History, Customs and Superstitions. New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1955. James, E. O. Seasonal Feasts and Festivals. 1961. Reprint. Detroit, Mich.: Omnigraphics, 1993.

What does it mean when you dream about a baby?

Babies are very complex dream symbols that represent everything from the rebirth of the self, the emergence of new possibilities in your life, or being rendered helpless and vulnerable. Even a new baby in the dreamer’s life may be indicated by this dream, but not always. This symbol often shows up when the dreamer is entering a new phase of life, which is like giving birth to oneself. Bad dreams in which a baby is deformed, has injuries, or is stillborn are not uncommon for parents who are anxious about the pregnancy, especially for expectant couples who have never had children before. Even though it feels like a dreadfully horrible nightmare, it’s usually nothing to be taken seriously, unless it becomes a nightly event. (Also see Embryo, Miscarriage, Pregnant).


The first computer to run a program in its own electronic storage. Developed at the University of Manchester in England by Professor F.C. (Freddie) Williams and graduate student Tom Kilburn, Baby's memory was CRT based, which Williams conceived as a storage device for binary information. In 1948, its "Williams Tube" produced a grid of 1,024 bits.

A Big Baby
Like the ENIAC, its American counterpart, Baby, officially known as the Small Scale Experimental Machine (SSME), was huge. Driven by 6,000 vacuum tubes and weighing one ton, it was 16 feet long and 7 feet high. Unlike the ENIAC, it did not require extensive rewiring to change the program.

An Early Prototype
Starting in 1949, Baby served as a prototype for two more powerful Manchester Mark I models, which were the forerunners of the Ferranti Mark I, commercialized by Ferranti-Packard of Toronto in 1951. ICL's Series 1900 was based on the Ferranti machine. In 1959, the MUSE was introduced, the final Manchester machine. It was a faster computer with transistors and magnetic core storage. The commercial version of the MUSE was renamed Atlas.


Many people from time to time will have babies or small children in their dreams. If these newborns are strangers to you, you can assume that they represent you. You are the baby and the dream is telling you something about your development in a particular area of your life. At times of great change and renewal, a baby may appear in a dream and represent your potential and a new beginning. Some of the meaning of the dream may be obtained by considering what the baby looked like and was doing. Generally, babies represent innocence and are symbols of the purest form of a human whose possibilities are endless. However, if the baby’s appearance is odd, and if your interactions with it are bizarre or unusual, you need to consider your own wellbeing (psychologically) and think about what personal experiences and psychological hang-ups have prevented you from growing.
References in periodicals archive ?
Q: I want to add a bit of decoration to my toddler's room; taking down the mobiles and other babyish bits and bobs, instead creating a slightly older looking space.
He was so babyish over hurdles, but he had schooled well over fences and we thought he had to have a real chance.
He's still babyish and a bit inquisitive, and I'm pleased to see him win like that and not have a hard race," explained Varian.
Pippin Hal - the babyish approximation for a well-known expression of frustration - is a 16-year-old trying to rise above the mean streets of Liverpool's Cherrywood Estate.
He is immature and babyish but is still going the right way," said the successful trainer.
Pat Smullen rode him in the Derby and just thought he was very babyish and would learn a lot from the race
He is still a bit babyish, but he is maturing all the time.
McEvoy said: "He's still weak and babyish and he surprised me how he picked up as he wasn't going that well at halfway.
Does your room still look babyish with dolls or ruffles?
The winning trainer said: "He is still very babyish but we have always thought he is very good.
Robinsons' marketing manager Adrian Troy said the idea behind the sports bottle is to make it less babyish and spillable than cartons and to give it a cooler image in the playground.
The series, featuring four cuddly babyish, alien-like characters, became a huge hit last year and spawned a massive merchandising campaign.