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a. a newborn or recently born animal
b. (as modifier): baby rabbits
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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.
Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year's Celebrations, 2nd ed. © Omnigraphics, Inc. 2003

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 Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


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.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.


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.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
If you feel you need that time with your husband, then you need to bite the bullet and start booking baby-sitters.
Then he didn't make a match because he couldn't get a baby-sitter. And then he wouldn't go on when we were 2-0 down."
He also set up two websites advertising baby-sitting services and offering a chatroom service for other baby-sitters and nannies, she said.
The woman said by the prosecution to have been the real target of the attack, 37-year-old Mrs Susan Humphrey, told Exeter Crown Court she could not believe the sight of the baby-sitter's face: "I will never forget it," she said.
Although using the v-chip would perhaps salve the conscience of parents who rely on TV as an electronic baby-sitter, it would really be an abdication of parental responsibility.
ATOM EGOYAN: My original inspiration was from this idea of a baby-sitter, and the ritual of driving a baby-sitter home.
A ONE-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister died inside their blazing caravan just minutes after their baby-sitter stepped outside for a cigarette, an inquest heard yesterday.
SOME call it the festive season, but a more accurate name might be the annual baby-sitter chase.
A baby-sitter who had been asked to check on the children had had to use a knife to force the door to get at them.
Call me old-fashioned, but I'd have thought a baby-sitter would have cost a fraction of the price of a bottle of the wine Mr Powell was quaffing that night.
The company specializes in productions that bounce a dramatic classic off some wacky alternative text: Thornton Wilder's Our Town meets Pigmeat Markham's vaudeville routines or Arthur Miller's The Crucible funneled through the reminiscences of Timothy Leary's baby-sitter.