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An infant, as in
She's been a family friend since I was a babe in arms
. Although the word “babe” for baby has been used since the 1300s, this phrase describing a child too young to walk (and hence having to be carried) dates only from about 1900.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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