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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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for baby-talk
Historical Examples
  • But when it comes to the "baby-talk Lady's" good-bye dance, not to be present was unendurable.

    The Ghost Breaker Paul Dickey
  • She poured him some and teased gently, "What's the matter, Ronny—back to baby-talk?"

    Games Katherine MacLean
  • She learned to speak early and while she did not use "baby-talk" she had strange words of her own.

    Rose of Dutcher's Coolly Hamlin Garland
  • If she does talk 'baby-talk,' I imagine she does it very prettily, and I'm sure I've no objection.

    Seventeen Booth Tarkington
  • Ruth was no exception; it amused the ladies to watch her cuddle the child and wonder aloud at all her baby-talk.

  • But now, as she took him in her arms, she astonished them with such eloquence of baby-talk as baby had never heard before.

    Janet's Love and Service Margaret M Robertson
  • How often are children spoken to in baby-talk, gush, hollow questions, and a condescension as irritating as coming teeth!

    The Fall of the Year Dallas Lore Sharp
  • The men89 chattered, the women laughed, and there was an affectation of baby-talk at nearly every table.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • After all, however, simplified spelling and baby-talk are but little removed from each other.

    Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 Howard Phillips Lovecraft
  • From there we worked round the back street to Ryan's stable, McCalmont keeping up his baby-talk for the sake of passing strangers.

    Curly Roger Pocock
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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