1785–95; nursery word; compare Welsh nain grandmother, Greek nánna aunt, Russian nyánya nursemaid Unabridged


a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nanny (ˈnænɪ)
n , pl -nies
1.  a nurse or nursemaid for children
2.  a.  any person or thing regarded as treating people like children, esp by being patronizing or overprotective
 b.  (as modifier): the nanny state
3.  a child's word for grandmother
vb , -nies, nannies, nannying, nannied
4.  (intr) to nurse or look after someone else's children
5.  (tr) to be overprotective towards
[C19: child's name for a nurse]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"children's nurse," 1795, from widespread child's word for "female adult other than mother" (cf. Gk. nanna "aunt"). The word also is a nickname form of the fem. proper name Anne, which probably is the sense in nanny goat (1788, cf. billy goat). The verb meaning "to be unduly protective" is from 1954.
Nanny-house "brothel" is slang from c.1700.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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