Recorded as Baban, Babin, Babeau, Babet, Babel, Babineau, Babonau, and many others, this can be a surname of either French or Russian origins, the spellings overlapping in many European regions. It is likely that if the surname holders originate from west of Germany then they will be of French origin, and if from the east, then almost certainly Russian, but this is not certain or proven. If French, the surname originates from the 12th century 'Bablyas', given as being a pre 5th century personal name, and originally that of the Bishop of Antioch. It is believed to be locational and to describe a former inhabitant of the city of Babylon. If Russian the origination is from the word 'baba', a form of endearment which was usually taken as meaning 'Old Woman' in the same manner as the equally popular 'Old Man'. When applied as a surname it may well have been a nickname for a fussy person, or it may have been a metronymic. If the latter it would have described the son of of a woman who may have been a village elder, with 'old' being used in a transferred sense to mean 'honoured'. The Russian form is also recorded as Babich in the Ukraine, Babski in Poland, and Babovich in Croatia, although these are simply some examples amongst some fifty or more different spellings.
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