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Thread: Babysitter

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    #1

    Babysitter

    Reading a thread I came accross "babysitter". I know what it means but for some English learners it seems an odd word. Could the term derive from "sit up late" (stay awake) with the obvious purpose of caring for a child or children, in the absence of the parents?

    M.

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    #2

    Re: Babysitter

    It's nothing to do with the time (up late), but they are sitting with the baby.

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    #3

    Re: Babysitter

    I don't mean to be crass, but your reply made me smile at the picture it evoked: a bleary-eyed someone sitting on a sofa with a sleeping baby in the arms till the early hours of the morning. I know what you mean, though, and my serious thanks for the reply.

    M.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Babysitter

    We also have dogsitters, house-sitters and granny-sitters these days; probably other -sitters too.
    Last edited by 5jj; 15-Jun-2011 at 21:22. Reason: yet another typo

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    #5

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    #6

    Re: Babysitter

    Thank you. The back formation is interesting and:"...the action of the caretaker "sitting on" the baby in one room, while the parents were entertaining or busy in another.", makes me think once more about what "on" essentially means, here I suppose continuity as in "waiting on". A bit confusing for a begginer. In all, although modernly taken as caring for very young children at night, it has much wider implications: "from watching a sleeping child, to playing games, preparing meals, teaching the child to read, or even driving." Live and learn...

    Regards,

    M

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Babysitter

    Any child old enough to be taught to drive would rebel openly and loudly at the idea of having a babysitter.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: Babysitter

    It's not only at night. When my wife was working, we would have the grandparents babysit our daughter. This was during the day.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Babysitter

    One of my pet peeves: When a father says he's "babysitting" while his wife does something else. Is it only the mother's job to take care of the children, and when you do it, you're doing her some kind of giant favor by freeing her up? Excuse me, but I think you're being a father!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: Babysitter

    Follow the link supplied by birdeen's call. I respectfully did, but it is apparently invalid, in your opinion.

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