English can be funny
• Cambridge, England
23 Sep 12
Also, food packaging usually has a picture of the food on the outside. Butter has happy looking cows, eggs often have a contented chicken or two, bacon very often has a laughing pig. Cat food, dog food and baby food, on the other hand, are usually sold with pictures of happy cats, dogs and babies on the label! Theer's nowt so queer as folks!
• United States
24 Sep 12
Taken directly from the wiki: The term "baby sitter" first appeared in 1937, while the verb form "baby-sit" was first recorded in 1947. The American Heritage College Dictionary notes "One normally would expect the agent noun babysitter with its -er suffix to come from the verb baby-sit, as diver comes from dive, but in fact babysitter is first recorded in 1937, ten years earlier than the first appearance of baby-sit. Thus the verb was derived from the agent noun rather than the other way around, and represents a good example of back-formation." The use of the word "sit" to abbreviate to refer to a baby-sitter is recorded from 1800. The term may have originated from the action of the caretaker "sitting on" the baby in one room, while the parents were entertaining or busy in another. ___________________ It sort of makes me thinks about we used to have to sit on a brother or sister to "hold them down" so something could be done like a punishment or like getting their ears pierced haha.
23 Sep 12
I can't tell you but it's the same with the word: kidnapper.. even used if an adult is "napped" (what is napped btw?). But I assume most languages have words or expressions like this who doesn't make sense (anymore). I assume the word was invented as the first person (not called nanny) was sitting around while she had to take care/watch a baby?
23 Sep 12
Hmmm, I always thought it means that someone other than the parents or legal guardians are "sitting in as a temporary protector/care-giver/nurturer to the baby or child until such a time the parents/guardians are able to once again take up their duty whatnots". This is just my interpretation of the word as I understand it, but I think it's true :) I think the lotters above me might have answered more but I have my preferences set to not include mature content so I hope you have your answers :)
23 Sep 12
Based on what I could find from Yahoo Answers (http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100501013224AAnBK7z), the term babysitting is a shortened form of "sitting-in for baby caring". There was another comment that mentioned the term could be derived from egg-laying animals that "sit" on their eggs to care for it, for example chickens and birds, and I think this explanation is plausible as well. But indeed, English is definitely a funny language with many weird words and phrases!