baby, verb transitive

Origin:
From baby noun.
Diamond-mining
To sift (diamondiferous gravel) in a swinging sifting machine known as a baby. Usually passive.
1886 J. Noble Cape of G.H.: Off. Handbk 219The average quantity of maiden ground that one man can excavate per day is about one and a half loads of rough gravel and sand, which after being ‘babied,’ yield half a load of pebbles to be washed.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 41Ground which had been sifted by the above machine (sc. the baby) was said to have been ‘babied’.
1945 N. Devitt People & Places 142The sifting machine most of them had brought with them for use on the dry diggings..was called ‘baby’; they spoke of the ground having been ‘babied’.
1968 J.T. McNish Rd to El Dorado 144One and a half loads of rough gravel and sand, which, after being ‘babied’ yielded only half a load of gravel fit to be washed.
To sift (diamondiferous gravel) in a swinging sifting machine known as a baby. Usually passive.
Derivatives:
Hence babied participial adjective.
1919 M.M. Steyn Diary 148We threw the screened or ‘babied’ gravel into the cradle where the stuff was rocked whilst being washed.

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18861968

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