from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Babbitt metal.
  • v. To line with Babbitt metal to reduce friction.
  • n. A person who subscribes complacently to materialistic middle-class ideals


Named for American inventor Isaac Babbitt (1799–1862) (Wiktionary)
Named after the title character in Sinclair Lewis' 1922 novel, Babbit. Also popularised by the George and Ira Gershwin song "The Babbitt and the Bromide," featured first in the 1927 musical "Funny Face" and later in the film Ziegfeld Follies (1945). (Wiktionary)



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  • Babbit forming, not babbittry.

    May 18, 2010

  • Just know that forming alloys used in bearing surfaces in machinery bearings can be babbitt forming.

    May 18, 2010

  • Babbitt, Babbitt metal, or bearing metal - names for a variety of alloys used for the bearing surface in machinery bearings. The metal resists galling. Not named after the Sinclair Lewis character and novel, but rather, after its inventor, one Isaac Babbitt of MA.

    May 18, 2010

  • Originally from the novel by Sinclair Lewis. :-)

    May 21, 2008

  • Eponym: a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards. (from WordCraft)

    May 20, 2008

  • See also babbittry.

    December 10, 2007

  • Thanks, OneBlueSun, for indirectly reminding me of the word babbitry!

    July 11, 2007