One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An ancient city in Mesopotamia, the capital of Babylonia in the 2nd millennium BC. The city was on the banks of the Euphrates River and was noted for its luxury, its fortifications, and, particularly, for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
2A town on the southern shore of Long Island in New York that includes the villages of Babylon and Amityville; population 219,761 (est. 2008)
Greek Babulōn (from Hebrew bāḇel), also the name of the mystical city of the Apocalypse. Compare with babel.
(chiefly among Rastafarians) a contemptuous or dismissive term for aspects of a society seen as degenerate or oppressive, especially the police.‘praise them for bringing a new rectitude to Babylon’
- ‘All people should have dreadlocks because nobody has ever said to wash your hair but Babylon.’
- ‘The Babylon acted swiftly and managed to find one of the suspects by fingerprinting.’
- ‘Babylon is like, the society built by white people.’
1940s: by association with Babylon.
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