What does bava mean?

Shelley recently asked me a simple question, “What does bava mean?” It’s a fair question and I thought it might actually be helpful to spell it out a bit for my customers readers dear friends.

Image of GaneshWell, there are many meanings for the term bava,  so it might be useful to go through them briefly:

In Sri Lanka the word bava refers to god, and there is a belief that if you have this name for your son or daughter you will be enriched with gold and money. Needless to say if I have another child I will be naming him or her bava, but in the meantime my blog will do.

Image of Pope BenedictIn the Syriac Christian traditions the Catholics and Patriarch are addressed as bava. It is the Syriac equivalent of the Latin/Greek title Pope. Both words literally translate to ‘Father’.

Bava is also the Italian word for dribble or spit. More specifically, it is a thick saliva usually associated with a babies or old people or rabid animals. Con la bava alla bocca is an Italian phrase which is similar to the English “foaming at the mouth.” Bava also forms the root of the Italian word for bib (or bavaglino), a handy article which protects babies from their own drivel (don’t read too much into this definition).

Image credit: Turkinator’s “Second Meal”

However, I think the term bava is probably best known in the Western world as the last name for the Italian filmmaker Mario Bava.  An inspiration for me on many fronts, and I think this is closest to what the bava means, though I don’t want to dismiss all the other meanings for they have some real relevance in their own right, particularly the idea of the bava as a kind of  presiding Pope of the internet.

More specifically, the full title for this blog, bavatuesdays, was a term some friends and I came up with while watching Mario Bava movies on a Tuesday evening in Brooklyn. We thought it might be fun to make it a regular Tuesday get together, and failing that we could use the term bavatuesdays as a band name.  Over a year later that meaningless banter was still stuck in my head and I decided I would get the domain and create a b-movie blog, obviously that didn’t pan out so well.

Fianlly, bava is whatever you want it to be.

Hope this helps.

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11 Responses to What does bava mean?

  1. Steven Egan says:

    That makes sense and fits what I’ve seen, especially the b-movies.

  2. Anand says:

    nice try, Rev. We all know that it means you, the god of spit.

    all hail the bava!

  3. Ed Webb says:

    I want the bava to be my BFF – is that OK?

  4. Reverend says:


    “The God of Spit” I like it, I like it a lot!

  5. Shelley says:

    Thanks, man!

    Way to encourage folks to ask questions they’re afraid might be “dumb.”

    Love it.

  6. Steven Egan says:

    There are dumb questions. They are the ones nobody asks. There are no stupid questions, but boy are there a lot of stupid answers. So, ask lots questions and carefully consider the answers.

  7. Mikhail says:

    Nicely done, Rev. The very first bavatuesday, I might add, was just two weeks after the towers fell (we could see the smoke out a window.) Matt Gold and I just volunteered at ground zero and Anto had the day before. We did that, voted for mayor, and experienced Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires all on the same day. Feature that.

  8. Reverend says:

    Exactly Mikhail,

    That is absolutely the full context of the evening. It almost seems crazy to imagine all those historic and quotidian events converging. There really is an aura of a post-9/11 world in my mind. A definitive before and after, and bava was never more relevant to me than after.

  9. Roushan bava says:

    I never knew my name’s meaning anyways thanx

  10. Saliya says:

    Bava is a smal human group in sri lanka. They are muslims. They are living with music (earn money by siging). Bava’s life is speceil, they meditate every day. Their life thave very valuble time perieod (40 days) affter 40 days namal muslim person come to Bava

  11. Saliya says:

    Bava is a smal human group in sri lanka. They are muslims. They are living with music (They earn money by siging working house by house). Bava’s life is speceil, they meditate every day. Their life thave very valuble time perieod (40 days), affter 40 days normal muslim person come to Bava. Bava has a special talant. He can do magical works. Normal Muslim people afraid them.

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