Word Geek – Father
This month Word Geek looks at the origins of the word ‘father’ which in its most basic definition is described as ‘a man in relation to his child or children’. The origins of the word we use in English today actually reach further than you may think.
The Old English word fæder, is of Germanic origin; related to both the modern-day Dutch and German words vader and Vater respectively. These words came from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin word pater and the Greek word patēr.
The word ‘father’ was believed by philologists in the late 1700s to show a link between languages that had previously not been considered to be related. When Sanskrit ‘pitar’, Latin ‘pater’ and Greek ‘patēr” are seen side by side, there are clear similarities, further enhanced when Old English, Old Norse and German are added to the mix: faeder, fathir and Vater respectively (as shown below). Theories also abound that the reason for the ‘p’ sound in so many different words for ‘father’ is that ‘pa’ (along with ‘ma’) is one of the first sounds babies make.
Word geeks at The Language Factory
All our Project Managers consider themselves ‘word geeks’ as they are all linguists who love to talk about language. If you have a project you need our help with, rest-assured it will be in the good hands of our language enthusiasts!
If you have a project in mind, leave your details below using our quick quote form and we’ll get back to you with an obligation-free quote. If you require more information you can read more about our services here. Alternatively, you can give us a call on +44 1727 862722 or email us at email@example.com.