AskDefine | Define fatherland

Dictionary Definition

fatherland n : the country where you were born [syn: homeland, motherland, mother country, country of origin, native land]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The country of one's ancestors.
  2. The country of one's birth.
  3. Country of origin.



Extensive Definition

Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers", "forefathers" or "patriarchs". It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations. (Compare to motherland and homeland.)

Groups that refer to their native country as a "fatherland"

Groups that refer to their native country as a "fatherland" (or rather, translations of this English word in their languages), or, arguably, associate it primarily with paternal concepts include:
  • Romans, Italians, Romanians as Patria. It should be noted that there is a gender change in Spanish and Italian patria.
  • the Afrikaners as Vaderland.
  • the Albanian as Atdheu.
  • the Armenians, as Hayrenik (as in the national anthem Mer Hayrenik, literally meaning Our Fatherland)
  • the Brazilians as Pátria.
  • the Bulgarians as Tatkovina and Otechestvo
  • the Croats as Očevina and Domovina
  • the Czechs as otčina
  • the Danes as fædreland
  • the Estonians as isamaa
  • the Filipinos Amang Bayan
  • the French as patrie
  • the Finns as isänmaa
  • the Frisians as heitelân
  • the Georgians as Samshoblo (სამშობლო - "[land] of parents") or Mamuli (მამული)
  • the Germans, as das Vaterland (as in the national anthem Das Lied der Deutschen)
  • the Greeks as patris, the root word for patriotism.
  • the Hungarians as hon or haza
  • the Icelanders as Föðurland
  • the Indians as (), although very, very rarely used, the word for motherland, Matrubhumi, being the exclusively used one.
  • the Jews as Eretz Ha'Avot ()
  • the Kazakhs as atameken
  • the Latvians as tēvija or tēvzeme (although dzimtene – roughly translated as "place of birth" – is more neutral and used more commonly nowadays)
  • the Lithuanians as tėvynė
  • the ethnic Macedonians as Tatkovina
  • the Dutch, as vaderland
  • the Norwegians as fedreland
  • the Poles, as Ojczyzna (but there is also macierz, that is Motherland, although it is seldom used)
  • the Portuguese as Pátria.
  • the Russians, as Otechestvo (отечество) or Otchizna (отчизна), although Rodina, that is ancestral land, is more common.
  • the Slovenes as Očetnjava, usage is regarded archaic, Domovina (home country) is used instead.
  • the Serbs as otadžbina (отаџбина)
  • the Swedes as fäderneslandet, although fosterlandet is more common (mening the land that fosterd/raised you).
  • the Thais as pituphum (ปิตุภูมิ), the word is adapted from Sanskrit
  • the Tibetans as pha yul
  • the Turks as anavatan
  • the Vietnam as Quê Cha
  • the Ukrainians as bat'kivschina (батьківщина) or, more rarely, vitchizna (вітчизна)
Turkish Usage "anavatan" is "Motherland" in Turkish. There is a difference, as ANA is definitely mother. The term "Fatherland" implies a male-oriented society.
Hungarian Usage Hon or Haza simply means native land and not "Fatherland".

English usage and Nazi connotations

Drawing from the Nazis' usage of the term "Vaterland", the direct English translation "fatherland" featured in news reports associated with Nazi Germany and in domestic anti-Nazi propaganda during World War II. As a result, the English word is now associated with the Nazi government of Germany (unlike in Germany itself, where the word means simply "homeland"). The word is not used often in post-World War II English unless one wishes to invoke the Nazis, or one is translating literally from a foreign language where that language's equivalent of "fatherland" does not bear Nazi connotations. The word Motherland in modern English carries similar associations with the Soviet Union. Homeland, however, has remained politically neutral.
Prior to Nazism, however, the term was used throughout Germanic language countries without Nazi connotations (obviously), or often to refer to their homelands much as the word "motherland" does. For example, "Wien Neerlands bloed", national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, makes extensive and conspicuous use of the parallel Dutch word. In Iceland (and other places) it is the norm to use the term "fatherland" (föðurland) and many would be offended if it was in any way compared with the Nazi term of the word.


Fatherland can also refer to:
fatherland in Danish: Fædreland
fatherland in German: Vaterland
fatherland in Esperanto: Patrio
fatherland in Spanish: Patria
fatherland in Finnish: Isänmaa
fatherland in Italian: Patria
fatherland in Georgian: მამული
fatherland in Latin: Patria
fatherland in Polish: Ojczyzna
fatherland in Portuguese: Pátria
fatherland in Russian: Отечество
fatherland in Finnish: Isänmaa
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