Fatherland and Motherland

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Fatherland or Motherland is the land of one's "fathers", "mothers", "forefathers" or "ancestors". It can be viewed as an ethnic/racial nationalist concept, if it refers to an area associated with an ethnic/racial group, such as a nation state.


The terms fatherland and motherland refers to an anthropomorphized conception of certain lands. Fatherland is a translation of Latin "patria" (from "pater", meaning "father") and is related to terms such as patriotism. Such terms are, at least in their original meanings, examples of ethnic/racial groups loyalties often being compared to loyalties to relatives, which may be related to genetic similarities. See the article on Racial genetic interests, in particular the section Racial genetic interests: Ethnicity and territory.

Prior to World War II, such terms were used throughout the world and often with positive connotations, reflecting positive views on nationalism. For example, Wien Neêrlands Bloed, national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, makes extensive and conspicuous use of the parallel Dutch word.

More recently, such terms have become less common and are often viewed more negatively in many countries, due to increasing political correctness.


"Homeland" is a more politically correct and more civic nationalist somewhat similar term.

It can mean “one’s native land” or “the home of one’s ancestors.” It’s slightly younger than fatherland and motherland, attested in the early 1600s. Early uses of homeland have the sense of “domestic,” as opposed to “foreign,” e.g., homeland business. This sense of homeland survives today in phrases like homeland security. While the phrase dates back to the 1930s, it spread in the early 2000s in the US with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11. The department specifically deals with threats of terrorism, whereas national security encompasses a broader range of issues.[1]

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

Groups that refer to their native country as a "fatherland" (or rather, the most corresponding term to the English word in their languages), or, arguably, associate it primarily with paternal concepts include:

  • 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 (татковина)
  • the Dutch, as vaderland
  • the Nigerians as fatherland
  • the Norwegians as fedreland
  • the Oromo as Biyya Abbaa
  • the Pakistanis as Vatan
  • the Poles, as Ojczyzna (but there is also macierz, that is Motherland, although it is seldom used;moreover; "Ojczyzna" itself is in feminine, "ona" or "she" "Ojczyzna," and not "on" or "he" "Ojczyzna")
  • the Russians, as Otechestvo (отечество) or Otchizna (отчизна), however Rodina [ birthland ], is more common, happens to be feminine, and is typically personified as a mother (Sometimes referred to as birthland-mother). Otchizna is considered to be very formal, and typically used by government heads, whereas Rodina is more colloquial and widespread.
  • the Serbs as otadžbina (отаџбина)
  • the Welsh as the land of my fathers (Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau) .
  • the Slovaks as vlasť, or rarely domovina.
  • the Slovenes as očetnjava, although domovina (homeland) is more common.
  • the Swedes as fäderneslandet, although fosterlandet is more common (meaning the land that fostered/raised a person)
  • the Thais as pituphum (ปิตุภูมิ), the word is adapted from Sanskrit
  • the Tibetans as pha yul (ཕ་ཡུལ་)
  • the Vietnamese as Tổ quốc
  • the Ukrainians as Bat'kivshchyna (батьківщина) or, more rarely, Vitchyzna (вітчизна)

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

  • Basque: haisiera (home) or aberriko (motherland)
  • the Georgians as Samshoblo (სამშობლო - "[land] of parents") or Mamuli (მამული)
  • Hungarian people refer to Hungary as haza (home) or, with a bit different meaning "anyaország" = motherland. There is no word like "fatherland" in Hungarian.
  • the Persians as Sarzamineh Pedari (fatherland), Sarzamineh Madari (motherland) or Meehan
  • the Turks as Anayurt or Anavatan which means motherland. The word's origin is the Turkish word Yurt or Vatan which means land with the Turkish word Ana which means mother attached to it as a prefix. fatherland, as a noun, does not exist in Turkish.

See also


  1. When To Use Motherland vs. Fatherland https://www.dictionary.com/e/motherland-vs-fatherland/