The Origin and Grammar of Father’s Day


While Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914, Father’s Day took a little longer to be considered a national holiday. The origin of Father’s Day lies in two unrelated tragic events. 

About six months after the Monongah mining disaster of 1907, in which the small West Virginia town lost over 350 men, Grace Golden Clayton organized an event to honor the fathers killed in the catastrophe. On the other side of the country, Sondra Smart Dodd, whose mother died in childbirth, had a similar father-related thought. Inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon she attended in 1909, Dodd believed there should be a corresponding holiday to celebrate fathers. After all, she and her five siblings had been raised by her father and Civil War veteran, William Smart. Dodd successfully gained support for her idea, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated by Washington State in 1910 in June, the month of her father’s birthday. Though President Calvin Coolidge publicly supported the holiday in 1924, and President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed it a national holiday in 1966, it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon officially signed a proclamation making Father’s Day federal holiday that falls on the third Sunday in June.

People often wonder why Father’s Day has an apostrophe before the s. The quick answer is that Mother’s Day set a precedent on this fuzzy grammatical issue of apostrophe placement. With the apostrophe before the s, Father’s Day “belongs” to each individual father. If the apostrophe fell after the s, the meaning slightly changes. That would be a holiday “belonging” to all fathers as a collective. The holiday April Fools’ Day, for example, takes the possessive plural rather than the singular plural. Perhaps this is because the individual fool doesn’t matter here in the way in which each individual father matters to his children.

See Also:
Alot vs. A lot: 9 Language Crimes to Watch Out For
Dad? Pops? Father? Why Are There So Many Names for the Same Person?
Why Is the Sixth Month Called June?


  1. reccles -  July 18, 2016 - 2:36 pm

    wats craccin

  2. Mr. Fingersnatch -  June 30, 2016 - 6:18 pm


    • Rebecca -  July 18, 2016 - 2:39 pm

      i feel alone because i dont have a dad

      • Rebecca -  July 19, 2016 - 8:25 am

        But i have my mom. :) But not a dad! :(

        • Mr. Fingersnatch -  July 26, 2016 - 7:25 pm

          FOR NOW

    • reccles -  July 18, 2016 - 2:40 pm


    • Dailenys Diaz -  September 13, 2016 - 1:28 pm

      That’s right!!! God is the Celestial Father for everybody!!!!

  3. Boblay -  June 30, 2016 - 5:12 pm

    Some insightful comments, some moronic comments.

  4. Rimpi -  June 19, 2016 - 10:01 am


  5. Rimpi -  June 19, 2016 - 10:00 am

    Father and mother both are important 4 ur

    • Rebecca -  July 19, 2016 - 8:28 am

      I do have to agree on that but lets just say your whole family is important like brothers sister and also cousins and nephews just your whole family. :)

    • Dailenys Diaz -  September 13, 2016 - 1:29 pm

      Yes! My mom an my dad are my life!!!

  6. Jebus -  June 18, 2016 - 7:53 am

    Birthday’s are worse they were originally celebrated by rich people and more a gathering for the poor to flourish the rich with presents. If you were to think about it critically it doesn’t really make much sense as to why you would celebrate the one and only day that you were born once a year. As every day after you were born is a constant reminder of ones expiration date. If we were to look at this logically the degradation of cells (aging) is really nothing to celebrate about, essentially what we celebrate is death not life.

    • Terrance Richardson -  June 21, 2016 - 12:26 pm

      I respectfully disagree. I think each birthday you have indicates you have made it a full year without dying. Plus, you never know which one will be your last so in effect I believe we are celebrating life as opposed to death.

    • Gwendoline Davina -  June 21, 2016 - 10:25 pm

      I disagree with Jebus’ idea that a birthday celebrates death… I think it celebrates that we are ‘still’ alive!

    • Marny CA -  June 24, 2016 - 12:54 am

      Jebus, makes sense! But lots of people make cents out of those holidays and funerals.

      Hmmm, cents/sense

      What if one’s father was an absent person from the home and from the lives of the children? Is there a NonFather’s Day?

      On my birthday I think of my mom. She’s the first one to know me.

      I celebrate her birthday and her life and her day of passing because she knew me her whole life – I did not know her all of mine.

    • Amer -  July 1, 2016 - 4:14 pm

      Jebus is on to something in my opinion. even though people celebrating birthdays are most probably celebrating because they were able to last a whole year without dying although remaining alive is not one of those accomplishments we work hard for and struggle to maintain ( excluding suicidals and some sick people). shouldn’t celebrations be specific to those more rare things we strive for not something which is so ubiquitous and common. also when people celebrate their birthday because another year passed while being alive, reality is that he or she is closer to his or her death than the last year. that’s why most 40 year olds and above despise birthdays. so the celebrators choose to (or at less try) forget mourning his or her closer death and focus on celebrating living a year he just had to remain breathing, keep eating and avoid getting hit by cars.

  7. Yorick -  June 17, 2016 - 4:02 pm

    Just a small correction in the last paragraph it should read

    ” April Fools’ Day, for example, takes the possessive plural rather than the possessive singular.”

    rather than,

    April Fools’ Day, for example, takes the possessive plural rather than the singular plural.

    • roy -  June 20, 2016 - 2:17 pm

      I enjoy your correction! Other than hearing typical internet slang, its good to read PROPER English. The placement of the ‘. Apostrophe.
      Note also: our weekends were started by the wealthy, who decided to get thier workers two day off. One to relax, one to go to church

      • That Homie Fred Is Back Yall -  June 22, 2016 - 7:17 pm



        please let me know you’re thought!s

        I am learning PROPER ENGLISH and I am new to America!

        I love the hot dog!! LOL THank you very much!!

        • Rebecca -  July 19, 2016 - 8:30 am

          Wow totally lol bru. ;)

  8. Eddie Kent -  June 17, 2016 - 4:50 am

    Fathers Day is just a construct – it sells cards. Mothers Day is a mistake. Mothering Sunday is the day you dedicate to Mother Church. The church consoles and protects, as does your own mother.

    • Larry Daniels -  June 17, 2016 - 12:37 pm

      Being a father, is a thankless job!!!!
      It go’s all the way back to joe and mary. There’s no preyers for joe no special day. He’s not ever talked about in the bible. How many hail Mary’s have you prayed? On mothers day the phone lines are all busy, on father’s day its busniess as always. No one trying to call there father on father’s day.

      • Rebecca -  July 18, 2016 - 2:28 pm

        The sad thing for me is that i don’t have a father.

    • Kathleen Parrish -  June 17, 2016 - 1:18 pm

      Sorry Eddie, but it means a lot to me, and it’s ‘just a construct.’. My father was a role model, protector and provider for me and my five siblings until his death from cancer at the age of 47. He was also the man who shaped my expectations and standards when I chose and married my high school sweetheart.

      These days my step-dad fulfills that role admirably, and my step-sibs are as close as my full-sibs. And every one of us gets him a card, sends gifts, or takes him and my mom out to dinner. P.S. Mother’s Day is not a mistake.

    • Never Always -  June 17, 2016 - 6:14 pm

      I agree that it’s important for Christians to honour and love the Church (and Mother Mary too! :) ) but that’s not what Mother’s Day is about. Our parents are worth honouring (like in that commandment) and it’s pretty great that we have a special day each year just to celebrate them as a mother or a father. Don’t you think?

    • Jake Jones -  June 18, 2016 - 3:23 pm

      What a sad pathetic view of two wonderful days to honor our parents

    • Louis -  June 19, 2016 - 11:16 am

      I love every fathers and particularly my father event if he is no longer alive

  9. Fer de la Cruz, M.A. -  June 16, 2016 - 6:53 pm

    Here in Mexico, more and more school principals are saying “Día de las Madres” nowadays, which sounds awkward to me and reflects a silly hypersensitibity for correctness. I grew up hearing “Día de la Madre,” which applies to all mothers by means of synecdoche. Same with the English terms Mother´s Day and Father´s Day, I´d say.

    • Jacquelyn Hyde -  June 17, 2016 - 1:56 pm

      Two here:

      Eddie Kent – June 17, 2016 – 4:50 am

      “Fathers Day is just a construct – it sells cards. Mothers Day is a mistake. Mothering Sunday is the day you dedicate to Mother Church. The church consoles and protects, as does your own mother.”

      Agreed, Eddie; Well said. From the grumpy English viewpoint, Father’s Day is just another tiresome American import – like the bullying ‘Trick or treat’, or the horrid schadenfreude of Valentine’s Day, where the ‘with-outs’ are left to weep.

      Now to Fer de la Cruz’s interesting point:

      “Here in Mexico, more and more school principals are saying “Día de las Madres” nowadays, which sounds awkward to me and reflects a silly [hypersensibility] for correctness. I grew up hearing “Día de la Madre,” which applies to all mothers by means of synecdoche. Same with the English terms Mother´s Day and Father´s Day, I´d say.”

      Hmm. Removing the synecdochal issue, if such it is, I’d say that “Día de la Madre” refers to the Blessed Virgin alone, as it did originally, whereas Day of the Mothers (“Día de las Madres”) is all mothers’ day.

      I’d say this is a good move.

      Jacquelyn Hyde.

  10. CHRISTIANA ADEREMI -  June 16, 2016 - 4:45 am

    In 1910, a Father’s Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington, at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was born in Arkansas. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.

    • fh -  June 16, 2016 - 11:15 am


    • Tom Kearney -  June 19, 2016 - 4:16 pm

      Indeed, Ms. Dodd originated the celebration as described here in
      Spokane, WA. We noted its centennial in The Lilac City in 2010.

  11. Still Wondering -  June 15, 2016 - 12:30 am

    “The holiday April Fools’ Day, for example, takes the possessive plural rather than the singular plural.” The what?? I’ve never heard of the singular plural. The possessive singular, maybe? How long has this discussion been going on with no comment about this?

  12. ;oeyiuuf3;83ryg -  June 14, 2016 - 8:06 pm

    Best day ever (first day of summer)

    • EDWARD HENNIE -  June 27, 2016 - 11:57 am


  13. Megan Gisbon -  June 13, 2016 - 11:08 am

    wow!! so sad

    • Emily Xiong -  June 18, 2016 - 1:49 am

      Here in China, hope every father can have a good day on Father’s Day!

  14. suresh -  June 8, 2016 - 8:41 am

    I have few more ideas on improving the Card Sales
    a) Estranged Father’s day
    b) Biological Father’s day
    c) Forgotten Fathers day
    d) In jail Father’s day
    e) Abusive ..F D? yikes!!!

    Oh, also the same images of mother’s days too ..

    Nothing wrong !!! Improved GDP. I know the cards budget gets out of hand but, hell, the paid Federal holidays makes up,

    • whoopeeeeeeeeeeeeee -  June 13, 2016 - 12:34 pm

      National Sorrow Day – kids return to school
      National Rejoicing day – my birthday
      National Who-the-heck-cares day, or National Whatever Day – every other day

      • Victor- -  June 15, 2016 - 12:08 pm

        National good ridance day, goneBHO DAY

    • a cow -  June 13, 2016 - 12:38 pm


      • a pig -  June 13, 2016 - 12:38 pm


        • a cat -  June 14, 2016 - 9:45 am


          • fh -  June 16, 2016 - 11:16 am


          • Rebecca -  July 19, 2016 - 8:33 am


    • jacinda -  June 14, 2016 - 11:32 am

      a b c d e

    • Mike Moreau -  June 19, 2016 - 7:19 am

      Babydaddy’s day ?

    • Q -  June 19, 2016 - 12:02 pm

      Love it!!!! Cuz let’s be real children fortunate enough to have/grow up raised with an non abusive in-state full-time involved birth Dads is an exception to the norm. A child-Dad relationship unfortunately evolves into your suggested new Father’s Day card categories.

  15. GRETA LIRA -  November 24, 2015 - 5:48 pm

    Excellent ideas – I was enlightened by the insight – Does anyone know where I could possibly acquire a template IRS W-3 copy to fill in ?

  16. RKGNYC -  June 21, 2015 - 1:09 pm

    It’s this simple: If you are setting aside a particular day on which to celebrate your father, it is Father’s Day (even better would be …Father’s Day with the ellipsis standing in for “My”). If you assign a particular day on which to celebrate all fathers everywhere, it is Fathers Day, without any apostrophe at all.

    • Murf -  June 18, 2016 - 8:08 am

      A day to celebrate Fathers everywhere…exactly.

    • Joe Foster -  June 19, 2016 - 5:18 am

      Of all the posts, I believe you are correct. Thanks very much.

  17. Nehwon Macpherson David -  June 19, 2015 - 2:44 pm

    I would rather see the plural form as appropriate. Although individual father deserves to be celebrated by his children, it would work best to treat fathers in a collective manner. Whether individual or not, every father has a peculiar role to play, as such, deserves to be treated as a unit. We would argue though that some fathers are not up to the task when it comes to shouldering their fatherly responsibilities, but what all fathers have in common that needs to be collectively celebrated is their abilities to bring life into the world. So their inabilities to take responsibility for the life form should not rob them of their reproductive benefits. That being said, I would love were we to let the apostrophe s comes after fathers as “fathers’ day.”

  18. Lindsay -  March 18, 2015 - 6:21 pm

    To me Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is quite correct.
    I honour MY father/mother, not all mothers/fathers on that day. It is a concept; it is about the day of the father/mother.
    Each person has only one mother/father & it is a personal thing, about each of us honouring our own father/mother.

    • G.F. -  June 21, 2015 - 6:24 am

      Some of us have more than one father or one mother. Some of us grew up adopted, then later found a biological parent, or two (without forfeiting the original parents). Some of us consider our in laws as parents, too.

  19. blasfjh -  August 7, 2014 - 3:36 am

    this article is not true at all. fathers day was started by an Australian company that sold cards, they had no ‘card worthy events’ between mothers day and Christmas (I don’t know if they had/have Halloween cards?) and so the company decided to invent a fathers day in order to increase sales of cards and minimise risk of cash flow problems caused by seasonality of the products.

    • michy -  July 4, 2016 - 10:41 pm

      ha ha ha ha what?? I am in Australia and that is so not true. Father’s day in Australia is the same as the USA just on a different date cause that’s the way we roll

  20. Greensboro Life Coach -  June 17, 2014 - 7:38 am

    I’m sorry it took such tragedies to kick off a Father’s Day but I’m glad we did. I think the day becomes more and more important as men are now much more involved in child-rearing than ever before. Thanks for the history lesson.

    • hAHA -  June 13, 2016 - 12:35 pm

      I LIKE tragedies

      • Murf -  June 18, 2016 - 8:11 am

        You must get a kick out of American politics…

  21. Bikash Adhikari -  June 14, 2014 - 3:16 am

    i m neplese citizen i don’t hear n see such tradition.

  22. Pradeep -  March 24, 2014 - 11:37 am

    I’m an indian and follow Hindu tradition, but there is no father’s day in Hindu tradition. Above statement surprised me!! Ofcourse I’m not opposed to celebrating father’s day, there is nothing wrong.

    • Rajaram.V -  June 20, 2015 - 2:44 am

      Anyhow, we are bound to thank and remember our creator. Mother as well father wished us out of love and so let us all celebrate.

  23. Roshni Kainthan -  August 7, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    It’s Fathers’ Day, celebrating all fathers.

    • doglover -  November 14, 2014 - 5:58 am


  24. Missa2246c -  July 2, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    There’s also something wrong with Mother’s day……it should be Mothers’ day, but no one pointed that out.
    Or I just didn’t read all the comments.

    • doglover -  November 14, 2014 - 6:00 am

      I mean yeah yup uh-huh I totally agree with you. (i’m not being sarcastic)

      • Rebecca -  July 19, 2016 - 8:37 am

        OMG you where totally being sarcastic. But if you where you where totally good at it believe me bru.

    • Saqib Ali -  June 20, 2016 - 12:04 am

      exactly and fathers’ day because its a day dedicated to ‘fathers’

  25. dd -  June 24, 2013 - 9:03 am

    @Bucky. Odd no one has corrected your pea mistake for two years. “Pea” as we know it today is singular, and has always been singular. Back 600 years ago, according to etymologists, “pease” was the singular form of the plural “peasen”. The plural peasen eventually was dropped in favour of using pease for both plural and singular references. (Words like this are part of a larger category of nouns known as “defective nouns”, whose singular and plural forms are interchanged, missing or otherwise act a bit loopy. Here’s an interesting link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defective_noun#Defective_nouns)

    Today’s singular “pea” and plural “peas” have been “back derived” from this 600 year old word because the typical english speaker got used to thinking an s sound at the end of a word was plural. Interestingly, the archaic “pease” (likely pronounced like today’s “peace”) has survived in “pease porridge”, a sort of mush hummus-like paste made from legumes. (Great with ham or bacon, by the way.)

  26. Quotenor -  June 23, 2013 - 11:39 am

    Little things make a huge difference.
    An inspirational quote by William Shakespeare for fathers:
    “It is a wise father that knows his own child.”

  27. Nic -  June 17, 2013 - 3:19 am

    Well…a small ‘ is like the word “only” – it positions everything ….

  28. chizzy -  June 17, 2013 - 3:08 am

    Thanks for the information.
    If it will be possible to change the apostrophe ‘s which represents some personalities to s’, i think it should be changed or corrected because the word is for all the fathers.
    Little things are powerful!!!

  29. wezimark -  June 16, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    The day itself should edit to Fathers’ but gift cards and the like be Father’s day

    • doglover -  November 14, 2014 - 6:05 am

      true, but WHO CARES!, I do (sorry if you see it twice cause I don’t see the post)

  30. Rcbjr2 -  June 16, 2013 - 5:56 pm

    While we’re on the subject of grammatical issues, I believe you need a semi-colon before “however” in your first paragraph and a comma after West Virginia in your second.

  31. Charlie V -  June 16, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    The question is whether the intent is that father be singular or plural. Are we saying it is the day for all fathers, or are we saying it is the day for our own father. It’s more personal to keep it singular as a direct salute to our own dear father. In any case, both “father’s” and “fathers’” are legitimate words.

  32. trifectatom -  June 16, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    As I sit here reading this and listening to B B King, I’d like to nominate him for iconic father, 13 or 14 kids each with a different mother, brings new meaning to “riding with the King’.

  33. Rafael Hatcher -  June 16, 2013 - 2:40 pm

    It’s funny, here in Brazil, in Portuguese, we say “Dia dos pais” which is really Fathers’ day. Just like we say “Dia das mães” Mothers’ day.

  34. robruns -  June 16, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Oh, and don’t forget Atticus Finch. I like Laura’s list, Liam Nesson in Taken, now there’s a dad who goes the distance for his daughter.

  35. Elsie -  June 16, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    The question itself is grammatically flawed. The question “What is the grammatical error that accompanies Father’s Day?” indicates that the author is writing about the holiday. Quotation marks need to be placed around the term “Father’s Day” to indicate that the author is referring not to the holiday, but to the written term itself.

  36. Dan -  June 16, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Fathers’ Day

    • doglover -  November 14, 2014 - 6:05 am


  37. Carlos Dehesa -  June 16, 2013 - 11:24 am

    I do not know why we have to celebrate Father’s day, if most household heads are women, or very closely.

  38. Jeriah -  June 16, 2013 - 11:18 am

    I think the reason that it is spelled with an apostrophe before the “s” is to show that YOUR father is in possession. Because you don’t have more than one dad. Yeah, your biological dad may be divorced from your mom and you might have a stepdad. But I think it makes a lot of sense the way that it is spelled. And before you write an article about grammatical errors, maybe you should learn how to write an article that is correct in punctuation.

  39. Mufasa -  June 16, 2013 - 10:40 am

    Yeah, agreed

  40. Diamond -  June 16, 2013 - 9:29 am

    I find the articles posted on here very interesting.

    Maybe they changed the grammar so that it could be “day belonging to father” because not all of us have more than one father. More than one could be a father figure that helped raised us or a father married into the family.

    I perceive this as it being more intimate.

  41. loki 17 -  June 16, 2013 - 7:44 am

    never knew about the ingramatically correct error on the spelling of fathers’ day. people, its a day for all fathers not a day belonging to fathers!
    also never knew the translation of darth vader.

  42. Rafay -  June 16, 2013 - 7:15 am

    Hmm, interesting. Just makes me wonder if the apostrophe in “Mother’s day” is wrong as well.

  43. Jack Fraxle -  June 16, 2013 - 7:00 am


  44. rcs -  June 16, 2013 - 6:04 am

    While the “Day of Fathers” (as in all fathers) would be plural (Fathers’ Day), the cards are written singularly (Father’s Day) because one person is buying one card for one father. Therefore, there’s not really a grammar mistake when looked at individually instead of collectively. Also, I find it quite interesting that a person’s post about grammar mistakes has multiple grammar mistakes in it – such as this comma splice (one of many examples of grammar errors): “In the United States, Father’s [uses the singular possessive claiming to be incorrect - the focus of this article] Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, [comma splice: do not join 2 sentences wiht just a comma = this should be a semicolon] however [a comma is missing after this introductory word in the second clause] this was not always the case.

  45. Bala -  June 16, 2013 - 4:13 am

    Allow me to correct you respectfully. I think Father’s Day is correct and Fathers’ Day is wrong.
    Here, the word ‘Father’ is not used to mean one individual. It is a concept. Father is an institution. We don’t say Presidents’ Office, do we? We say President’s Office. Why? There is only President at a time. Similarly, a child has only one biological father. You will write a card for the one man who brought you into life. So will I. That person is the only one we need to consider on this day. That is why the apostrophe is put where it is.
    I will give you another example. Do you define a dog as `man’s best friend’ or `men’s best friend’? I know dogs that are friends with more than one man. This illustrates that we use the word as a concept; a singular noun that refers to a whole group. I can think of at least half a dozen other examples, but I don’t want to bore you.
    Please remove this article. It gives a bad name to an otherwise great website.
    Sorry if I ended up giving offense. I didn’t mean it.

  46. Bala -  June 16, 2013 - 4:13 am

    Allow me to correct you respectfully. I think Father’s Day is correct and Fathers’ Day is wrong.
    Here, the word ‘Father’ is not used to mean one individual. It is a concept. Father is an institution. We don’t say Presidents’ Office, do we? We say President’s Office. Why? There is only President at a time. Similarly, a child has only one biological father. You will write a card for the one man who brought you into life. So will I. That person is the only one we need to consider on this day. That is why the apostrophe is put where it is.
    I will give you another example. Do you define a dog as `man’s best friend’ or `men’s best friend’? I know dogs that are friends with more than one man. This illustrates that we use the word as a concept; a singular noun that refers to a whole group. I can think of at least half a dozen other examples, but I don’t want to bore you.
    Please remove this article. It gives a bad name to an otherwise great website.
    Sorry if I offended you.

  47. Natasha -  June 16, 2013 - 4:07 am

    I love my dad for all the thing he has done for me.

  48. Michaela Hardy -  June 15, 2013 - 7:46 pm

    I think father’s day is father’s day and you need to get over it that it is “grammatically incorrect!” Get over it it is a day dedicated to our fathers, and who cares what it is called or who messed up the spelling along the way! Just be happy there is even such a thing as fathers day!

  49. hunny.rm -  June 15, 2013 - 7:11 pm

    In my opinion Fathers’ day should be used when referring to the masses, but I prefer Father’s day when speaking to my loved ones.

  50. hunny.rm -  June 15, 2013 - 7:02 pm

    I believe that Fathers’ day should be used when referring to the masses; but I prefer Father’s day when referring to my loved one’s. #justsaying

  51. Michael -  June 15, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    True to a point. However, if I am looking at it from a standpoint of it being MY father’s day, then it is correct. If I look at it from a collective viewpoint, then yes, it is incorrect.

  52. Zephie -  June 15, 2013 - 2:52 pm

    I find it amazing that that this article has generated discussion for the last 2 years! Thanks for the clarification of the grammar faux pas; as soon as I read the question the answer was quite obvious.
    Fathers’ Day, while beautiful in the celebration, is a difficult time for many of us. Thankfully my mom taught me the difference between “father” and “dad”. If you currently occupy space on this planet then half of your DNA is from your “father”. If you have a male figure in your life who has shown you love, support, direction, admiration, financial care, etc. then you are the proud recipient of a “Dad”!
    Famous Fathers (& Dads): Gene Roddenberry, Joss Wheadon, Robert Englund, Bill W., Jimmy K., JFK, Einstein, Peirs Anthony, Stephen King, Freud, Jung, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Socrates, …

  53. robruns -  June 15, 2013 - 2:27 pm

    My dad was and is a terrific father. When I became a father of 2 daughters, I loved watching Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) with my girls. Mister Rogers set the bar for all of us. :)

  54. PeeJ -  June 15, 2013 - 11:13 am

    Why do the people who get the first comment just say, “Cool! First comment!” and then forget to leave a comment?

  55. David Brodsky -  June 15, 2013 - 10:04 am

    I disagree. Fathers is being used as a adjective to describe which day, so there really should be no apostrophe at all. Just Fathers Day.

  56. T.F. Black -  June 15, 2013 - 7:41 am

    I contend that neither “Father’s” nor “Fathers’” is correct, as both denote possession. Fathers do not “own” the day; rather, it is declared the day in which fathers are honored. Ditto for the counterpart day. IMHO, should read “Mothers Day.”

  57. clive -  June 15, 2013 - 6:29 am

    Pitch perfect

  58. Minimonk -  June 15, 2013 - 5:50 am

    Such a pity comments pages are so often swamped by *****, changing the subject with arguments about grammar or religion or just with stupid remarks about ‘first comment’ or even totally unrelated nonsense.
    The Hot Word is well worth a read and even some of the comments – too bad about the spoilers.

  59. Arya Das -  June 15, 2013 - 1:06 am

    I never saw it ! I really never saw this error ! Thanks for telling me.

  60. David -  June 14, 2013 - 11:45 pm

    If “Father’s Day” means day for one’s father, the phrase is grammatical. That would be logical, inasmuch as most kids have only one father. It is that father to whom they would give a card, not all fathers. So why assume that the switch from “Fathers’ Day” to “Father’s Day” is a lapse in grammar rather than either a correction in grammar or a change in intended sense? The author certainly does not establish that we all write “Father’s Day” when what we “really” mean is “Fathers’ Day.”

  61. yayapapaya -  June 14, 2013 - 10:21 pm

    Hi guyz. I hate my dadz

  62. Joe -  June 14, 2013 - 6:12 pm

    That’s like God saying, “son, I am Satan.”

  63. abnormal -  June 14, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    What about:

    Father Time?
    Father Christmas?
    The Heavenly Father?
    The United States’ Founding Fathers?
    The Godfather? . . . Okay . . . that one’s a stretch . . .

  64. Nidnat Mystedin -  June 14, 2013 - 11:33 am

    I love this Page!
    I liked Trina’s response!

  65. carrie -  June 14, 2013 - 10:48 am

    As an elementary teacher, I’ve been having a difficult time with this error for YEARS!!! Thank you for shedding some light upon it!

  66. Laura -  June 14, 2013 - 10:04 am

    You know, this article is great and all, but maybe we should put more time into caring about our fathers than writing silly little comments on the spelling. After all, it’s the thought that counts and I don’t think any dad is going to be upset over an apostraphe.

    Now, for iconic fathers:
    George Jetson, Marlin(Nemo), Liam Neeson in Taken, and Father Christmas

    By the way, I <3 GEORGE BAILEY and that entire movie!

  67. Brian -  June 14, 2013 - 9:21 am

    Technically it’s not a holiday, right? To be a holiday is to have the day “off.” I believe it’s more of an “observance.” Not a big deal, I know, but since we are being so specific about the details of an apostrophe, maybe worth noting.

  68. FATHER’S-DAY 3372 | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  June 14, 2013 - 7:24 am

    [...] ‘Father’s Day’ reconstituted — Some things just don’t make no sense — So so often DNA refuted — Blasphemy not happenstance. — If Blasphemy has no meaning when the meaning is control — If it isn’t good for the Planet — How can it be good for the soul. — Mother Father reconnoiter — Brother Sister All in One — Do something else but do not loiter — OR LITTER IF THE SHOE FITS — Somebody’s father wants another gun. — Little pieces and Bits — Bullets talk with nothing to say — Father’s Day in the USA. — So much for the children. –>>L.T.Rhyme This entry was posted in DICTCOMHOTWORD, L.T.Rhyme and tagged LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD on June 14, 2013 by LTRhyme. [...]

  69. Elaine -  June 14, 2013 - 6:39 am

    Haha, in China, or chinese traditions, Father’s Day is held on August 8.
    Why? Because when reading dates, months do not have names, they are said by the number they are in, so Eighth Month, 8th day. When read aloud, has the same sound as ‘BaBa’ or ‘Papa’ so yeah. Since it sounds like Papa, let’s make that day in honour of Fathers. :)

  70. bunch -  June 14, 2013 - 12:48 am

    Happy Father’s Day to my Dad! May you rest in peace Tatay… (Filipino word for father, also Itay)

  71. Andrew John -  June 14, 2013 - 12:37 am

    No, no. The singular genitive is fine. It’s the day of the universal father (no, I don’t mean the deity), not necessarily of fathers. Let’s look at some phrases that might illustrate. We speak (in the UK, where I am) of “the high street” (“the main street”, I think, in the US). There are many high streets, of course, but we don’t pluralise it when we speak of the universal high (main) street. We talk of the schoolyard (or playground in Britain) when we’re referring to schoolyards in general. We would say “we speak on the telephone”. We don’t say “telephones” just because we’ve used the plural pronoun “we”, because in this context “the telephone” is the universal telephone, not any specific one or several specific ones or all telephones. So Mother’s Day, Father’s Day? Fine.

  72. Ansel -  May 7, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    This is one of the big reasons I keep this website as my homepage.

  73. Trina -  May 5, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Not going to comment on the debate over the placement of the apostrophe. Just going to post some of my names that I feel are iconic fathers

    As for fathers from the Bible…
    Joseph of Nazareth has already been mentioned a couple of times, as has Moses. Now I would like to add Abraham and Jacob, who was also given the name Israel, and say that they are considered the fathers of the Israelites, and Abraham metaphorically also as the father of Christians.

    As for fathers from Disney movies…
    Gepetto (Pinocchio)
    The Great Prince of the Forest (Bambi)
    King Triton (The Little Mermaid)
    Mufassa (The Lion King)

    I would also like to submit George Bailey from IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

  74. Chuj -  October 11, 2012 - 10:47 am

    “The German word for father is ‘vater’”

    No, it’s “Vater”. German nouns must be capitalized.

  75. Naysia -  March 9, 2012 - 11:38 am

    I love my dad it’s just hard when i have some bad days with him and it hurts me when the situation is done but at the end of the day i still love him with all my heart no matter what. Dad i just want to say that i’m sorry for everything that i done and been threw i hope you accept for what i did in the past love you daddy:* you’re the best.. MY dad is B-DAY is coming up very shortly it is on May 14,2012…

  76. chyenne -  November 14, 2011 - 11:25 am

    i love father’s day allot because it is a spusile day for them and they kid i love my dad

  77. mars -  July 21, 2011 - 8:24 pm

    …nice article….
    well this makes me miss my dad…=(

  78. OldStyle -  July 5, 2011 - 3:39 pm

    I like Father’s day better, I will honor my Father and my Father alone… hehehe.
    Bruce Hurley on June 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm
    Great. Thanks for ruining Star Wars for me!
    Hahhaha… very funny

  79. Papabear -  June 24, 2011 - 8:48 am

    You know that honoring your father (and mother), is the only one of the Ten Commandments that comes with a promise!

  80. Ron -  June 22, 2011 - 2:48 pm

    ” The grammatical misstep continues to don cards, mugs, and t-shirts to this day.”

    No, it really doesn’t. Don, as a verb, means to wear.

  81. Christopher -  June 21, 2011 - 12:44 pm

    It is interesting that something as little as an apostrophe can cause bored geeks a lot of stir.

    A bored geek

  82. Jan -  June 21, 2011 - 1:59 am

    nice one!

  83. Art Smith -  June 20, 2011 - 10:10 pm

    Us’s That’s a first for me! I don’t believe this is grammatically correct, Andres
    Better to say each of our fathers

  84. Akira -  June 20, 2011 - 10:08 pm


  85. Faranak Heidari -  June 20, 2011 - 9:32 pm

    In Persian (Farsi) Language, we have ” father’s day” too. It’s symbolic and perhaps because each father is worth being honored and respected by his children. We celebrate it to he honor of one the most important influential men in our religion whom we believed acted in a fatherly manner to orphans.

  86. Ann Marie -  June 20, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    Wouldn’t this hold true for Mothers’ Day as well?

  87. TimeWaster -  June 20, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    For Bucky: The lyrics are as follos:

    “Mares eat oats. Does (plural of doe) eat oats. Little lambs eat ivy. A kid’ll eat ivy, too. Wouldn’t you?

  88. Katwalke -  June 20, 2011 - 5:41 pm

    Yes! I am normal!! Misspelled words are monsters jumping off the page!

  89. Gregor -  June 20, 2011 - 4:51 pm

    It is only incorrect if one intends it to be plural possessive. On the one hand, I do know that there are many fathers in the USA who can be honored on Father’s Day, but most people only have one father or father figure. From a personal perspective, the singular possessive makes sense.
    @Heisenberg: I’m with you.

  90. T.Nelson -  June 20, 2011 - 4:42 pm

    Fathers’ Day Vs Mother’s Day: I’m not sure why Mother’s Day is singular. However, they DID explain that the first Fathers’ Day was to commemorate the lives of the 210 fathers lost in a mining accident. Therefore, it is ‘the day to celebrate those specific fathers’ in it’s original concept.

    Father’s Day Vs Fathers’ Day: I think now it is more of a stylistic concept. As it has already been pointed out, it sounds the same either way. Personally, I celebrate ALL the fathers in my family. I call all my uncles, my grandfathers, and my dad on this day. There are also others who may have two fathers, either due to divorce or other reasons. Just because your mother married twice, and you like both men and respect them, doesn’t mean that you have to pick just one to celebrate on Fathers’ Day. However, if you celebrate it differently with your own dad alone, then feel free to call it Father’s Day. Both are equally correct, since few people even remember the mining accident that started the holiday in the first place.

  91. Brad Toy -  June 20, 2011 - 4:04 pm

    Either way, depending on your intent, is correct. If I’m referring to MY father, singular, then Father’s Day is fine (i.e. my father’s fathers’ day).

  92. Greg -  June 20, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    To Alan:

    Actually in Russian, they refer to Russia as ‘Fatherland’ with the word “Otechestvo” (from “Otets” father). WWII is referred to as “The great war of the Fatherland” for example.
    There is also the word ‘Rodina’ which is usually translated as ‘motherland’ in English, because it is feminine in form. It isn’t literally derived from the word Mother though (which is Mat’ in Russian).
    Also the word Russia itself (Rossiya) is feminine in form. Either way, the use of “Mother Russian” and the “Motherland” is exaggerated.

    For example, there is a holiday in Russia, which is basically veterans’ day: “Den’ zashchitnika Otechestva” which literally translates as “Day of the defender of the Fatherland”. However in a lot of English language media they refer to it as “Defender of the Motherland Day” because it fits more with what people in the West perceive to be more Russian.

  93. Book Beater -  June 20, 2011 - 12:56 pm

    Optimus Prime

  94. Gabriel Iboy -  June 20, 2011 - 12:34 pm

    Indiana Jones Father…. No?

  95. Edward -  June 20, 2011 - 12:15 pm


  96. Heisenberg -  June 20, 2011 - 11:45 am

    Couldn’t it be argued that the single father referred to in the phrase ‘Father’s Day’ acts as a kind of synecdoche- a part-for-whole representative of all fathers? The day is a ‘day for the father’- similarly to the well known snack the ‘Fisherman’s Friend’. While the snack is claiming to be the ‘friend’ of all fishermen – possibly leading one to assume that ‘Fishermen’s Friend’ would be correct – it is equally correct (and, in my opinion, more grammatically elegant) for it to claim to be the friend of any fisherman (rather than all fishermen) hence ‘Fisherman’s Friend’. It’s a very subtle difference, but, in much the same way, Father’s Day is the day for any father, rather than the day for the overall earthly population of fathers (although, of course, it is consequently that as well.)

    Or that’s how I see it. Perhaps it is comparable to consider whether we would say ‘he sees everything as black and white as the zebra’s stripes’ or ‘he sees everything as black and white as the zebras’ stripes’. As far as I can see, the former is correct- while, of course, we are talking about the stripes that are possessed by all zebras, we use a singular zebra to act as representative for the overall class of zebras.

  97. Mallory -  June 20, 2011 - 11:30 am

    So, does this mean Mother’s Day is also incorrectly punctuated?

  98. Pancham -  June 20, 2011 - 9:57 am

    Really Interesting. Fresh comment! Yeah…!!!

  99. Bucky -  June 20, 2011 - 9:48 am

    Ooops. Uh, “pea” is plural while “pease” is singular. I’ve never really contemplated whether “pee” is singular or plural. Suspect it is both as is “deer.”

    English is such a vexing language. The American Grammar Society officially proclaimed “who” and “whom” were interchangeable a decade ago. In another 10 years, we’ll be debating whether or not to accept common texting abbrevs as legitimate substitutes for “real” words such as, “R u getting here on time?” … WTF … LMAO … “Get milk B 4 milk u come home,” etc., etc.

    What’s the tune I’m hearing… “Mare zee doats and dough zee doats and little lambsy divey, a kiddly divey, doo. Wouldn’t you?”

  100. Bucky -  June 20, 2011 - 9:27 am

    As a nation, we’re awash in singular/plural contradictions. The problem is compounded when possession is tossed into the mix. (And I’m confused why the author wrote “Mother’s Day” — singular possessive — while decrying the same construction for Father’s Day; ostensibly a plural possessive, or Fathers’ Day.

    Some pet peeves for grammarians: “none” is a singular group, e.g., “None of the students IS (not “are”) likely to pass the test. Group titles, e.g., attorney general … “Forty-eight states’ attorneys general (not attorney generals) met in Washington….” However, that begs the seemingly unanswerable question of whether it should the states’ (plural possessive) or a simple plural, states?

    Vegans should know that “pee” is plural while “pease” is singular. Those little cabbage-type veggies are Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts. They were first cultivated in Brussels, capital of Belgium. So why aren’t they Brussels’ sprouts?

    Finally, just for fun … while it sounds as dee-liteful as fingernails screeching across a blackboard, my dictionary reveals that “youse” is an acceptable (but not preferred) pluralization of “you.” Ouch!!!

  101. mojo -  June 20, 2011 - 9:01 am

    In India, Mahatma Gandhi is also known as “Father of the nation”.

  102. Elisa -  June 20, 2011 - 8:44 am

    Derrick said: “I thought both the noun and the object had to be plural for the apostrophe to come after the “s”??”

    Derrick, whoever taught you that is completely mistaken. Why would you say “your mothers’ flowers” when the flowers (plural) belong to your mother (one person, unless you have more than one mother)?

    As for the person who wanted to know about Daylight Savings Time, there is no apostrophe necessary because “Daylight” and “Savings” are adjectives that modify “Time”–the time doesn’t belong to the saving (or savings).

  103. Book Beater -  June 20, 2011 - 8:08 am

    Walter Camp

  104. Meximelt -  June 20, 2011 - 7:47 am

    I never thought that Father’s Day was meant to indicate that the day is owned by fathers, or even a singular father. Are days commodities? Instead, I always assumed that Father’s Day meant “The day of the father,” or a day to honor fatherhood. I see no problem with the placement of the apostrophe.

  105. Ferpie -  June 20, 2011 - 7:41 am

    January 11, 1929 – March 01, 2011 RIP Father dearest. All of us painfully miss you.

  106. A. Turtle -  June 20, 2011 - 7:38 am

    Fathers’ Day – a day for honouring ALL fathers.

    Father’s Day – the day on which I honour MY father.

    Surely each individual only observes Father’s Day?

    As for iconic fathers, how about Moses – a foundling father?

  107. Terrie R. -  June 20, 2011 - 4:14 am

    Thanks for the information on the use of semicolons and commas Ivan3man_at_large. I have always thought that I used too much punctuation but, now; I see that using a semicolon to write a sentence within a sentence isn’t unusual.

  108. Doug -  June 20, 2011 - 2:39 am

    Well, blow me down, I always thought Father’s Day and Mother’s Day were invented by Department Stores to drum up business.
    Also, how is darth vader an iconic father figure? For your information, he is just a product of someones’s imagination. NOT A REAL father.

  109. Jindaberry -  June 20, 2011 - 2:31 am

    And that’s pretty cool what you spotted, Marian! Well you are obviously a grammarian :) I’ve just spotted something too. GramMarian? (as in your name, accompanied by Gram at the beginning, to make GramMarian/Grammarian)

    So was that a real mistake? Or does Mother’s Day have the same reason behind it as Fathers’ Day has? :)

    I’ll be writing my Fathers’ Day card with the correct grammar this time, this year! :)

    Thanks for the inspiration, Hot Word! You are so cool!

    And thanks too, GramMarian.

    - Jindaberry
    Hot Word Fan (totally!) and a GramMarian Fan now!

  110. Jindaberry -  June 20, 2011 - 2:28 am

    That is so cool! Thanks for sharing :)

    Just one question, exactly why must it honour fathers (plural!) and not father (the error, which is singular). I don’t get that. Besides, if that’s the case for “Fathers Day”, then why is it not the case for “Mother’s Day”?

    Reply soon.

    - Jindaberry
    Hot Word Fan

  111. Innox -  June 20, 2011 - 1:10 am

    Homer Simpson is a hell of a father alright…

  112. shelly -  June 20, 2011 - 12:48 am

    oh yea sooo cool man !!!!! but i dont get ???

  113. Rick Bye -  June 19, 2011 - 11:32 pm

    I am sure that I am quite late on this post, but you know, whatever. The apostrophe is correctly placed because nobody honors every father; they honor their own, period. It’s not a holiday about all fathers, it’s about yours! As for the Darth Vader thing; how about some Super Geek insight into his name choice in Star Wars. Lucas wrote a lot farther then just “A New Hope”, but he had a problem. As geeks know the title “A New Hope” didn’t exist until success was realized and the sequels, the rest of the story, were a certainty. The problem Lucas faced was he needed it to stand alone to sell it. “A kiss for luck” for example, but anyway, the giveaway is that in not one version of the original Star Wars scripts did Luke live with his father before his quest began! Lucas worked out the story with Joseph Campbell, and every great myth has a father and son dynamic. Not invader, not an accident, Luke’s father! Take that to the bank and cash it in, it’s good!!

  114. Paula -  June 19, 2011 - 11:09 pm

    One way or the other may have come first, but both are correct. It’s not a “mistake.” I don’t celebrate anyone else’s father, and I don’t celebrate Father’s Day with other families, so for me, it makes no sense to call it Fathers’ Day.

  115. Michele Bachmann -  June 19, 2011 - 11:04 pm

    Why don’t they fix the apostrophe problem?

    The liberals can change the constitution any which ways they want to, so why can’t we, the ideologically superior?

  116. Harry C. -  June 19, 2011 - 9:56 pm

    I’ve already gotta know that this insinuating sentence has something to refer to the dissemination of this grammatical peccadillo;but I just wanna know watz those verbs really mean?t-shirt is for tout for others.How bot the others?
    Anyone gotta induct me bot this?thnx~

  117. Marian -  June 19, 2011 - 9:51 pm

    Ironically, the writer made the error of NO apostrophe accompanying “Mothers Day” in the second paragraph…

  118. varika -  June 19, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    Iconic fathers? Well, there’s Odin, the All-Father of Norse mythology; Chronos, who can possibly be considered the worst father of all time for eating his children; and Joseph the Carpenter, the mostly-silent (step)father of Jesus.

  119. jewel -  June 19, 2011 - 7:49 pm

    It is immaterial to say father’s or fathers’. It will be pronounced the same. If you would say father’s day, you are referring to one: who may be so special, you singling him out. Nevertheless, to say fathers’ is greeting all fathers not necessarily those whom you really think is deserving of such.

  120. Bruce Hurley -  June 19, 2011 - 7:49 pm

    Great. Thanks for ruining Star Wars for me!

  121. Book Beater -  June 19, 2011 - 6:08 pm

    Père Noël

  122. Luck in W -  June 19, 2011 - 6:08 pm

    I always thought that it should be Fathers’ Day. However, in other languages it can be either singular or plural.

    In German it is definitely singular: Vatertag (also Muttertag). The plurals would be Vaetertag and Muettertag. (Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to get the Umlaut/diacritic on this computer. The vowel followed by -e is the alternate way of expressing it.)

    In French, however, it’s la fete de peres and la fete des meres–again without the appropriate accents on fete and peres/meres.

    In Spanish it can be either: el dia del padre or el dia des padres.

    As for the German Vater being usually pronounced like the Dutch vader, I suppose that indistinct or careless pronunciation can account for that, but I’ve never noticed it.

  123. Ferdinand Bulusan -  June 19, 2011 - 6:02 pm

    I firmly believe that the apostrophe should come AFTER the /s/..i.e Happy Fathers’ Day. This is so, since there are a lot of FATHERS in the world and they are counted as one by one. That is, Father 1, father 2, father 3, etc. hence, if we print a banner, an announcement, and the like, we MUST always put the apostrophe after the /s/.
    -ferdinand Bulusan.
    if you need more clarifications about grammar, post your query on my facebook account [Ferdinand Bulusan, Tuguegarao, Philippines]

  124. Father knows best -  June 19, 2011 - 5:52 pm

    Last comment……..ya!!!!!!

    Now, go to bed!

  125. Nathan -  June 19, 2011 - 4:59 pm

    But in Mother’s Day the apostrophe is deliberately placed before the ‘s’ – though it looks wrong – because the original intention was for everybody to honour their own mother as an individual, not to honour mothers everywhere. So why wouldn’t Father’s Day / Fathers’ Day be the same?

  126. itstherecit -  June 19, 2011 - 4:53 pm

    re: Hitlers father-land, Stalins mother russia etc. …..the USA or America is “OUR COUNTRY”….if you are a citizen of such…….
    not as G W Bush which said in his war speech…HOMELAND

  127. Randall Krause -  June 19, 2011 - 3:58 pm

    This apostrophe problem totally reminded me of the “Daylight Savings Time” flub up. To this day even major news publications seem unconcerned about correcting the error. Is this all indicative of how lazy we our becoming as a society?

  128. Bob -  June 19, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    “MY” father the best. Happy Father’s Day!! You died 9 years ago, but I think of you often. I LOVE and miss you!

  129. Kerttu -  June 19, 2011 - 3:06 pm

    Hah, Pjotr, do u really think Stalin was a father for soviet people?! Stalin was a murder and idiot; and wtf to call people ‘soviet’, Is it nation?!!!!!!!!

  130. Brian -  June 19, 2011 - 3:04 pm

    Yet in the first line of the second paragraph you totally left out the apostrophe in “Mothers’ Day”! And paperbob misspelled “grammar”! Double D’Oh!!!!

  131. alex -  June 19, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    who wakes up before 3:59 am to post a on this?

  132. amo -  June 19, 2011 - 2:08 pm

    Happy Father’s Day, dad. I love you!

    I thought the Darth Vader thing was interesting, don’t you? I never thought of it that way!

  133. Olah -  June 19, 2011 - 1:38 pm

    Thanks 4 sheading more light on this father’s day issue. i love u my dad you are 1 in a million’

  134. T -  June 19, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    I agree with second comment, it can be written either way. Father’s Day is ‘the day of the father’, and as people only have one father it works fine!

  135. Lizz -  June 19, 2011 - 12:14 pm

    LOVE the comment about Howard Cunningham!! Good ole Mr.C :) I would have to add Heithcliff (sp?) Huxtable (Bill Cosby) and Clark W. Griswold Jr. :-D

  136. HuntingViolets -  June 19, 2011 - 12:07 pm

    Why don’t you have an apostrophe in “Mothers Day” (at all) in your article?

  137. RazorKitten -  June 19, 2011 - 12:05 pm


    As per Wiki:

    “Motherland may refer to a mother country, i.e. the place of one’s birth, the place of origin of an ethnic group or immigrant, or a Metropole in contrast to its colonies. People from Australia and former British colonies would sometimes describe the United Kingdom as the “Mother Country”, often carrying a strong British Imperialist connotation, and not always in a flattering manner.

    Russians commonly refer to Mother Russia as a personification of their nation. Many Russians around the world refer to Russia as their motherland.”

    “Fatherland is the nation of one’s “fathers” or “forefathers”. It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations.

    The term fatherland (Vaterland) is used throughout German-speaking Europe, as well as in Dutch. For example, “Wien Neêrlands Bloed”, national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932, makes extensive and conspicuous use of the parallel Dutch word.”

  138. gayle -  June 19, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    either father’s or fathers’ as long as you greet your own father …and other fathers..hahah

  139. Daniel -  June 19, 2011 - 11:53 am

    This is very much like watching, “the big bang theory” and having Sheldon correct something :P


  140. Tyler -  June 19, 2011 - 11:26 am

    Hilarious, there are four people as I type who all think they made the second comment, none of which actually did. I think the apostrophe mis-placement is also officially used in the other parental holiday, “Mother’s” Day; at least a quick Google search omitting the apostrophe leads me to believe it is.

  141. Janice -  June 19, 2011 - 10:53 am

    Father Time.

  142. Andy -  June 19, 2011 - 10:42 am

    Ugh. People try to look smart by pointing out other folks’ flaws but are really just jackasses trying to get the intellectual high-ground. Father’s Day is “the day belonging to Father” as in,”your father.” It isn’t a plural as in “our fathers.”

    When was the last time people gathered up all of their fathers in a room and threw them a party?

  143. Blu Raeven -  June 19, 2011 - 10:38 am

    *correction: …as the theory that Darth Vader WAS named for his WAYS of invading the universe’s peace… (Sorry…writing & rushing from my desk at work! lol.)

  144. JJ Rousseau -  June 19, 2011 - 10:37 am

    Oui, see nothing. Oui, hear nothing. Oui,say nothing. Sniff, sniff. Merde!

  145. Blu Raeven -  June 19, 2011 - 10:33 am

    To Bob Madden: I was always under the impression that the books were written long before the movies were ever filmed. Not to mention that I’m sure Lucas did some research in naming his characters. It is said that a lot of Lucas’ story was fashioned from a combination of foreign heroes/legends, eastern cultures such as the way of the Samurai warriors, and even some religious/spiritual sources. (How’s THAT for Star Wars Geek?! LOL!) No, in all seriousness, it could have been as simple as the theory that Darth Vader being named for his was of invading the universe’s peace and planets…I really have NO idea…and I doubt Lucas would admit anything less than whatever would be considered most clever or ingenious. (smiling broadly) And I can’t say that I blame him! (LOL!)

    To Dictionary.com: You folks are AWESOME! I love everything that you do. Love the references you provide and the knowledge you pass on. With today being an example of your gentle acknowledgement of our egregious and longstanding grammatical error and your way lovingly illuminating the error of our ways. You’re like a doting Father in many ways. So, Happy Fathers’ Day to you!

    To Bentley Rae: You’re the BEST FATHER ON THE ENTIRE PLANET and I love you. I aspire to be a dad at least half as good as you. At least that may be attainable and being the penultimate dad on THAT list would be a most satisfactory achievement. Happy Fathers’ Day, Dad.

  146. Derrick -  June 19, 2011 - 10:28 am

    I thought both the noun and the object had to be plural for the apostrophe to come after the “s”?? Since “day” is referring to one singular day, I think “Father’s Day” is correct? If the holiday took place over the entire weekend, then it would be Fathers’ Days. No?

  147. Ataur Rahman -  June 19, 2011 - 10:19 am


  148. dAdDy -  June 19, 2011 - 10:04 am

    i Am YoUr FaThEr!

  149. Book Beater -  June 19, 2011 - 9:57 am

    Father Time

  150. C-H-AO -  June 19, 2011 - 9:54 am

    What I know is that Father’s Day origins from a pagan tradition many,many years ago.Their celebrating it to honor Joseph as the father of Jesus (same thing with Mother’s day which is to honor Mary as the mother of Jesus). This is the first time I heard the story mentioned above.

  151. Maribel -  June 19, 2011 - 9:48 am

    Thanks for both the lesson and the info. Just more of the latter: In Spain we celebrate Father’s o Fathers’ Day (as you like it) on March 19, St. Joseph’s day, as he was the father of Jesus. Don’t know about other Spanish speaking countries, though.

  152. Lujosumo -  June 19, 2011 - 9:46 am

    Thanks for the gift you gave us on father’s day. Even on father’s day too!!

  153. Autumn -  June 19, 2011 - 9:45 am

    Amazing informative lead into Star Wars discussion! I honestly
    enjoy all angles of the discussion. From the historical to the socially relevant geek turn.
    I work in a very “tech saavy” town & this enhances my conversation transition from social relevance to entertainment so smoothly, I’m in awe. You’ve made my geeky, nerdy day supreme again!
    Happy Fathers’ Day Pop! Reading Readers Digest every week & on plane trips, most epic idea ever!

  154. ania -  June 19, 2011 - 9:29 am

    To Alan:
    Fatherland and Motherland – it’s really tricky; e.g. in Polish, the word morphologically is – and means- “Fatherland”, but it is a feminine noun :-)

  155. Dennis -  June 19, 2011 - 9:08 am

    Maybe the current spelling is right. There’s only one real Father that matters on Father’s Day – I hope the rest of the dads are following his example! ^^


  156. lozb -  June 19, 2011 - 9:05 am

    second comment wooo!!!!:) lol with thanks to my family and friends :)

  157. Word Crank -  June 19, 2011 - 9:00 am

    This goes to show how many people can be obliviously wrong. Keep the correct information flowing!

  158. Bob Madden -  June 19, 2011 - 7:40 am

    I’m going to go all Star Wars geek on you here: I don’t know that anything definitive has ever been said, but the evidence points to Lucas NOT knowing Vader was going to be Luke’s father at the time Star Wars was written and filmed. The primary piece being that the first draft(s) of TESB make no reference to this.

  159. Fredrik -  June 19, 2011 - 6:19 am

    I’ve always thought that Darth Vader was from “In” vader. Like Darth Sidious is from “In” sidious

  160. Kelly -  June 19, 2011 - 6:17 am

    Happy Fathers’ Day Dad <3

  161. ahmed eid -  June 19, 2011 - 6:10 am

    God Father!

  162. Pjotr Kirshkaia -  June 19, 2011 - 6:03 am

    Hmmm, Josef Stalin, who was a father to all soviets. Ahh, I really miss the old days…

  163. 2mie -  June 19, 2011 - 6:00 am

    Good to know…i defently wont b making that mistake again!!

  164. paperbob -  June 19, 2011 - 5:44 am

    Thank you for the grammer lesson about Fathers’ Day. I’m happy that I learned something so early in the day….thanks again.

  165. Ashna -  June 19, 2011 - 5:36 am

    Super Duper 2nd comment yeaaaaaaaaaa

  166. mirjo -  June 19, 2011 - 5:08 am

    H.I. McDunnough (Nicholas Cage, Raising Arizona)

  167. mirjo -  June 19, 2011 - 5:02 am

    Howard Cunningham

  168. aktifistri -  June 19, 2011 - 4:50 am

    Interesting! Haven’t heard any theories behind this celebration..and good to know the grammatical view of it.. now I know when ‘fathers’ day’ started to misguided become ‘father’s day’.. thanks for bringing up this actual topic!

  169. marjaan -  June 19, 2011 - 4:06 am

    cool. i kinda figured out the “fathers’” and “father’s” mistake from before :) second comment! yay

  170. Alan -  June 19, 2011 - 3:59 am

    An interesting filed to investigate would be the cultural origins of ‘mother country’ as in Mother Russia, and ‘fatherland’ as with Germany. Britain is a mother-country – what is the USA? Some countries are both, I believe, perhaps in different contexts.

  171. chloe -  June 19, 2011 - 3:57 am


  172. chloe -  June 19, 2011 - 3:57 am

    Awesome :) Second Comment Yea!

  173. Robert Klop -  June 19, 2011 - 3:41 am

    If you are referring to the day that you are honoring YOUR father then it should be (your) Father’s day. So, I believe that either one is correct but who am I to say, right?

  174. MFT -  June 19, 2011 - 2:59 am

    This has always been “my” Father’s Day; but for the all the men with children collectively, it is Fathers’ Day. The card I purchase (or create) is only for MY Father; memorabilia, in my thinking, is something I purchase just for my Dad – it is his alone, from his child – it is Dad’s.

  175. L.A. Smith -  June 19, 2011 - 2:47 am

    Father Christmas, the Father of the Bride, Victor Frankenstein–the father of his monster, Papa Smurf and Benjamin Franklin–not just a founding father but the Father of Electricity.

  176. chinchilla lucy -  June 19, 2011 - 1:04 am


    like the bit about darth vader (dark father)

    want to kill person who changed the grammar

  177. kenz -  June 19, 2011 - 1:00 am

    second comment…. :-/

  178. spunky -  June 19, 2011 - 12:59 am

    the darth vader thing was quite informative though i’m no star wars fan. BUT STILL!

  179. Brian Whitfield -  June 19, 2011 - 12:46 am

    Why do you hate your dad?

  180. bumpyRd -  June 18, 2011 - 11:49 pm

    As long as we’re filing down apostrophes and speaking in tongues, we should make a slight correction.

    The Germans always capitalize the initial letter of nouns, thus it’s Vater in German, while the Dutch are not masochistic enough to do the same, so it should be vader in their language.

  181. Eisegesis -  June 18, 2011 - 11:42 pm

    In my opinion, Barney is another prominent father figure for many worldwide – young and old alike. With his big, fuzzy purple-ness and the myriad of catchy showtunes he bellows from his cavernous mouth, he remains a great source of comfort for us in times of peril.
    I love you, Barney.

  182. Shrapnel -  June 18, 2011 - 11:09 pm

    Uhh… Mothers Day is roughly one month before Father’s Day. Either way, this is interesting!

  183. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE -  June 18, 2011 - 11:03 pm

    Skillet Fan, I would have been more impressed if you had spotted the punctuation errors in the above article, rather than being the first to comment…

    At the first and penultimate paragraphs, the term “however” should be preceded by a semi-colon and followed by a comma if the intended meaning is “nevertheless” or “in spite of that”; however, if the intended meaning is “in whatever manner” or “regardless of how”, then it may be preceded by a comma but not by a semicolon, and should not be followed by a comma.

  184. AnOwl -  June 18, 2011 - 10:56 pm

    Interesting article. It is amazing that something as little apostrophe could make a huge difference.

  185. Andrés -  June 18, 2011 - 10:53 pm

    Interestingly, in Spanish it’s “día del padre” (literally “day of the father”), perhaps as a direct translation from English “Father’s Day”? I’ve always thought of it as referring to some father as a model, or how each one of us’s father is some sort of role model.

    On the other hand, the French use “fête des pères” (literally “day of the fathers”), perhaps correcting it back to the original?

    And gosh, shouldn’t we be over this “first post” silliness already?

  186. #1 Skillet Fan -  June 18, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    Awesome :) First Comment Yea!


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