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Father Christmas an imaginary figure said to bring presents for children on the night before Christmas Day. He is conventionally pictured as a jolly old man from the far north, with a long white beard and red garments trimmed with white fur, an image which is comparatively recent. In late medieval Europe he became identified with St Nicholas (Santa Claus); in England Father Christmas was a personification of Christmas in many 16th-century masques and in mummers' plays. There was a great revival of the celebration of Christmas in the 19th century and Father Christmas acquired (from St Nicholas) the association of present-bringing.

Father of English Poetry a name for Geoffrey Chaucer, given him by John Dryden.

Father of History a name for Herodotus.

Father of Lies a name for the Devil; originally with biblical allusion to John 8:44.

father of the chapel in the UK, the shop steward of a printers' trade union; a chapel in this sense was originally a printers' workshop or printing office, and then a meeting or association of the journeymen in a printing office for arranging affairs and settling disagreements among themselves.

Father of the Faithful a name for the patriarch Abraham, after Romans 4:11. In Muslim usage, it is a title for the Caliph.

Father of the House of Commons the member with the longest continuous service.

Father of Waters an informal name for the Mississippi.

Father's Day is a day of the year on which fathers are particularly honoured by their children, especially with gifts and greetings cards. It was first observed in the state of Washington in 1910; in the US and Britain, it is usually the third Sunday in June, in Australia, the first Sunday in September.

the Fathers of the Church early Christian theologians (in particular of the first five centuries) whose writings are regarded as especially authoritative.

like father, like son often used to call attention to similarities in behaviour which are supposedly inherited. The saying is recorded from the mid 14th century. Like father, like daughter is a variant of this (the proverb like mother, like daughter evolved separately). A related saying in Latin is, ‘qualis pater talis filius [as is the father, so is the son].’

see also the child is father of the man, experience is the father of wisdom, success has many fathers, Father Time at time, it is a wise child that knows its own father, the wish is father to the thought.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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