"one's native country," 1620s, from father (n.) + land (n.). In modern use often a loan-translation of German Vaterland, itself a loan-translation of Latin patria (terra), literally "father's land." Similar formation in Dutch vaderland, Danish fædreland, Swedish fädernesland. Late Old English/Middle English fæderland (c. 1100) meant "parental land, inheritance."
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