Quick Summary

The Latin root patr means “father.” This Latin root is the word origin of a fair number of English vocabulary words, including paternity, pattern, and patron. The root patr is easily recalled via the word patriotic, as someone who is acting in a patriotic fashion is supporting the "father"land.

The Father Pattern "Patr"

The Latin root patr means “father.” Follow along with me, compatriots of roots, and we will talk all about the root patr which has “fathered” a good number of English vocabulary words.

A patron of the arts is etymologically a “father” who supports and protects artists by funding their artistic endeavors. Good patrons should never be patronizing, for to patronize is to act like an overbearing and arrogant “father” who treats others like his inferior and immature children. And patrons would most certainly not perpetrate or become the “fathers” of crimes against those artists they are supporting!

Men’s paternal or “fatherly” feelings often arise after their children are born, at which point they experience paternity, or "father"hood. A patriarch, or male leader of a family or tribe, also feels like a “father” to those whom he looks over. A nation can also be considered a “father” as in a "father"land; a patriot supports that "father"land, for which he feels a great deal of patriotism. All the patriots of a "father"land are compatriots, being those “patriots” that live within the same "father"land. Some patriots are expatriated or thrown out of the "father"land for committing serious crimes; others willingly become expatriates for a whole host of reasons. Some expatriates wish to be repatriated, or allowed to return to their "father"land once again.

Last but not least, a patronymic is a family surname derived from the last name of the “father” in contradistinction to the last name of the mother.

Hopefully the verbal pattern patr has been sufficiently “fathered” in your head so as to create a memory that will not so easily disappear—no deadbeat “fathering” here!

  1. patron: “father” or protector
  2. patronize: to treat someone as a “father” would treat immature children who know little
  3. perpetrate: to “father” an action, such as a crime
  4. paternal: of a “father”
  5. paternity: "father"hood
  6. patriarch: “father” who rules
  7. patriot: supporter of the "father"land
  8. patriotism: condition or state of supporting the "father"land
  9. compatriot: supporter of the "father"land with whom other patriots live
  10. expatriate: to kick someone out of her or his "father"land
  11. repatriate: to allow someone back into his or her "father"land once again
  12. patronymic: a surname in a family derived from the last name of the “father”


  • patronize

    If people patronize you, they talk or behave in a way that seems friendly; nevertheless, they also show that they think they are more intelligent or important than you are.

  • patriarch

    A patriarch is a male leader of a family or tribe; a patriarch can also be a man who is the founder of a group or organization.

  • expatriate

    An expatriate has been driven or exiled from their native land, so they are forced to live in another country; a person can also willingly become an expatriate.

  • perpetrate

    If you perpetrate something, you commit a crime or do some other bad thing for which you are responsible.

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