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Translation Guide: Understanding the Father Tongue


Photos in the public domain

Do you have a hard time understanding your Dad's little quips and phrases? Are you confused every time your father opens his mouth? This Translation Guide for Understanding the Father Tongue is your key to a genuine conversation this Father's Day


Yellllllllllo! — Hello, a common greeting used by self-professed "cool Dads," who don't want to use the boring and incredibly standard: "hello."

Hey, pal! — A greeting that means, "hi, son and/or daughter, tell me about your life so I can live vicariously through you." or alternatively, "hi, son and/or daughter, I need a favor from you."

"Hi ___adjective___, I'm Dad." — If you hear this, you've fallen for one of the classic blunders. A recent study has shown that Dads are genetically programmed to use this formula upon hearing a child say: "I'm tired" or "I'm bored."


"Mowing the lawn" — When Dad says he's going to mow the lawn, do not interrupt this process. Mowing the lawn is a religious ritual for most Dads and must not be stopped under any circumstance.

"Beer" — The water of the Dad world.

"Fishing" — Do Dads actually fish? No one has ever seen a Dad fish before, but every Dad will tell you he loves to fish. When this happens, the appropriate response is to smile, nod, and ask about his biggest catch.


The Hawaiian Shirt — A treasured shirt reserved for special occasions, including vacations, barbecues, and trips to Chili's.

The Bucket Hat — A classic Dad look. Originally, this hat was used when fishing, but its use has expanded considerably in recent years and is now deemed day-to-day wear.

The Baseball cap — When the bucket hat is unavailable, or frequently when traveling, a Dad will wear a baseball cap. A recent survey found that Dads believe this cap gives them a "youthful look." Another recent study has found this conclusion to be incorrect.

Hopefully, this Translation Guide for Understanding the Father Tongue provided helpful translations so that you can understand your Dad better this Father's Day. Don't forget to celebrate your Dad this Sunday with Hawaiian shirts and a cold one.