Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Father and Dad

Father vs Dad

The words “father” and “dad” are more than just plain words. Although both are technically the same, the truth is, there are many very important differences between the two as exemplified in their roles of what being a father and being a dad mean. Determining whether one is a dad and not just a father can be accomplished by not only looking at that person as he is, but looking at him with his immediate surroundings (family, friends, and other significant others).
If your family already considers you as a responsible dad, the chances are you also know what being a father is. Also, if you are the type that leaves your son at your mom’s house so that she can babysit him while you take the time off to go drinking with your beer buddies, then most likely you’re this boy’s father not his dad. If you can see a child look at his father with glowing eyes, happy, and at the same time assured that everything will be okay because “dad” is here, then you are probably this child’s dad not just a father. These circumstances give you a picture of the difference between being a father and a dad.

By contrast, a father simply thinks about caring for his family per se. As long as he can pay the utility bills on time, and as long as he can readily supply food or the basic necessities for his family, then he’s already good with that! If he will prioritize tasks and activities, he will consider his needs first above everyone else even his family’s needs. A father is the one who easily surrenders during times of crises within the family, most especially that which involve his wife. He will call it quits and leave his kids with their mother because he thinks they will be happier without him. The truth is that he will be the one who will become happy.

And so, if you are a woman looking for a lifetime partner and already have kids for your family, then you better look for a man that is dad material not father material. Know his priorities, his feelings about having kids, his plans for your future family, and surely you will have an idea if he is capable of being a dad.


1.A father just supplies his family with the basic needs of clothing, shelter, and food.
2.A dad gives guidance to his children or family on top of supplying them with the basic necessities in life.
3.A father is someone who contributes to the physical creation of a child from whom the sperm has been obtained to fertilize the mother’s ovum.
4.A dad finds satisfaction in interacting with his wife and kids more than when he succeeds in his career. He is able to demonstrate more love to them than what a father can show.
5.It’s undeniably far easier or simpler to become a father than become a dad.

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  1. I have the opposite view. Like Kurt Cobain famously wrote, “I tried hard to have a father but instead I had a dad.”

    A dad is just some guy who comes around when it’s convenient for him, and puts on a show of actually caring about you as a human being when in reality you’re just a thing that’s not supposed to have feelings. He’s an inconstant and unreliable figure in your life.

    A father is someone you can respect because he respects you. He’s there for you when you need him, and you never doubt that he loves you. If you ask him for advice, he won’t just rattle off soundbites or make you feel stupid for asking, instead he’ll actually tell you something helpful.

    I love my dad, but he’s never been a father to me. I can’t count on him to do anything other than break promises and choose other priorities over me, every single time.

  2. I agree with Lilah also.

  3. Hello Lilah Neal and Bri,

    This article is about clarifying the definitions of “father” and “dad.” Actually, I had a similar experience like Lilah but, it was much worse. While, trying to gain closure for my poor “father and son” relationship, I had to accept many facts. After doing research, counseling and experiencing life, I accepted the facts. Yes, accepting facts was a major part of my healing process because, it allowed me to let go of things that wouldn’t help me and let go of things that I had no influence over.

    The Facts: In this article, the definitions of “father” and “dad” are correct. I, you or anyone else may disagree (your God given right to think the way you see fit, right or wrong) but, it doesn’t change the facts. I would never try to convince someone that a potato is a tomato because; the fact is that a potato is not a tomato. They sound similar, are both edible and come from plants but, they are different… Bottom line: In proper context, anyone can father a child, not everyone can be a dad.

    As a result of my accepting facts, letting go and moving forward, I was able to be a dad for my son. I thoroughly nurtured him his entire life and now, he is a well adjusted 17 year old male who is highly intelligent, graduated honorably form high school, received an athletic scholarship to college and is now enrolled at a university in West Virginia (we went with the best school that gave the most money… LOL). Oh yeah, don’t let the smooth taste fool you, it was not easy but, I was determined to be the best dad that I could be.

    …FYI: 1) My son’s mother and I both came from impoverished southern backgrounds. 2) My son’s mother and I were abandoned by our fathers. 3) My son’s mother and I are not together and were never married (I am all for marriage but, we were young and had to learn the hard way: We were products of broken homes and no dad present). 4) My son, his mother and I are all African American… It is what it was: The facts.

    We rose up, overcame and were successful parents. Hopefully, you will have the same or better fortune.

    I am wishing for Lilah and Bri, the best of all that is good.



  4. I agree with Lilah as well. A dad is just some guy figure in your life who doesn’t teach you many things, A father takes care of you and teaches you life long lessons. This article has a whole different perspective.

  5. Unfortunately, some people are not acquainted of the proper definition and use of terms in our culture. A father is a male person who has begotten a child. It is the term used on all documents or literature that pertains to Parent – child relationships, viz. birth certificates, school enrollment, applications, etc.. Whereas, the term Dad is defined as a term of familiarity indicating the development of an intimacy that only a child would use of his father. A father provides for the basic economical needs and necessities of his household by his position and reputation in his respective society. A Dad is an extension of this by being personally involved in his child’s activities, viz. birthday parties, school functions, picnics and outings, etc.. Fortunate is the child/children who have both. Some do not have either one.

  6. I met my father recently after 28yrs. He denied having made my mum pregnant and he travelled to the states. I searched and found him for 28yrs he has never come back. I used to call him dad but he recently told me that I should call him father not dad. It hurts why he had to tell me that.

  7. I agree with you Lilah Neal

  8. Ask the children of today and see what they say,. It’s easy to father a child but herculean being a Dad

  9. Yes it’s true but that means you have a father and not a Dad

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