General Writing and Grammar Help/Godfather meaning.


QUESTION: Dear Deborah

What is the Dictionary meaning of "Godfather" ?.
Is it related to philosophy, spirituality ?.

Can we termed our Teacher, Coach, Spiritual Guru, Blood relations,
Close relatives etc as Godfather ?.

How we can use this word in English sentences ?. Can you illustrate this with examples ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Mr. Akerkar,

"Godfather" has several different meanings in English.  The first is a male godparent.  Parents often chose Godparents for their children with the intent that if something happened to them, the godparents would take over and raise the children.  They are not relatives--usually close and trusted acquaintances.

Some other meanings are:

1:  a man who sponsors a person at baptism
2:  one having a relation to someone or something analogous to that of a male sponsor to his godchild: as
a :  one that founds, supports, or inspires <made him the godfather of a whole generation of rebels Times Literary Supplement>
b :  the leader of an organized crime syndicate

The last meaning (leader of an organized crime syndicate) is derived from the patronage that people paid to the leader. There is a movie entitled "Godfather" that speaks to this relationship.

I hope that this assists you,

Dr. D

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Dr Deborah

Thank you.

People who adopt children from Orphanages, Can they be referred as Godfather or Godmother for the adopted child because they are not the Biological Parents of the adopted child ?.

Can they be referred as Godfather from the English dictionary meaning
or the definition may differ ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Mr. Akerkar,

I am sorry I did not see your second question... I've been having some computer issues.

People who adopt children from orphanages are their parents even though they are not the biological parents.  We refer to them as mother and father and they refer to themselves as parents-not godparents.  Usually in the U.S. close friends are godmothers/fathers. Sometimes if the parents have no relatives, the godparents step in as surrogate parents in the event of the death of both the mother and the father.

I hope this provides more information for you.

Dr. D

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Deborah Burgess


Essays--I can assist students with questions concerning the process of writing an essay including preparation of an outline, development of a topic, development of the thesis statement and topic sentences, and paragraph development. I can assist students in helping them determine the proper rhetorical modes for their essay (narration, illustration, description, process analysis, comparison and contrast, and argumentation. I am able to answer questions concerning rules of style for a research paper including referencing sources. I am able to address questions regarding punctuation and grammar.


I teach a writing workshop for the University of Phoenix (Richmond Campus) and two college courses: Essentials of College Writing and Elements of Composition.

Doctor of Management--University of Phoenix Masters in Human Resources--George Washington University B.A.--French and Linguistics, Oakland University

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