One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A foster-father. Frequently figurative, especially after biblical use.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Biblia: the Bible. From nursing + father, after Hebrew 'ōmēn nurturer, use as noun of participle of 'āman to nurture, foster, bring up; compare nursing mother.
nursing father/ˈnəːsɪŋ ˌfɑːðə/
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