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What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me?

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possible duplicate of Looking for a word meaning "the wife of one's brother". –  kiamlaluno Feb 19 '11 at 19:42
    
Not a duplicate, I think..."wife of one's brother" and "brother of one's wife" are two different things, it just happens we use the same word for them in English. –  Mark Beadles Jun 20 '12 at 14:45

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

He is your brother-in-law.

There has already been a similar question posted here to which the answer was "sister-in-law", so I'll finish the list here:

Your spouse's brother or your sister's husband is your brother-in-law.

Your spouse's sister or your brother's wife is your sister-in-law.

Your spouse's father is your father-in-law.

Your spouse's mother is your mother-in-law.

Your daughter's husband is your son-in-law.

Your son's wife is your daughter-in-law.

Where applicable (and where disowning has not occurred), you child's same-sex life partner under a legal bond (whether marriage or civil union or what have you) or a bond you recognise even when the law does not would be either a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, as applicable.

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Well, that's a much more thorough answer than mine, though I do quibble with the addition of "even when the law does not" as "in law" does etymologically derive from traditional common law. –  smithco Feb 19 '11 at 19:49
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@smithco: etymologically it originally meant that, but its meaning has since solidified to be essentially what’s given here, no longer depending on the law. And I get the impression that its meaning is currently shifting — roughly but not exactly in step with the law — to include same-sex marriages . –  PLL Feb 19 '11 at 22:09
    
The problem with shifting meanings is that they create confusion. In this case, your expanded meaning of "in law" is actually the first time I have seen it used with that meaning. –  smithco Feb 19 '11 at 23:33
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It has been a long time since marriage made anybody de jure father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter to anyone else (with all the rights and privileges associated with blood relationships). The "in-law" relationships are only descriptive now, not legal. –  bye Feb 19 '11 at 23:44
    
I hear "in-law" used frequently to refer to the family of a life partner, whether legally married or not, and find such use perfectly unobjectionable and widely understood. –  Mark Beadles Jun 20 '12 at 14:44

Brother-in-law is the usual term.

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protected by Jasper Loy Jun 20 '12 at 12:58

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