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Almost every type of killing can be described in a single word such as suicide, parricide, genocide, etc.

Is there such a term for killing a cousin specifically?

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It's usually a regrettable state of affairs when one goes from kissing cousins to killing cousins. – Erik Kowal Jul 26 '14 at 8:22
Kinslaying! [cit.] – clabacchio Jul 26 '14 at 14:16
My comment is that if you are going to coin a word for this then cousinicide has the clearest (transparent) meaning (though it, like other suggestions here, is ugly). If the point is to communicate in English, then it is the modern meaning of cousin that you want to work with, not various shades of cousin relations that were more pertinent in the past or are more pertinent now in non-English settings. Which is more important to you: coining from Latin or Greek roots or coming up with a word that clearly means what it says? – Drew Jul 26 '14 at 20:11

To my knowledge, there is no such accepted term. As Josh points out, parricide can be used to refer to any close relationship, though the main sense is that of killing a parent (i.e., patricide and/or matricide).

For lack of an accepted, specific term, you could use one of two fairly rare, but etymologically sound, neologisms that have been coined:

Killing your maternal cousin

Killing your paternal cousin

These are derived from Latin (con)sobrīnus ‘mother’s sister’s child’ and patruelis ‘father’s brother’s child’. To anyone with decent Latin skills, they should be self-explanatory and obvious, though they probably won’t be to others; and no dictionary that I could find has included the words (yet).

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I don’t see why not. The ‑cide element is reasonably productive — well, or maybe unreasonably so, depending on one’s point of view. – tchrist Jul 26 '14 at 13:14

I think parricide is the correct term to use in your case:

  • The murdering of one's father, mother, or other near relative.

  • One who commits such a murder.

Source: Killing one's relations:


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Possibly usable in the situation, but does not describe the killing of a cousin in particular. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 26 '14 at 7:22
I think that's the term to use that best describes that kind of killing. See the lists I included. – Josh61 Jul 26 '14 at 7:24

@Josh61 gives a good answer using existing terms, but it shouldn't be too difficult to coin a more specific term - or is it?

All these killing words are hybrid constructions, combining the -cide suffix (which can be traced back to Latin cida "cutter, killer, slayer") with a first element that is usually derived from Latin or Greek. So all you need to do is find a good Latin or Greek work for cousin and append the suffix, right? You can even use a non-Greek or Latin base, since the existing terms already mix up Latin and Greek (sui is Latin, geno is Greek) and give language purists the hives.

The only problem is that in most classical languages, there wasn't a single, encompassing word for cousins. Latin has several terms like cognatus, which can be used for more general kinsmen. Or maybe sobrinus for maternal cousins, or patruelis on the father's side. Other languages also have many different words for specific relationships:

Many IE languages (including Irish, Sanskrit, Slavic, and some of the Germanic tongues) have or had separate words for some or all of the eight possible "cousin" relationships, such as Latin, which along with consobrinus had consobrina "mother's sister's daughter," patruelis "father's brother's son," matruelis "mother's brother's son," amitinus "father's sister's son," etc. Old English distinguished fæderan sunu "father's brother's son," modrigan sunu "mother's sister's son," etc.

So choosing the exact term to base your -cide on might be difficult. If you have a very specific killing-word in mind, you could use a specific Latin term. Or, perhaps, just stick to Josh61's more general parricide.

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@JanusBahsJacquet I was looking at the putative *atruelis and thinking about what the word for killing off the black sheep of the family would be. :) – tchrist Jul 26 '14 at 13:19

You could go with sobrinicide although (a) technically that would only refer to a cousin on your mother's side (patruelicide would be a paternal cousin) and (b) no one would know what you are talking about.

Still, somebody has to coin new words, might as well be you.

Edit: while I was typing this, Avner Shahar-Kashtan made the virtually identical recommendation. Therefore, I am now suggesting you go the Greek route and use exodelphicide.

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Actually, I made the virtually identical recommendation, not Avner. :-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 26 '14 at 7:45

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