Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm creating a list of family members:

Biological, Justin, 5/20/1981
Biological, John,   1/20/1987
Adopted,    Jane,   8/12/1989
Step,       Doug,   12/1/1979

When listing out the type of sibling, the word step seems odd. I've always used it as step-brother or step-sister but never on its own. Is there a better choice of word to use?

share|improve this question
    
Are you also going to deal with "half"? And what about "biologically half, but adopted by the other parent"? It's complicated, which is why you're having trouble. In your example here, Doug is Justin's step-brother, but Justin is almost certainly Doug's half-brother. It depends what point of view you take. Or are you listing what kind of child they are to one of the parents? Why only one of them? –  Kate Gregory Aug 3 '11 at 16:52
    
@Kate Gregory: I'm looking to list the relationship of the child to the family unit as a whole (both parents and all the other siblings) and on another list, in relation to a specific person within the family. The only status information i have is a flag listing the individual as Biological/Adopted/Step at the family level. (I'm working from a gedcom file) –  Justin808 Aug 4 '11 at 0:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

To line things up with "Biological" and "Adopted", the best way I can think of to describe the 'type' of a stepsibling is "By Marriage".

share|improve this answer

As far as I know, there is unfortunately no such term. You will probably be forced to list the full relationship:

Biological brother, Justin, 5/20/1981
Biological brother, John,   1/20/1987
Adopted sister,     Jane,   8/12/1989
Stepbrother,        Doug,   12/1/1979
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.