Questions about kinship terms (words for family members).

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3
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4answers
3k views

Name for relation between a man’s two wives?

What is the relation between the two wives of a man called?
2
votes
2answers
406 views

What is the correct word for Step siblings?

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, ...
3
votes
3answers
322 views

“I'm my own grandpa” – is there a word for this?

I was listening to a Chad Morgan record today, on which his cover of the song I'm my own grandpa features as the first track. The lyrics of the song describe a bizzare, but plausible scenario, in ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Why is it “grandfather”, but “great-uncle”?

I know that there are six forms of this word, but "great-uncle" is most common ("great-aunt" has a similar graph). Why is this, if "grandfather" and "grandmother" are common?
14
votes
4answers
3k views

When describing a person without siblings, should I say “the -” or “an only child”?

I understand the phrase "only child" means the only person born from or adopted by a set of parents in a family, or a person with no siblings. I often hear the term used as "an only child," which ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Plural form of “Son-in-law” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Words that are pluralized in the middle? I've heard it pronounced both ways: Sons-in-law and Son-in-laws While one may be more technically correct than the ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a gender-neutral word for [aunts and uncles], parents' siblings?

Brothers and sisters are siblings. Husbands and wives are spouses. Mothers and fathers are parents. Sons and daughters are children. Grandparents, grandchildren... but what about uncles and aunts, ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Where's 'in-law' in mother-in-law from?

I've read that it's somehow connected with the Canon Law, but I'm not sure. I'm really interested in finding the answer.
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Plural of “daughter in law” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Words that are pluralized in the middle? I was asked to write the plural of daughter in law in an aptitude exam. I wrote it as daughters in law. Please tell me the right ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

What's the term for siblings born 1+ years apart on the same day?

What is the term for two siblings born on the same calendar day, one or more years apart? I know there's a term, and I'd know it if I saw it, but I can't for the life of me remember it.
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Grandma and Nan, origins and differences?

What are the origins and differences between these two? Same for Granddad/Grandpa? Why was there the need for the two different names?
12
votes
6answers
7k views

When does an aunt’s partner or husband become an uncle?

Being the youngest of five siblings, with relatively old parents, I’ve always referred to my aunts and uncles as such, even though in fact only one of each pair is a blood relative. It never occurred ...
5
votes
5answers
763 views

Word or phrase to describe relation beween yourself and a step-parent's ex-spouse?

Is there a word or simple phrase to describe the relationship between yourself and a step-parent's ex-spouse? Particularly, I'm seeking to address the case when the ex-spouse is a parent to your ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I know the exact meaning of “cousin” in a sentence?

How can I know the exact meaning of the word cousin in a sentence? How do English speakers distinguish between different kinds of cousins? (Arabic distinguishes both the sex of the cousin and the ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What's a good word to describe adults who are not yet parents?

Just read this in Emma Donoghue's book "Room". Is there a word for adults who are not parents?
9
votes
5answers
40k views

Which is the correct spelling: “Granddad” or “Grand-dad” or “Grandad”?

Granddad or Grand-dad or Grandad? Which is the correct spelling?
7
votes
1answer
666 views

Where does gender attach in “brotherly/sisterly”?

If Leia loves her brother Luke, does she feel sisterly love (because she is his sister) or brotherly love (because he is her brother)?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Framing a question to which you reply with “I am the third born in my family” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number would it be if i asked what is your relative position terms of birth order in your family
7
votes
4answers
991 views

What did they call illegitimate children in Old English days?

I know that the word bastard in this sense appeard only in 13th century. So what was the normal term before that?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

On the specifics of illegitimate children

Is there a feminine form of the word bastard? It seems like bastard is a word that’s applied to male children only.
3
votes
3answers
818 views

How are relative familial titles used for members who died prior to your birth?

This may seem an odd and morbid question, but I am curious about the use of relative familial titles when the family member you are referring to died prior to your birth. For example, say my mother ...
7
votes
3answers
779 views

Gender-independent replacement for “fiancée” and “fiancé”

I can use child to replace son or daughter, sibling for sister or brother, and parent for mother or father. What is the unisex replacement for fiancée and fiancé? I don’t need it for speech, but for ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Origins of the word “mother”

Apologies in advance for this question being only indirectly related to the English language, but I find it fascinating. I note with interest that the English words "mother" and "mama" have similar ...
3
votes
2answers
29k views

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

What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me?
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a word that means “the wife of one's brother”?

In some of the non-Latin-based languages that I know there is a special word for your brother's wife. Is there such a word in English? Usage would be something like: She is my __ (My brother's ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

Filling out forms that ask for “relationship with”

When I fill any form for my son this question “relationship with child” confuses me. Should the answer be “son” or “father”? To me, the ideal answer is always “a father–son relationship”. A little ...
58
votes
3answers
5k views

Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
2
votes
5answers
226 views

Can something be a parent or child “to”/“of” something?

I am writing some software documentation. There are data structures that are organized in trees and every element in the structure can be child or parent "to"/"of" every other element. I am not a ...
5
votes
3answers
9k views

Where do the words for daughter, son, aunt, uncle, mother, father, cousin, nephew, niece come from?

Please see Title. I'm not specifically referring to which language they came from... but if they come from something else. In other words, do they come from words with other meanings. For example, do ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there an accepted rule for naming all of our various distant relatives (Kinship Terms)?

I’m going to the christening of my Cousin’s first son soon. What is the proper name for his relation to me? 2nd Nephew? Nephew once removed? Nothing? Looking at the overall picture, whats the ...