Questions about kinship terms (words for family members).

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5
votes
7answers
17k views

Name for the relationship of wife’s sister’s husband

Is there a name for the relationship of my wife’s sister’s husband in English? Or in case of a lady, what is the relationship of her husband’s brother’s wife called? There are words for these ...
14
votes
5answers
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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
36 views

A common word that describes the first level relation

A common word that describes the first level relation. First level relation: Parent for an unmarried. Spouse for a married
9
votes
7answers
5k 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Word for a parent whose children have all died [duplicate]

I know there have been other questions asked that are similar, but I want to know about the specific case where a person has had a child or children, but all have passed on. Is there an accepted word ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a word meaning “my child's spouse's parents”?

If I am introducing someone to my daughter's husband's parents can I say "Hi, I'd like to you meet my ___". In-laws would not work here because they are my child's in-laws not my own. Is there a word ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

What is the term for “cousin of a cousin”?

My mother’s sister’s son is my cousin; let’s call him “John”. John’s father’s brother’s son — let’s call him Mark — is John’s cousin. Now, Mark isn’t my direct cousin as we don't share any immediate ...
0
votes
5answers
331 views
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Is a *by-law* the same thing as an *in-law*?

When I was a student (over fifty years ago) I had a landlady who used to talk about her 'aunt-by-law'. I wish I had been bold enough to ask her the nature of the relationship, but I have always ...
11
votes
5answers
49k views
9
votes
3answers
2k 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.
9
votes
7answers
5k views

Word for grieving parents?

Is there a word that describes a parent whose child has died? Along the lines of "orphan", "widow", and "widower", is there a single word for a parent who has lost a child (of any age)?
10
votes
2answers
710 views

father-in-law = step-father?

I've been reading Middlemarch, and came across a usage of father-in-law which, from context, must mean step-father. Later in the same novel, the phrase father-in-law was used as we would use it today. ...
6
votes
7answers
6k views

What is the female equivalent for “uxorious”?

I know the word uxorious that is used to describe a husband who dotes on his wife excessively. What is the corresponding word for a wife who loves her husband dearly? I cannot pull anything out of my ...
49
votes
12answers
5k views

A way of describing the lesbian parent that is not pregnant?

A friend of mine is in a long term relationship with her female partner. After deciding they wanted a family, my friend's girlfriend got pregnant. Normally when talking about a couple expecting a ...
-2
votes
1answer
57 views

How should I refer to the godmother of my child in formal documents? [closed]

Is there a word such as sister, spouse, aunt, cousin, etc., which describes a person who is my child's godmother? Informally, I would refer to this person as an aunt, but that implies a genetic ...
4
votes
5answers
350 views

Referring to my husband as my son's dad?

I received an invitation for a session at my son's (John) school. The teacher had asked us to confirm our attendance for the event. I wrote the following John's Dad and I will be attending the ...
2
votes
5answers
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?
3
votes
2answers
147 views

What are the limits of the prefix 'step' to describe relationships?

Is my mother's step-father, my step-grandfather? To what extent is it usual to extend the prefix 'step'? Can we speak of 'step-cousins', step-aunts and step-uncles etc? If we can it must make for ...
6
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
158 views

Which is appropriate while addressing in-laws?

Which is appropriate while addressing in-laws? My mother-in-law and father-in-law are visiting us this weekend. Or: My mother and father-in-law are visiting us this weekend.
0
votes
1answer
106 views

If widowed aunt remarries, is her husband “uncle”?

My mother's brother's wife Louise has always been Aunt Lou to me; her husband, my Uncle Bob, died young, but we still called her Aunt Lou. After many years she has now re-married. Is her second ...
2
votes
3answers
548 views

Salutation for two doctors (not married)

Does use of the salutation Dear Drs. Apple and Banana, imply that Dr. Apple is married to Dr. Banana? That is, would it be better form to use: Dear Dr. Apple and Dr. Banana, when Dr. ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Is it appropriate to use “father” in a legal context?

In a legal petition, how do you describe, in a formal manner, someone being the father of another person? Is this example acceptable? John Doe, deceased, father of the plaintiff.
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Is there a term for your parent's ex-spouse who is not your biological parent?

How would one refer to one's parent's 2nd spouse, whom they have divorced? For example, I have a biological father, and a step-father, but what about the man my mother was married to before my ...
19
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 ...
59
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
9answers
17k views

Is there a more concise term for a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend than “significant other”?

I've been together with my boyfriend for around 9 years now. There are times when I want to communicate that I am referring to someone who plays a major role in my life, like that of a husband, and ...
7
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Confusion over “family name” in English: What about double-barrelled last names? [closed]

How do you fill out an official form in English that asks for just one last name when you instead have a surname which comprises more than one word? I currently live in a Latin country, where we ...
2
votes
5answers
2k 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
3answers
9k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
568 views

Non gender oriented way to replace husband/wife

I’m creating a list of families that lists both partners’ names, ages, wedding date, and divorce date if there is one. To do this I have been using: Husband Age Wife Age Marriage Date ...
5
votes
1answer
379 views

What is the relationship name of my sibling-in-law's sibling to me?

For example: I have a sister named Charlotte. Charlotte is married to Martin. Martin has a brother named William. Martin is my brother-in-law, but what is William to me?
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Name for relation between a man’s two wives?

What is the relation between the two wives of a man called?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Term for one brother–sister pair marrying another?

While translating a book on the aboriginal people of northwest India, I came across a tradition of marriages, where one brother–sister pair were married to another brother–sister pair, as well as many ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Replacement for “brethren” to refer to mostly female group

The word brethren would generally be used to refer to a group of people which have something making them an integrated unit. To exemplify my point in case: The Catholic Brethren... My college ...
12
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a feminine equivalent to the adjective “avuncular”?

My brief researches only bring up the word "auntlike" to render the feminine equivalent of avuncular. Surely, though, and given the etymology of "aunt" [ < Latin amita -father's sister, old ...
7
votes
1answer
8k 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?
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between “second cousin” and “first cousin once removed” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there an accepted rule for naming all of our various distant relatives (Kinship Terms)? What is the difference between second cousin and first cousin once removed? Is ...
-1
votes
4answers
649 views

“Twin brothers” and “cousin brothers”

Is "twin brothers" correct? Or is it also incorrect like "cousin brother"?
2
votes
5answers
246 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Non-gender uncle/aunt relation name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”? Is there a gender-neutral word for [aunts and uncles], parents' siblings? The non-gender name for ...
7
votes
1answer
694 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)?
7
votes
3answers
863 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
738 views

Which one can be named or acknowledged as the elder brother (sister) between twins who was born earlier and later in UK and America?

There is the following sentence in Jeffery Archer’s detective story False Impression: Arabella was so wise and sensible. If only her beloved twin had been born a few minutes earlier rather than a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “separated at birth” mean?

Sometimes, you come across someone saying something (usually tongue-in-cheek), which might go like this: Tom: I really love eating noodles while watching Star Trek. Linda: Wow, I do exactly the ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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?
4
votes
2answers
708 views

Word to describe gay people who are in a relationship with each other

Can I use these words? A gay couple (not sure if couple can be used only for married people) A gay lovers (not sure if I should put s here or if lovers can be used to describe two people ...