Questions about kinship terms (words for family members).

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

21
votes
11answers
6k views

Why doesn't the English language have distinct words to use when talking to elders? [on hold]

In many of the languages that I've studied there are separate distinctions in the words to use when talking to elders and when talking to someone of your age or younger. For e.g. in Hindi, if I ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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
4answers
109 views

“dead brother's grandson” VS “passed-away brother's grandson”

One is dead brother's grandson (and) dead sister's grandson. The other is passed-away brother's grandson (and) passed-away sister's grandson. They come from part of a novel which I'm ...
1
vote
4answers
12k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
168 views

male/female cousin or nephew/niece [closed]

I was reading true some of the gender questions on this site. They said that there where no gender specific way of saying cousin except adding male or female in front of it. But i was always told you ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is the “female” in “female cousin” redundant here?

"My female cousin working for a finance company was dismissed. Disappeared along with her job were her confidence and smiling face." There is a very complicated system in Chinese for naming ...
63
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Who says “mummy” and “daddy”?

Is the use of the terms mummy and daddy to (informally) refer to one's parents particular to a specific socio-economic class or culture? How does this contrast with the terms mum/ mom, and dad?
11
votes
8answers
10k 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)?
1
vote
1answer
242 views

What is correct phrase for the relationship with my son's father/mother in law

What is the correct phrase for the relationship between me and my son's father/mother in law?
1
vote
2answers
297 views

Phrase for the elder of my younger sisters?

If i have two sisters younger than me, how can i refer to the elder one of them? "Younger sister" is ambiguous, but "older sister" is inaccurate. "Elder one of my younger sisters" is long and clumsy. ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What do you call your nephew's wife? [closed]

What do you call your nephew's wife? My niece? My niece-in-law? My nephew's wife?
0
votes
3answers
618 views

Why are there no male or female terms for cousins in English? [duplicate]

In general English doesn't seem to cater well for identifying relationships between people, and the classic example seems to be the term 'cousin' because you can't really work out whether it is ...
9
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Individual and Collective Terms for Family Members [duplicate]

How come some family relationships have individual gender specific terms and collective terms, while some have only one? The adults who are responsible for conceiving, birthing, and raising you are ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

How far out does “in-law” go? [closed]

The sister to a husband becomes the wife's sister-in-law. If the sister in-law was to marry a woman, would she also become the wife's sister-in-law? If so can you keep calling the family of your ...
2
votes
2answers
247 views

Word for “person living with in-laws” or “feeling awkward and inadequate”

Is there a word for a Person living with in-law parents, by which I mean, a man or a woman who got married and moved to his or her parents in laws' house, in English ? There is a word for it in my ...
2
votes
1answer
595 views

What should we call our elder cousin's wife? [closed]

We don’t call our cousins cousin Somebody the way we do with uncles and aunts; we just refer to them by their given name directly. But sometimes we cannot use their name to address them, such as if ...
2
votes
5answers
257 views

Title or word to describe the first, original member of a family tree

I'm looking for a word to signify the ancestor from which a family tree is derived. They would be the first, from whom all other family members are descended. Does such a word exist? I imagine, given ...
4
votes
1answer
958 views

What do you call your grand-father's brother? (grand- v great-) [duplicate]

Your father's father is called your grand-father, yet your father's uncle is typically called your great-uncle (or so it seems with anybody I converse with). Why the inconsistency?
9
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
981 views
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Term for relationship to cousin's child [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there an accepted rule for naming all of our various distant relatives (Kinship Terms)? My relationship to my cousin's dad is nephew-uncle. My relationship to my ...
14
votes
2answers
118k views

When should “Mom” and “Dad” be capitalized?

I am trying to understand capitalization rules with Mom and Dad. I believe I have it correct below, but please let me know if I do not. The one thing I learned from my dad was that it was good to ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Capitalization of “sister” and “brother”

I have seen the question on when to capitalize mom and dad, but I am confused why the rule would not apply equally to Brother vs. brother and Sister vs. sister. I.e., if the rule is to use capitals ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
42k 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
5k 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
95 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
10
votes
6answers
11k 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
63 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
550 views
4
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
103k 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.
10
votes
2answers
963 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. ...
7
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
51
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
126 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
364 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
2k 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
214 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
14k 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
196 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
323 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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
78 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
123 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...