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Couple - Can I say I have a couple of kids meaning that I have a girl and a boy, or it is only for number, not gender?

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    Not as obvious as it might appear. After all, a married couple was for most of our history a male and a female. But here, a couple of = a brace of = a pair of = 2. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 31 '13 at 16:41
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    A couple as a noun phrase without qualification refers to a matched pair of some kind, which includes the matched pairing of marriage. But as part of the quantifier (a) couple of /(a)'kəplə/, it has no reference to gender or wedlock, but only to paucal number (not necessarily just dual). – John Lawler Oct 31 '13 at 17:02
  • Couple often means "two" but can also mean "an indefinite small number." So, one could say, "I went to the park and saw a couple kids there" even if I saw a trio of children. – J.R. Oct 31 '13 at 18:30
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    @J.R. I'm pretty sure couple only means two. "I saw a few kids at the park" would make sense though. – toryan Nov 1 '13 at 4:37
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    If you refer to a pair of siblings a a couple and expect it to be understood that they're a male-female pair, you should also expect some rather unpleasant understandings about the nature of their relationship to arise. – user867 Nov 1 '13 at 4:59
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See, you can't say:

We're a couple of people.

to express that you and your husband are a couple (a man and a woman). The way you say it would be:

We're a couple.

The same rule counts for a couple of kids in your question. That doesn't mean that there are a boy and a girl. That also isn't saying that there are literally two kids. A couple of something means there are 2, 3, 4, ... of that something.

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    Why on earth was this downvoted? It's the most detailed and relevant answer, and not inaccurate, so far as I can tell. – user867 Nov 1 '13 at 5:00
  • Oh, was it? I didn't know. Thanks, I've voted up your comment. (y) – Safira Nov 1 '13 at 5:05
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only for numbers. Couples can be same-sex too.

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You can say you have a couple of kids if you have two children, but that doesn't imply a biy and a girl, just that there are two of them.

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