Usually some sites are referenced as sister-sites by others, Why are they called sister-sites?

And what relation should both sites have to call each other sister-sites? Same authors? Same owners? In that case why not call it "our other-sites"? Is it because of the different content?

  • It's a "sister site" if it uses the same money.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 19:17

2 Answers 2


Generally sister-sites are equal and owned by the same parent.
The term is also used for companies that have equal standing with the same parent company

The usage originally comes from shipping, where ships built along the same or very similar plans by the same shipping line were called sister ships (the Olympic and Britannic were the Titanic's sister-ships). Ships were and are called 'she' partly from poetry/superstition and partly as an influence of the genders in old English.

  • 3
    Can you cite some evidence for the claim that "the usage originally comes from shipping"? This is sense C2a in the OED and the earliest citation given (1687) has nothing to do with shipping. Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 13:40
  • We also talk about "sister cities." Also, "ship" was not feminine but neuter gender in Old English, so it seems very unlikely that this is the source of the modern English phenomenon of referring to ships by feminine pronouns.
    – herisson
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 23:50

Sister sites are similar in function, being variations on the same Intellectual property, service, product and/or experience, are usually owned by the same person or at least the same company. Though sister sites can be owned by separate entities that have an affiliation with each other.

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