What do you call your nephew's wife? My niece? My niece-in-law? My nephew's wife?

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  • 1
    related Paucity of words for relationships – Mari-Lou A Nov 14 '14 at 4:19
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    @tchrist I'd imagine though that in some cultures, the spouse of a beloved nephew or niece is regarded as a relative, and is automatically included in the concept of "family". I know that was true in my case. – Mari-Lou A Nov 14 '14 at 5:58
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    @tchrist There are words for in-laws, whom you are not related to either. And technically, if we take related to mean blood relation only, you're not related to your husband or wife, either, nor to stepparents or stepchildren. I don't think it's crazy to presume there might be a word not only for your siblings’ spouses, but also for your siblings’ children’s spouses. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 14 '14 at 10:11
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    Advise your nephew to marry a woman that has a name next time. Then the problem goes away. – Oldcat Nov 14 '14 at 22:24
  • @Mari-LouA - of course she's in the family. Blood ties are considered separately just so if the nephew dies and your wife dies, you could in theory marry her without committing legal incest. – Oldcat Nov 14 '14 at 22:26

The wife of your nephew has no blood relationship to you. It would be most accurate to refer to her as your nephew's wife. She is also your sibling's daughter-in-law.


Either of these:

  • your nephew's wife
  • your niece by marriage

The second is less precise. It could also refer to your wife's niece.

  • 1
    Actually, the first option is also ambiguous. For instance, I have a nephew by marriage (he's the son of my wife's sister). Any woman that he marries would also be my nephew's wife, but I would have no blood in common with either of them. – Erik Kowal Nov 14 '14 at 3:35
  • @ErikKowal: True. – Drew Nov 14 '14 at 3:40

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