What is the correct phrase for the relationship between me and my son's father/mother in law?

  • Not English (but many English speakers use it), there is a Yiddish word, machatonim that means the inlaws of your child.
    – bib
    Dec 16, 2014 at 19:07
  • Apologies, @bib, but I would tend to think that the only English speakers who use it are Yiddish speakers or cultural Jews. Although I, who am neither, nevertheless use certain Yiddish words and phrases that have leaked into common use. And as a German-speaker I can understand Yiddish better than most other English-speakers. So maybe we should adopt machatonim! I'd vote for it! Dec 16, 2014 at 19:14
  • hostility? amity? indifference?
    – Oldcat
    Dec 16, 2014 at 19:36
  • @Oldcat? What on earth are you talking about? Dec 16, 2014 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


It's in your question.

There is no special term in English for a person's child's parents-in-law.

They are your son's parents-in-law.

Now, this is not to say that English wouldn't be enriched to have such a term, but it doesn't and there we are. It also doesn't have terms to distinguish between the flavors of aunts and uncles, and a few others that do exist in other languages.

  • I'm not sure which aunt/uncle flavors you're referring to but we do have great aunts, etc. Dec 16, 2014 at 19:44
  • @DennisWilliamson I think Cyberherbalist is referring to the difference between "blood" aunts/uncles (parents' siblings) and "marriage" aunts/uncles (parents' siblings' spouses). Dec 16, 2014 at 19:50
  • 1
    Yes, exactly, @starsplusplus. In Swedish, there are also distinctions between one's mother's and father's brothers: marbror and farbror. Both would be biological, of course. Dec 16, 2014 at 20:08
  • Or your son's wife/spouse's parents.
    – SrJoven
    Dec 16, 2014 at 21:19
  • Latin distinguishes "avunculus" from "patruua".material versus paternal uncle, and likewise, for aunts, "matertera" and "abita". Apr 14, 2018 at 13:25

I hadn't realized when we had daughters, that I would also be gifted with sons when they married. My affection for their parents is beyond the tepid description "my son-in-laws parents". "Affinity sister/brother" is a much better term, as connected by choice albeit our children's choice. so...this holiday season I plan to introduce Kay as "my affinity sister who is Dave's (my son-in-law's) mother".

  • Ps I knew they would marry men but never realized how much a part of our family they would become, and bring delightful family with them.
    – n. dower
    Dec 25, 2015 at 9:14

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