I have a sister. What are her husband's parents to me (i.e. her parents in-law)?

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    As far as I know we don't have a better term than 'my sister's parents-in-law'. You might be interested in this essay - it's not precisely what you want but it might give a lead blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/08/naming-of-cousins Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 1:20
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    The Chinese may have a word for that. If they don't, I doubt any other language does.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 1:45
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    An explanation for the lexical gap in the English language: Paucity of words for relationships
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 3:24
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    Why the downvotes? OK, no research shown...well the OP is aware of "parents in-law". Question unclear? No. It's very clear. It's not a duplicate. Lack of effort? Yes. But give the newcomer a chance!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 4:29
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    In English, the word for people who are not related to you is unrelated.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Your sister is married, her husband is your brother-in-law, when referring to his parents you can say: my brother-in-law's parents

Google Books has 91 hits for brother-in-law's parents

As friends and family visited my sister with offers of food, money and emotional support.My brother-in-law's parents, brother, sister, and extended family came from Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, Long Island and Florida.

Your sister is married and her husband's parents are her in-laws. Her husband's mother is her mother-in-law, while his father is her father-in-law. Consequently, you could also call them: my sister's parents-in-laws.

But astonishingly, Google Books has no results for sister's parents-in-laws.

Instead, the shortened in-laws is preferred. The expression: sister's in-laws is reported 363 times by Google Books.

My sister's in-laws did not live in Nanjing, and this created a housing problem. Most new couples could not get a housing unit from the government. They had to live with one or the other's parents for a while, usually the husband's.
Thirty Years in a Red House: A Memoir of Childhood and Youth in Communist China

All of the couple's siblings live here - as well as her sister's in-laws, his sister's in-laws, and many cousins. They are an extended family that would do any Midwestern town proud,...
Calling Arizona Home

  • I answered this question because 1) I couldn't find a duplicate. 2) there is a kinship expression. 3) the suggested answer in the comment section although technically correct, is not the most common.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 4:11

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