What do you call a family you create yourself through marriage or having children?

I want to distinguish between the family I was born into (my birth family) versus the one I made.

  • 1
    There isn't a specific term. You can either refer to "starting a family", or use "my wife/husband and children."
    – Mick
    Dec 23, 2016 at 19:44
  • 2
    The term nuclear family is used to describe a simple family of parents and their children - as opposed to extended family which encompasses grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Though the term nuclear family could equally apply to one's birth family, I tend to use the expression my own nuclear family if I wish to make it clear that I am speaking about my children plus my wife and myself only.
    – WS2
    Dec 23, 2016 at 19:54
  • Wow, do you think I'll end up on even more government lists if I use that term a lot? I worry about that kind of thing a lot, but I probably shouldn't. Dec 23, 2016 at 19:55
  • 1
    You will if you refer to your children as the "aliens". ;-)
    – Mick
    Dec 23, 2016 at 19:59
  • That is definitely getting too close to black helicopter territory! Dec 23, 2016 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


You might call it your household:

The inhabitants of a house considered collectively; a group of people (esp. a family) living together as a unit; a domestic establishment (including any servants, attendants, etc.).

(Oxford English Dictionary)

However, this of course presumes that your family is not separated. It does sound a little archaic though, but saying something like:

The rest of my family is very conservative but my household is quite liberal.

The definition states it includes servants, but I wouldn't jump to this understanding as an American, it might be different in other countries or social levels.

There's also family unit:

n. a family considered as a single entity, esp. as a discrete constituent of society; the primary social group, traditionally consisting of parents and their children.


But this sounds almost statistical in nature to me, I would be hard-pressed to use it naturally in conversation.

  • You need to be careful. A household can also include servants.
    – Mick
    Dec 23, 2016 at 19:58
  • Bear in mind that household would also include your resident servants, pets etc. One of the prophets in the Old Testament is recorded as having several thousand in his "household" - most of them probably slaves.
    – WS2
    Dec 23, 2016 at 19:58
  • @Mick Ah yes, I forgot to talk about that. I don't think many people would understand "household" that way, but maybe I'm just not rich enough. Dec 23, 2016 at 20:00
  • @WS2 See my comment about servants. and re: pets, I think it would be clear from context whether you're discussing just humans or also pets. Dec 23, 2016 at 20:01

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