Sorry for asking homework, but this question is really confusing; I think the answer is some type of cousin, but I don't know if it's first, second, third, etc. and once removed, twice removed, etc.

I have simplified and rephrased the question below:

Your brother has died and left his wife widowed. Your maternal aunt has also died and left her husband widowed. If the widow and the widower marry and have children then what is the relationship of those children to you?

(The state of homework these days...)

  • 1
    This is not a biology question, it is an English Language and Usage question. There may or may not be particular words for such a relationship, given variations in language & culture.
    – jamesqf
    Jan 22, 2017 at 19:28
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about the English language, not biology. Use English Language & Usage instead.
    – MattDMo
    Jan 22, 2017 at 21:18
  • @MattDMo Do I really have to make that many accounts on SE?
    – suomynonA
    Jan 23, 2017 at 2:47
  • Even in English, the words for relationships, and the way they're viewed, have changed over time. Thus in Shakespeare's "As You Like It", Rosalind calls Duke Fredrick "Uncle", but he calls her "Cousin", not niece.
    – jamesqf
    Jan 23, 2017 at 3:17
  • @suomynonA you don't need to make a new account - just go to the site, click "sign in" on the header bar, enter your password (maybe, I forget) and you're all set. One login is good across all of Stack Exchange, you just need to choose to join new sites.
    – MattDMo
    Jan 23, 2017 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


Brothers widow = Sister-in-law

Maternal aunt's widow = Uncle

Uncle + Sister in Law.

Normally your uncle's children would be your 1st cousins, and your sister-in-law's kids would be your nieces or nephews.

My initial thought would be that those kids would technically be your first cousin and niece/nephew.

If your sister-in-law re-marries, she would no longer be your sister-in-law and instead would become an aunt I think.

However, the uncle is also an uncle by marriage so that too would be nullified by remarriage. So actually, I don't think the kids would be considered any relation to you at all. Certainly not by blood.

I admit that's something of a guess though, so happy to be proved wrong!

Also, here's a handy chart... enter image description here

  • +1, but I don't understand the logic behind the line "If your sister-in-law re-marries, she would no longer be your sister-in-law and instead would become an aunt I think."
    – AndyT
    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:40
  • Yeah I think that part is wrong, I was just 'showing my work'. I think the crux of the question is that neither of the widows are blood relations, so upon remarriage their existing formal relation to the family ceases. I'm not sure whether this is the case legally speaking or not though.
    – Joe Healey
    Jan 23, 2017 at 13:04
  • 1
    I would normally call someone by the closest relationship, however, I don't believe fit because they aren't blood relatives. If my sister-in-law had kids without my brother involved they wouldn't be related to me. The one exception might be adoption...certainly if my brother adopted a girl I would call her my niece out of respect for the adoption.
    – Tom22
    Jan 23, 2017 at 18:01
  • Also, what you call someone and what they 'are' are two separate things. In many cultures the age differential is most important so distant relations say 20 years older than you or so, would all be Aunts and Uncles. Close family friends are often refered to as Aunts and Uncles in these cultures. That doesn't actually make them your Aunt or Uncle.. just an honorary title.
    – Tom22
    Jan 23, 2017 at 18:06
  • @Tom22 My first cousins once removed call me Uncle.
    – tchrist
    Jan 24, 2017 at 4:06

If your mom's late sister's husband marries your late brother's wife, then two people with no blood relation to you are having kids. The technical answer is that those kids are of no relation to you. They are not your cousins, nor your nieces and nephews.

I think possibly "step-cousin" or "step-nephew" to try to pin it down informally. You might also use "my former sister-in-law's kids" (clearly implying "i.e. not my brother's kids"), in this case the dad being farther removed and not mentioned. Following @tchrist's lead, they perhaps ought to refer to you as you 'Aunt/Uncle {Name}'.

Since this was homework, I wonder what your teacher thought the answer was.

  • 1
    I think it was no relationship and I was just overthinking it... but who knows this hw was 3 and a half years ago lmaoo
    – suomynonA
    Jul 8, 2020 at 4:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.