What is the appropriate word for husband of the daughter of my brother?

That is, son-in-law of one's brother.

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    For more commentary see Paucity of words for relationships in English
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:12
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    Nephew-in-law is correct and formal, but normally one would simply say nephew. Since a married couple always has one member who is not a blood relative, it's normal in English not to care about which one it is. Just like we don't care whether your cousin is your father's brother's child or your father's sister's child, or even what sex your cousin is, though many languages have special names for those relations. Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:42
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    I'd just go with "Dave" ;-) Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 20:47
  • @tchrist my answer which you deleted was the first answer, not already answered. The question is tagged "single-word-requests" which is what I provided, as part of a sentence as recommended on that tag. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


While nephew-in-law may be used, it is uncommon to use the "-in-law" epithet for anyone outside of an immediate family relation (that is: parents, children and siblings). It is more common to use a more explicit term, such as my niece's husband, possibly because nephew-in-law could be ambiguous - is it your niece's husband, or your spouse's nephew? Some people will also just call them their nephew.

If you wish to be specific that it is your brother's son-in-law, not your sister's son-in-law, there is no way of stating that in English other than how I just stated it.

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    My extended family has always just used "nephew", just like how the husband of my father's sister has always been "uncle" (which I think is fairly standard?)
    – Tin Wizard
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 22:20
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    I had never heard the term "nephew-in-law" until I read the replies to this question. I have at least six married nieces and nephews, and I have never used any single word to refer to their spouses, nor have I heard anyone else use one. Our family does not refer to a spouse of a niece or nephew as "niece" or "nephew", either. I suppose there could be regional variations - for what it's worth, I am from northern New Jersey, and my wife grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 22:52

As others have already stated, the "husband of the daughter of [your] brother" is your nephew-in-law. And as @Mitch noted there is a "Paucity of words for relationships in English" -- see Paucity of words for relationships.

The paucity of words in English for familial relationships can be regarded as either a weakness -- because imprecision can lead to confusion -- or a strength, because it allows for delicious nuances free of the danger of slander suits.

If you are fond of your nephew-in-law, you can call him simply "nephew"; you are implying he is as close as a blood relation. If you are neutral, call him your nephew-in-law. If you want to telegraph negativity, call him "my brother's daughter's husband". This accomplishes the same job as calling him "my niece's (pejorative word) husband" without being so impolite as to use a pejorative word.

The more distant the connection, the better this works. For example, no one would think I had a high opinion of "my husband's cousin's son's wife", whereas if I said "my cousin" [which is technically defensible]*, the hearer would assume a warm relationship.

  1. A relative by blood or marriage; a kinsman or kinswoman

Where the original question is:

"What is the appropriate word for husband of the daughter of my brother?"*

*(Note the title specified English; presumably the language)

I believe the other answers have provided the (unfortunate) answer you were seeking... assuming you were looking for a familial title that conveyed the mechanics of the relation viz. Daughter, Step-Father, Third Cousin twice removed, etc.

I only add my answer to suggest that the characterization of this fact as a "paucity" of the English language is perhaps misleading.

I would like to assert that the premise of the question is perhaps constraining a good deal of the flexibility of the language. I think that royal blood-lines probably serve as a useful metric in this regard, as such relationships and their proper nomenclature play an outsized role compared to non-royal familial relationships. To put it simply, if you want to address the husband of the 2nd-in-line-to-the-throne (of course you are King/Queen and we are referring to your firstborn daughter's husband assuming we don't have additional constraints such as male primogeniture), you simply create a Title (proper noun) for which this person is to be known and addressed. (see 'Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark') However English that all may be, I do think it obscures the proper function and use of language; to transmit information from sender to receiver. Thus in conclusion, I might suggest that the answer for your question is not so much what would another person call the husband of their brother's daughter, rather it is what relationship do you want to convey as the speaker when communicating that relationship to some listener(s)? Perhaps "Friend", "Scoundrel", or just "The man who makes my niece very happy" would have more utility than a proper title or description of familial relationship. P.S. if in doubt, it’s hard to go wrong with "Mr."

Please go easy on me, it's my first answer :)