Is there a word in English that refers to the relationship between the maternal and paternal grandparents of a child? I've been searching for years and would appreciate any possibilities. Thanks.

  • a word in ANY language?
    – bummi
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:45
  • Welcome to the site. Could possibly add what words, if any, you have come across that do not fit? Include some of your research to avoid confusion.
    – Skooba
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:46
  • 1
    closely related:Paucity of words for relationships
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 22, 2017 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


A Yiddish word that has crept into the English of American Jews and those who live in heavily Jewish settings is machutonim. (That "u" can be an "a" or "o" also, by the way.) That literally means the relationship between the parents of one spouse and those of the other. The best we can do in English is in-laws, which can be clear in context: We're spending Thanksgiving with our in-laws, so none of us have to go without seeing the grandkids.

The article below goes into more depth, elaborating on English's strengths and weaknesses in describing familial relationships.


  • 1
    machutonim sounds like one of the transuranic elements.
    – ab2
    Oct 21, 2017 at 21:19
  • Thanks, in our case--yup, the parents of our grandchildren are married to each other. It's almost an exception these days! It is the closest I have seen. My daughter-in-law is a Pacific Islander, and even coming from that culture where family is a strong bond, there is no word. Thanks again.
    – Dee
    Oct 28, 2017 at 13:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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