I'm keeping a list of relationships between children and their parents:

  child A -> parent A,
  child B -> parent B,

I want to find a word that describes the relationship between a child and its parent. In plural, the word could be used to describe the list itself.

For context, the children and parents in question are not humans, or even living things. The relationships are figurative, but I think it is safe to ignore that distinction.

Here are some thoughts I've had so far:

  • A fraternal relationship (i.e. a relationship between siblings) could be described as a "fraternity".

  • The relationship between two married people is often described as a "marriage".

  • If a person is a dependent on someone (say financially dependent on their parent) you might declare that relationship a "dependence".

The ideal word will allude to the fact that the children are on the left side of the list, and the parents are on the right side.

  • 3
    An example sentence would clarify (and is required by site rules). "Child" is the relationship of a child to the parents, so I'm a bit lost.
    – jimm101
    Oct 9, 2019 at 1:54
  • 4
    I recommend that you check the meaning of filial in a dictionary and see if that's the word you're looking for.
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 9, 2019 at 2:20
  • Child .... Child's Relationship .... Parent
    – Greybeard
    Mar 7, 2020 at 19:45
  • The relationship between two married people is often described as a "marriage". This is simply inaccurate and misleading.
    – Greybeard
    Jan 15, 2021 at 23:12

5 Answers 5


A bit late to this party, but I think heritage makes the most sense here, especially since the list is organized from the perspective of the 'children'.


parentage - When you refer to people's parentage, you mean their parents and/or their parent's country and social class

It's traditionally a "where they come from" sort of thing.

Parentage is usually not a synonym for parenthood, the state of being a parent, though it can be used in that sense.

So "parentage list" might work.

  • "Parentage list" would be a list of the parents and have little to do with the relationship between the child and their parents.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 7, 2020 at 19:37

Parent-child relationship:

An alternative solution is the expression of the hierarchy as a parent-child relation. Celko called this the adjacency list model. (Wikipedia)

Also see: adjacency and parenthood on Stack Overflow.


Filial, adjective: relating to, or befitting a son or daughter. filial obedience. : being or having the relation of a child or offspring

  • 1
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    – Community Bot
    May 9 at 7:48

Symbiotes / Symbionts - organisms living in symbiosis with another.

Since the child and parent relationship is figurative Symbiotes or Symbionts which is living in an interactive, long-term relationship.

  • 2
    While this might describe a young child and their parent, I'm not sure it still applies to adult children (who might be living very separate lives) May 9 at 8:10

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