I am writing a dedication:

To my family, parents and mentors

Parents were also my family when I was a kid. Thus, may this "overlap" in the differents terms cause confusion?

A wordier option:

To my wife, children, parents and mentors

Less wordier option:

To my family and mentors

Or how to solve this?

  • 3
    Your parents are still part of your family, surely? Dec 29, 2020 at 9:10

2 Answers 2


I would definitely go for "To my wife, children, parents and mentors". You honour them by naming every one of them, I wouldn't worry about wordiness. One consideration to take into account is:

Think not just about the person or people named in the book dedication, but also about all of the readers who will pass by this page and be impacted. Make a conscious choice about what you want that impact to be (if any). (Medium.com)

As for the technical term, some use immediate family, which

normally includes a person's parents, siblings, spouses, children, or an individual related by blood whose close association is an equivalent of a family relationship. (Wikipedia)

In law they also use the phrase close family member which includes:

the individual's spouse; the individual's and the spouse's grandparents, parents, siblings, children, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and first cousins; the spouse of any of these people; and any other individuals who share the same household with the Government Official. (Lawinsider) - includes too many.

There doesn't seem to exist a name which would include only your wife and children (and parents).


You could say generations.

"To generations of my family and mentors..." or, "To generations of 'Smiths', mentors, honored guests..."

I think it would border on insulting to split hairs and say, "To my immediate family, my parents, my mentors..."

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