... or do we just say "kinship terms" or "family relationship terms" or something like that?

In English we have for example "aunt" and "uncle" meaning "sister/brother of one of one's parents", but in (for example) Indian languages, there are a lot of more specific terms; so the words for "wife of my father's brother," "sister of my father," "sister of my mother," and "wife of my mother's brother" are four different words for what an English speaker would call "aunt."

I would like to say, "The _______nyms in that language are quite specific" or something like that.

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    You might try asking at Linguistics. This is one of the language features that linguists study, so they may have a technical term for it.
    – Barmar
    Feb 25, 2022 at 23:19
  • Dear Stuart F., Thank you for taking the time, but this did not address my question, as the article you wordlessly linked contains no reference to -nym words.
    – Elise
    Feb 26, 2022 at 8:37
  • The familial relationships
    – Lambie
    Oct 7, 2022 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


The OED gives 51 words that end in "-nym". None of them have the meaning you want.

We can assume that there is not such a word.


Possibly hyponym.

A word whose meaning is included in the meaning of another more general word; for example, bus is a hyponym of vehicle.

So, "wife of my father's brother" might be described as a hyponym of "aunt".

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    No, this is far too general. 'The hyponyms in that language are quite specific' makes no sense. Feb 25, 2022 at 14:13
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    Pete, thank you for taking the time. What I'm wondering about is word that would work, for example, in this expression: "Aunt and uncle in English, and Mammu and Chachi in Punjabi, are examples of _______nyms." Like, "relatonyms"? (Sorry, I know that word doesn't exist and doesn't even sound very nice.) Maybe if such a word did exist, it would append "nym" to a Greek combining form indicating "family," whatever that might be (if it exists).
    – Elise
    Feb 26, 2022 at 8:42

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