Questions tagged [kinship-terms]

Questions about kinship terms (words for family members).

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38
votes
8answers
5k views

Paucity of words for relationships

Please refer the following questions asked elsewhere on this site: Is there a word that means "the wife of one's brother"? What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me? ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there an accepted rule for naming all of our various distant relatives (kinship terms)?

I’m going to the christening of my cousin’s first son soon. What is the proper name for his relation to me? Second nephew? Nephew once removed? Nothing? Looking at the overall picture, what's the ...
26
votes
2answers
369k views

When should “Mom” and “Dad” be capitalized?

I am trying to understand capitalization rules with Mom and Dad. I believe I have it correct below, but please let me know if I do not. The one thing I learned from my dad was that it was good to ...
22
votes
8answers
32k views

Word for grieving parents?

Is there a word that describes a parent whose child has died? Along the lines of "orphan", "widow", and "widower", is there a single word for a parent who has lost a child (of any age)?
22
votes
9answers
82k views

Is there a more concise term for a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend than “significant other”?

I've been together with my boyfriend for around 9 years now. There are times when I want to communicate that I am referring to someone who plays a major role in my life, like that of a husband, and "...
32
votes
6answers
97k views

Is there a gender-neutral word for “aunts and uncles”/“parents' siblings”?

Brothers and sisters are siblings. Husbands and wives are spouses. Mothers and fathers are parents. Sons and daughters are children. Grandparents, grandchildren ... but what about uncles and aunts,...
11
votes
8answers
100k views

Word for partner you are living with but not married to

What is a word for a person you live with but are not married to? I do not mean a room mate, but rather someone you are romantically involved with. From what I understand, spouse is someone you are ...
14
votes
8answers
255k views

Name for the relationship of wife’s sister’s husband

Is there a name for the relationship of my wife’s sister’s husband in English? Or in case of a lady, what is the relationship of her husband’s brother’s wife called? There are words for these ...
5
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I know the exact meaning of “cousin” in a sentence?

How can I know the exact meaning of the word cousin in a sentence? How do English speakers distinguish between different kinds of cousins? (Arabic distinguishes both the sex of the cousin and the ...
8
votes
3answers
29k views

A word for someone who you share a half-sibling with

This is probably best explained with an example. Alice and Bob have a child, Erin. Bob and Carol have a child, Frank. Carol and Dan have a child, Grace. Clearly, Erin and Frank are half-siblings, ...
81
votes
3answers
51k views

Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
7
votes
1answer
39k views

What is the relationship name of my sibling-in-law's sibling to me?

For example: I have a sister named Charlotte. Charlotte is married to Martin. Martin has a brother named William. Martin is my brother-in-law, but what is William to me?
4
votes
5answers
3k views

What's a good word to describe adults who are not yet parents?

Just read this in Emma Donoghue's book "Room". Is there a word for adults who are not parents?
15
votes
5answers
109k views

Is there a word meaning “my child's spouse's parents”?

If I am introducing someone to my daughter's husband's parents can I say "Hi, I'd like to you meet my ___". In-laws would not work here because they are my child's in-laws not my own. Is there a word ...
7
votes
5answers
35k views

Where do the words for daughter, son, aunt, uncle, mother, father, cousin, nephew, niece come from?

Please see Title. I'm not specifically referring to which language they came from... but if they come from something else. In other words, do they come from words with other meanings. For example, do ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a feminine equivalent to the adjective “avuncular”?

My brief researches only bring up the word "auntlike" to render the feminine equivalent of avuncular. Surely, though, and given the etymology of "aunt" [ < Latin amita -father's sister, old ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How are relative familial titles used for members who died prior to your birth?

This may seem an odd and morbid question, but I am curious about the use of relative familial titles when the family member you are referring to died prior to your birth. For example, say my mother ...
3
votes
2answers
25k views

Ask someone about their birth order [duplicate]

If I need to ask someone about their birth order, what question is usually used? Let's say I do not ask how many children his family has first. What is your birth order? or Which child are you in ...
18
votes
4answers
18k views

Where's 'in-law' in mother-in-law from?

I've read that it's somehow connected with the Canon Law, but I'm not sure. I'm really interested in finding the answer.
13
votes
1answer
44k views

Why is it “grandfather”, but “great-uncle”?

I know that there are six forms of this word, but "great-uncle" is most common ("great-aunt" has a similar graph). Why is this, if "grandfather" and "grandmother" are common? http://ngrams....
9
votes
2answers
12k views

Is there a word that means “the wife of one's brother”?

In some of the non-Latin-based languages that I know there is a special word for your brother's wife. Is there such a word in English? Usage would be something like: She is my __ (My brother's ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Word for relationships between triplets

Andy and Bob are twins. Andy says: "This is my twin, Bob." Andy is Bob's twin brother. Alice, Beth and Claire are triplets. Alice says: "This is my _____, Beth, and my other _____, Claire." ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Confusion over “family name” in English: What about double-barrelled last names? [closed]

How do you fill out an official form in English that asks for just one last name when you instead have a surname which comprises more than one word? I currently live in a Latin country, where we ...
4
votes
2answers
211k views

What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me?

What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

My family vs. my family

Is there any lingual way to differentiate between the family that I’m a child of and the family that I am a parent of? (I.e., the first family consists of my parents, my siblings, and me; the second ...
5
votes
3answers
23k views

Salutation for two doctors (not married)

Does use of the salutation Dear Drs. Apple and Banana, imply that Dr. Apple is married to Dr. Banana? That is, would it be better form to use: Dear Dr. Apple and Dr. Banana, when Dr. Apple ...
3
votes
2answers
672 views

What are the limits of the prefix 'step' to describe relationships?

Is my mother's step-father, my step-grandfather? To what extent is it usual to extend the prefix 'step'? Can we speak of 'step-cousins', step-aunts and step-uncles etc? If we can it must make for ...
22
votes
11answers
8k views

Why doesn't the English language have distinct words to use when talking to elders? [closed]

In many of the languages that I've studied there are separate distinctions in the words to use when talking to elders and when talking to someone of your age or younger. For e.g. in Hindi, if I ...
51
votes
12answers
7k views

A way of describing the lesbian parent that is not pregnant?

A friend of mine is in a long term relationship with her female partner. After deciding they wanted a family, my friend's girlfriend got pregnant. Normally when talking about a couple expecting a ...
34
votes
4answers
5k views

“th” in mother, father, brother— but not sister

I was wondering why there is a "th" in mother, father, and brother, but not in sister? Is the etymology of the word different?
13
votes
4answers
44k views

What's the term for siblings born 1+ years apart on the same day?

What is the term for two siblings born on the same calendar day, one or more years apart? I know there's a term, and I'd know it if I saw it, but I can't for the life of me remember it.
13
votes
6answers
6k views

Is the “female” in “female cousin” redundant here?

"My female cousin working for a finance company was dismissed. Disappeared along with her job were her confidence and smiling face." There is a very complicated system in Chinese for naming different ...
12
votes
3answers
35k views

Meaning of “direct descendant” as opposed to “indirect descendant”

I know what a descendant is. A’s children, grandchildren and greatn-grandchildren are all A’s descendants. But what does direct descendant mean? It is as if some of those people are A’s direct ...
9
votes
7answers
34k views

What is the female equivalent for “uxorious”?

I know the word uxorious that is used to describe a husband who dotes on his wife excessively. What is the corresponding word for a wife who loves her husband dearly? I cannot pull anything out of my ...
3
votes
6answers
4k views

A parent who has more than one child with one or more partners: “Poly-what?”

A polyglot is someone who can speak many languages; something that is polychromatic has many colours, and polysemy is a word or phrase with multiple meanings If polygamy is having more than one ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Is there a word for my relation to ex-wife's child?

If I marry a woman and she has a child, I am a step parent. But what if the sequence is reversed? For example, suppose I am married to a woman, get divorced and she subsequently has a child by ...
5
votes
6answers
14k views

Who says “mummy” and “daddy”?

Is the use of the terms mummy and daddy to (informally) refer to one's parents particular to a specific socio-economic class or culture? How does this contrast with the terms mum/ mom, and dad?
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Non-related cousin?

I was wondering what the official term for the relationship described below is. So My Grandparents D & F had two sons: T & E. T is my father. E married L and had three kids: P, E, & A ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a word for my ex-spouse's new spouse?

With modern high divorce rates, a lot of people get married more than once in their lives. Saying "my ex-wife's new husband" is a bit awkward. Is there anything more graceful? I came across it in ...
4
votes
1answer
439 views

Is a *by-law* the same thing as an *in-law*?

When I was a student (over fifty years ago) I had a landlady who used to talk about her 'aunt-by-law'. I wish I had been bold enough to ask her the nature of the relationship, but I have always ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Word to describe gay people who are in a relationship with each other

Can I use these words? A gay couple (not sure if couple can be used only for married people) A gay lovers (not sure if I should put s here or if lovers can be used to describe two people ...
3
votes
3answers
12k views

Why are there no male or female terms for cousins in English? [duplicate]

In general English doesn't seem to cater well for identifying relationships between people, and the classic example seems to be the term 'cousin' because you can't really work out whether it is ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Title or word to describe the first, original member of a family tree

I'm looking for a word to signify the ancestor from which a family tree is derived. They would be the first, from whom all other family members are descended. Does such a word exist? I imagine, given ...
0
votes
2answers
33k views

What do you call your nephew's wife? [closed]

What do you call your nephew's wife? My niece? My niece-in-law? My nephew's wife?
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Gender-independent replacement for “fiancée” and “fiancé”

I can use child to replace son or daughter, sibling for sister or brother, and parent for mother or father. What is the unisex replacement for fiancée and fiancé? I don’t need it for speech, but for ...
4
votes
2answers
74k views

Plural of “daughter in law” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Words that are pluralized in the middle? I was asked to write the plural of daughter in law in an aptitude exam. I wrote it as daughters in law. Please tell me the right ...
2
votes
7answers
26k views

How do married gay couples address each other?

I know that non-married lovers address each other by saying “This is my girlfriend/boyfriend.” I know that married couples address each other by calling “my wife/husband”. I also know that gay lovers ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is correct phrase for the relationship with my son's father/mother in law

What is the correct phrase for the relationship between me and my son's father/mother in law?
0
votes
2answers
18k views

Framing a question to which you reply with “I am the third born in my family” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number would it be if i asked what is your relative position terms of birth order in your family