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Questions tagged [kinship-terms]

Questions about kinship terms (words for family members).

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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 ...
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3answers
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What to call women whose husbands are biological brothers?

I would like to know what someone could call the women whose husbands are biological brothers? It isn't sisters-in-law of course, nor wives-in-law! Can someone help? I am in total confusion.
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Is there a special English name for one’s mother’s sister’s son? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Family Relationships My friend is trying to find out what is needed to apply for a work visa in Canada. You get extra points for having a relative with citizenship. However, ...
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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 ...
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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?
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Word or phrase to describe relation beween yourself and a step-parent's ex-spouse?

Is there a word or simple phrase to describe the relationship between yourself and a step-parent's ex-spouse? Particularly, I'm seeking to address the case when the ex-spouse is a parent to your step-...
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What is the adjective of “daughter-in-law” if she is “the wife of my younger son”?

Here, I am confused. I cannot say "younger daughter-in-law" as the order of sons is defined by their age but we can't say that about their wives. So shall I say "my second daughter-in-law"?
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Is “purse-lipped mother-in-law” an established word representing for a woman who is censoriousness and nagging about everything?

I found an interesting phrase, “purse-lipped mother-in-law” in the following lines of the article titled “The newspaper that rules Britain,” which appeared in New Yorker magazine, April 2nd, 2012 ...
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What should one call his or her mother-in-law? [closed]

We call our own mother "mum". What should we call our mother-in-law? In China, we call our mother-in-law "mum" as well. Do English speaking people feel comfortable calling their mother-in-law "mum"? ...
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1answer
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Is there a term that indicates the relationship between myself and the mother of my grandchild who is no longer in a relationship with my son?

My son & the mother of my grandchild were never married. They are no longer a couple but enjoy a very comfortable co-parenting relationship. When they broke up she and I did not! Although she was ...
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1answer
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Relationship with daughter's husband's cousin?

What is the name for my relationship with my child's spouse's cousin (child-in-law's cousin) (daughter's husband's cousin) (son-in-law's cousin)?
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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 ...
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What is the group term for aunt/uncle? [duplicate]

Mothers and Fathers are called parents, grandmothers and grandfathers are called grandparents, so what do you call aunts and uncles?
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1answer
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Word/phrase for parent whose children have grown up and left home [closed]

Is there a single word or phrase that means a parent whose grown-up children are not living with them?
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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?
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What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me?

What is the relationship name of my wife's brother to me?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What is the term for “cousin of a cousin”?

My mother’s sister’s son is my cousin; let’s call him “John”. John’s father’s brother’s son — let’s call him Mark — is John’s cousin. Now, Mark isn’t my direct cousin as we don't share any immediate ...
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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 ...
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Referring to my husband as my son's dad?

I received an invitation for a session at my son's (John) school. The teacher had asked us to confirm our attendance for the event. I wrote the following John's Dad and I will be attending the ...
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1answer
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What do you call your grand-father's brother? (grand- v great-) [duplicate]

Your father's father is called your grand-father, yet your father's uncle is typically called your great-uncle (or so it seems with anybody I converse with). Why the inconsistency?
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Is there a word for a nurse-family position?

Unfortunately, many people find that a member of their family at some point becomes so ill that you have to become a nurse to them. Is there a word for this sort of nurse-family rôle in which family ...
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1answer
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Relation name of my mother's sister's son's wife?

My mother has a sister. That sister is then my aunt. My auntie's children are my first cousins. Is that correct? How then do I refer to my cousin's wife and their children. What is the relationship. ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
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Is it proper to use 'stepmother' in this case?

If a man has a child with another woman while still married to his first wife, how would the child refer to the wife? Stepmother or is that only for births occurring prior to a parent marrying a non-...
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1answer
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Are there specific words for the siblings of my brother-in-law (or s.i.l.)? [duplicate]

Having a conversation this weekend, and this came up. Naively, I'd be inclined to simply label the brother of my brother-in-law a brother-in-law as well, since we've joined the families in a sense. ...
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1answer
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“Son-in-law” or “son-by-law” [closed]

Why is there in in -in-law instead of by or something similar? Simon Jester, in his answer to this question, quotes the Oxford English Dictionary which says that it originally applied to step-...
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4answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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Name for relation between a man’s two wives?

What is the relation between the two wives of a man called?
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youngest of his siblings [closed]

I have a problem with this sentence: He was one of the youngest of his siblings. The meaning should be clear: he had many brothers and sisters, and he was one of the youngest of the lot, but the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Is there a term for your parent's ex-spouse who is not your biological parent?

How would one refer to one's parent's 2nd spouse, whom they have divorced? For example, I have a biological father, and a step-father, but what about the man my mother was married to before my step-...
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4answers
881 views

“I'm my own grandpa” – is there a word for this?

I was listening to a Chad Morgan record today, on which his cover of the song I'm my own grandpa features as the first track. The lyrics of the song describe a bizzare, but plausible scenario, in ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Possessive apostrophe for owner of owner of owner of

I've read Preferred way to apostrophise in case of dual or multiple ownership by distinct entities and "Nikki's and Alice's X" vs. "Nikki and Alice's X", but my ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“Oldest son or oldest daughter”

Contract states Upon the death of the stockholder his interest shall pass to the oldest son or oldest daughter. I am the oldest daughter and have a younger brother. Who gets the interest?
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0answers
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Is there a proper term for an ex-husband of your mother when you are born from her second marriage? [closed]

My mother was married before I was born, then got divorced, married my father, and had me. Is there a term for my familial relationship to my mothers ex-husband?
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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 ...
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2answers
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Non gender oriented way to replace husband/wife

I’m creating a list of families that lists both partners’ names, ages, wedding date, and divorce date if there is one. To do this I have been using: Husband Age Wife Age Marriage Date ...
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5answers
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Can something be a parent or child “to”/“of” something?

I am writing some software documentation. There are data structures that are organized in trees and every element in the structure can be child or parent "to"/"of" every other element. I am not a ...
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2answers
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What does “separated at birth” mean?

Sometimes, you come across someone saying something (usually tongue-in-cheek), which might go like this: Tom: I really love eating noodles while watching Star Trek. Linda: Wow, I do exactly the ...
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Which is appropriate while addressing in-laws?

Which is appropriate while addressing in-laws? My mother-in-law and father-in-law are visiting us this weekend. Or: My mother and father-in-law are visiting us this weekend.
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My sister's husband's parents in relation to me [closed]

I have a sister. What are her husband's parents to me (i.e. her parents in-law)?
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2answers
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What is the correct word for Step siblings?

I'm creating a list of family members: Biological, Justin, 5/20/1981 Biological, John, 1/20/1987 Adopted, Jane, 8/12/1989 Step, Doug, 12/1/1979 When listing out the type of sibling, ...
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3answers
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What do the parents of married children call each other? As in, the mother of the bride to the mother of the groom?

I am looking for an expression or term that would describe the relationship between the two mothers of their married children.
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1answer
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Word for parents of your child's partner

There are words for relationships obtained by marriage or partnership of family members: xxx-in-law. But, surprisingly, there is no word (that I know of) for the parents of your child's partner. Or is ...