A person who's lost his/her child

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by majlo, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    A person who's lost his or her parents is an orphan. A person who's lost his wife is a widower. A person who's lost her husband is a widow. A person who's lost his or her child is... ?
    Now, as far as I know there isn't such a word in my language nor in English. Is there a word to name such a person in your language?
     
  2. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    Türkiye/Turkiye
    Türkçe/Turkish
    In Turkish, we do not have a word for that situation, either.
     
  3. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I don't think there's such a word in Portuguese.
     
  4. Roy776

    Roy776 Senior Member

    Kraków, Poland
    German & AmE
    In German, we don't have a single word, but we can say Verwaiste Eltern. (lit. orphaned parents)
    Note: Somebody who lost their parents is called Waise.
     
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    There is no word for it in Russian.

    Honestly I would not be surprised if in most languages there wouldn't be an established word (beside some recent legal terms). Historically, the infant mortality rate was 25-50% until relatively recently (100-150 years?), so losing a child was not such a life-changing event as losing a spouse or a parent.
     
  6. You might be right, rusita. I'm actually more interested in more exotic languages. :)
     
  7. Tamar

    Tamar Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    In Hebrew we have הורים שכולים horim shakulim - horim = parents.
    A father who's lost a child - אב שכול - av shakul
    A mother - אם שכולה - em shakula
    A family - משפחה שכולה - mishpakha shakula

    It can also be used for children who have lost their parents - but it does not mean "orphan" (orphan is יתום yatom - sg. masculin).

    The dictionary says שכול shkhol is "
    bereavement" - suffering the loss of a loved person.
    In Israel we usually use it when we speak of people losing their loved ones in the military - as soldiers or in bombings (in the military - we usually speak of people who lost their children).

    Sad topic
    :( Majlo​
     
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    We don't have a specific word for it in Greek, either.
    However, we use the adjective «χαροκαμμένος, -νη, -νο» (xaroka'menos, m./xaroka'meni, f./xaroka'meno, n.)--> lit. burnt by Death (by the «Χάρος», 'xaros, m., the personification of death in Byzantine and Modern Greek folk tradition), the bereaved. Thus, we say «χαροκαμμένοι γονείς» (xaroka'meni ɣo'nis)--> bereaved parents, «χαροκαμμένος πατέρας» (xaroka'menos pa'teras)--> bereaved father, «χαροκαμμένη μάννα» (xaroka'meni 'mana)--> bereaved mother.
    The adj. «χαροκαμμένος, -νη, -νο» is used solely for the parents who have suffered the loss of a child. Theoretically one could use it for anyone who has lost a loved one, but we reserve it for the parents only.
     
  9. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Pennsylvania (20mi/36km from the Poconos
    English-US (New York City)
    English doesn't have a word for a parent who lost a child. The closest expression I can think of is a bereaved parent, but that's inadequate to describe the unspeakable heartbreak of a parent who's outlived his or her son or daughter.
     
  10. terredepomme Senior Member

    Human Language
    I don't know, that was pretty common before the infant mortality dropped. I think that's the reason why there's no word for this concept: almost every parent would have lost a child or two at birth, so it's kind of meaningless to have a word for what is a general characteristic.
     
  11. And yet there are many other general characteristics that have their names. :)
     
  12. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Arabic has a word for it, and it sounds like the Hebrew word (not surprising :) ). The word for a mother is thakla (last vowel is long) ثكلى and the father is thakil (the "a" is long). But I'm not sure about the masculine form, because it's the feminine form that is more commonly used.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  13. terredepomme Senior Member

    Human Language
    What I meant to say was that this is a redundant, tautological concept. It would be like saying "a male with a penis" or "a dog with four legs."
     
  14. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    But again, this is a relatively recent concept. If we are talking about the language, in Russian, for example, there is a saying to describe a small child dying "Бог дал - Бог взял (God gave - God took)". The meaning is very similar to English "easy come easy go". Note that I am talking about language here.
     
  15. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    A special word for parents who have lost their child/ren may be even more rare in some "exotic languages" as the infant mortality is higher in many of the countries outside the Western world, and there are still countries where female infanticide is common, so to lose a child is not something unusual that needs a special word to describe it.
     
  16. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi guys,

    Being common doesn't mean a thing doesn't need a word to describe it. Arabic and Hebrew may seem "exotic" to many, and infant mortality used to be much higher in older time, yet these languages (and I guess other Semitic languages too) do have a word for this.
    And, by the way, there is a word in Arabic for female infaticide too.
     
  17. But it's not. We've just heard they have such a word in Hebrew, Arabic and Greek... Who knows what's to come? :)

    I'm still waiting for responses from Asia. :)

    By the way, by exotic I mean something quite tangible: languages which are found far from my country of origin. Like the very Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and the like.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  18. terredepomme Senior Member

    Human Language
    Hebrew and Arabic are spoken in Asia.
     
  19. I'm sorry for not having been precise enough.
    I'm still waiting for responses from native speakers of languages of Asia, especially East and Southeast Asian ones. :)

    EDIT: African languages are welcome as well, though I reckon there are not many speakers of them on the forums.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  20. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Tagalog: Nawalan ng anak/ ulila sa anak
     
  21. What do these words mean?
     
  22. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    There's no such a word in Chinese as far as I know, although there are some common idioms for the occasion:

    白頭人送黑頭人 "the white-haired ones see off the black-haired"
    黃梅不落青梅落 "the green (unripe) plums fall before the yellow (ripe) ones do"

    Hi Cherine. Should it be ثكلان resembling the pattern سكران - سكرى?
     
  23. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi G. :)

    Good remark. I checked Lisan al-3arab (for those who don't know, it's one of the biggest monolingual Arabic dictionaries) and it provides: ثاكل (thaakil) and ثكلان (thaklaan) for the masculine.
     
  24. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    If you ask the Tagalog terms, Ulila sa Anak(ulila= separated from/lost/no more) / Anak= son/daughter. I am sure there are also exact terms for this in other asian languages. In Dumaget(ethnic language in Luzon Island), it has expression like this " Na eyen di ni Anak".These terms are not used by modern generations,i heard it during my childhood (7 yrs old up). The modern lifestyles in our present era disregard the importance of old terms that can describe different scenarios/status in life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  25. I understand. That's an expression though, not a word. Interesting anyway, thanks. :)
     
  26. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    The word "Ulila" is the exact term. It is a Tagalog word. But we need to add a.) if parents are gone(sa magulang) b.) If son/daughter is lost(sa anak).
     
  27. Any other languages? :)
     
  28. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    nawalan ng anak > lost child
    ulila sa anak > orphan child

    (??????)

    According to the Hebrew example in Hungarian it is: gyászoló szülők, gyászoló apa/anya
    but gyászanya, gyászapa means if the parents "lost" their children by wedding...I mean your daughter gets married.
     
  29. Mstexas New Member

    Tyler, Texas
    English-Texas
    I worked in the funeral industry for many years here in Tyler, Texas. There is not a single word to explain that heart breaking event in this part of the country that I know of. What we called parents or a parent that lost a child was "bereaved parents" or " a bereaved parent", then anyone would know that is a parent that lost a child. We have a candle lighting service once a year on the downtown square of Tyler and it is for bereaved parents. In this part of the country I'd say 95% of people know what that means. If they don't it is because they don't know what bereaved means.

    Webster's Dictionary
    be-reaved adjective \bi-ˈrēvd, bē-\ : sad because a family member or friend has recently died, Thank you, Mstexas
     
  30. Geo.

    Geo. Senior Member

    West of So'ton, Hants
    UK English (SE England)

    I think in English we are left to use two words as well, just as in German.

    The English word ‘orphan’ comes from the Greek ὀρφανός meaning bereft (of a father, or of parents), fatherless, desolate.

    For searching on it, there does seem to be a term ‘orphaned parents’ in this context, used by the British news paper The Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...edy-of-Chinas-orphaned-one-child-parents.html

    The Indian news paper The Hindu uses the term ‘orphaned mother’, (yet in this case, it is actually used to mean abandoned).

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-pape...n-left-to-fend-for-herself/article2215467.ece

    In as much as there doesn't seem to have been any official term — neither historically, nor etymologically — such as we have with ‘widow’ / ‘widower’ or ‘orphan’, I would think a turn of phrase such as ‘orphaned parent(s)’, ‘orphaned mother’ or ‘orphaned father’, (or ‘bereaved parent(s)’, etc.), would be the only means to express the concept in English. The legal term ‘surviving parent(s)’, etc., can be used in a Last Will & Testament, yet I can't imagine this to have much currency outside of the law, with the possible exception of an obituary.

    Perhaps it is noteworthy that there are no words for a brother or a sister who has lost his or her siblings.


    (A rarely used, but similar term for the surviving party in a betrothal is ‘widowed-fiancée’ or ‘widowed-fiancé’, for someone officially engaged, but whose intended spouse has died before the wedding).
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  31. Kieran_Shawn New Member

    English-UK
    Vilomah विलोमाह is a Sanskrit word which means 'against the natural order' and is used to describe bereaving parents.

    Words which have recently been coined but so far gained little acceptance in the English language are parphent, orphaner and tethligon.
     
  32. Radioh

    Radioh Senior Member

    Australia
    Vietnamese
    We do not have that word either. I wonder why. I think it would be useful if we had such a word.
    R.
     
  33. swintok Senior Member

    English - Canada
    In Ukrainian the word for orphan is сирота (syrota). The word, however, is also used to describe anyone who does not have any family or relatives to take care of him or her. In this instance it is most often used to describe a widow who has also lost her children. For example in many parts of Central and Western Ukraine there was a very ritualised form of mourning and wailing (голосіння) at funerals in which a widow at the funeral of her husband or child would refer to herself as a сирота. Another example is a beautiful song sung in church during Great Lent in which the Virgin Mary, seeing Christ dead on the cross, refers to herself as a сирота.

    By extension the word can be used to describe any unlucky or unfortunate person, though this is rather rare.
     
  34. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    In classical Chinese (ancient written Chinese), it seems our ancestors were kin to give every kind of people or things a specific pictograph, thus we have all these different pictographs:

    鳏: Old man without a wife.
    寡: Old woman without a husband.
    孤: Kid who has lost father.
    独: Old man/woman without any child.

    But modern Chinese simplified the meanings of these pictographs and reconstructed them, few people are still clear about their old usages.
    Today, we mostly use some above pictographs in words to mean "alone" or "lonely". We no longer have a specific noun for "a person who's lost his or her child".
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  35. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    'Verweesd' could be used in Dutch too, but more often in a broader sense, when someone is all alone, having lost all the people around him, be it lit. or fig....
     
  36. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    Moderator note: I merged this new thread with the previous one about the same topic.


    In English, a child who loses his parents is an orphan.
    Is there a name for a parent who loses his child / children?

    En français, un enfant qui perd ses parents est un orphelin / une orpheline.
    Y a-t-il un nom pour un parent qui perd son enfant / ses enfants ?

    And in your language?

    Et dans votre langue ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2015
  37. kidika

    kidika Senior Member

    Península Ibérica
    Castellano de Castilla
    In Spanish, a child who loses their parents is called "huérfano/a".

    There is not a noun for a parent that loses a child.

    There is a noun for a parent that has no children, "deshijado/a", but nobody uses it; it's an archaic noun, I guess.
     
  38. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    In English, only a child with neither parent is considered an "orphan", whereas in some other languages and countries, "orphan" can describe a child who has lost only one parent, not necessarily both.
     
  39. Perseas Senior Member

    Athens - GR
    Greek
    In Greek ορφανός m./ορφανή f./ ορφανό n. (orfanos/orfani/orfano) is adjective and describes a child who has lost one or both parents.
    I 've read that initially (maybe in classical Greek) the word meant also the parent who lost their children but quickly was restricted to the first meaning.
     
  40. Sowka

    Sowka Forera und Moderatorin

    Hannover
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    In German, the general word for "orphan" is "Waise". You can also make a distinction as to whether one parent has died (Halbwaise) or both parents (Vollwaise).

    There is no designated term for a parent who lost a child. I've thought about it since reading the thread title, and I think that while losing one's child must be a devastating experience, emotionally, it has no influence on the economical situation, whereas a child that loses their parent(s) makes it necessary for society to take care of that child. This may be the reason why it was important for our ancestors to have an expression for this situation specifically.
     
  41. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Japanese
    I has looking up the dictionary for a while but I can't find any word for it in Japanese after all, on the other hand other words like orphan and widow(widower) definitely exist in Japanese as same as in many languages.

    Orphan: 孤児minashigo or koji
    Widow: 未失人miboujin or 寡婦yamome
    Widower: 男やもめotoko yamome or 寡男yamoo[archaic]

    [Vocabulary=孤sole 児infant; 未yet 失pass away, die 人person; 寡unmarried, of minority, 婦lady, 男man]
    Literal translation says 孤児 refers to a sole infant, 未亡人 a person(mainly indicating a woman) who didn't die yet, 寡婦 and 寡男 respectively unmarried man and woman since his wife or her husband passed away.
     

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