Cousin/Nephew

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Barque, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Barque Senior Member

    India
    Tamil
    I understand that one's first/second cousin's child is one's first/second cousin once removed.

    In Indian English he/she would be called a nephew/niece. I have sometimes (in books by native English speakers) come across such people being referred to as simply a "cousin" or a "distant cousin".

    Is it usual for native English speakers to refer in conversation to a first cousin's or a second cousin's son as a nephew or is that term used only for a person's sibling's or a person's spouse's sibling's son?
     
  2. Tiggie7384 Senior Member

    Lugano, Svizzera
    English - Australia
    I would never call my cousin's children my niece or nephew, as this is reserved soley for siblings or spouses' siblings (as you have suggested).

    In some cases the children of a cousin may refer to someone as an Aunt or Uncle, but this is usually more a sign of respect due to a large age difference or to simplify a rather complicated explanation.

    I personally just say "cousin" for "first cousin". So in respect my cousins that have children I say "my cousins' children" as many people get sooooooo very confused about what is a first cousin once removed, a second cousin once removed, a second cousin twice removed and so on.

    With reference to my parents' cousins that have children, I call them second/distant cousins and then maybe explain that they are my mum's cousins' children.

    I actually have an enormous family, so if they are all grouped together, I would just say these are my first cousins and the rest are distant/second cousins (how many times removed is often unimportant).
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  3. Barque Senior Member

    India
    Tamil
    Thank you, Tiggie.

    Is it the same way in Britain and the US?
     
  4. Tiggie7384 Senior Member

    Lugano, Svizzera
    English - Australia
    I'd say it is the same for BrE, I am not certain about AmE.

    I am pretty sure AusE has adapted the same form as BrE based on other threads I have seen on similar topics. Also half of my enormous family is English, so a lot of my second cousins live in SE England and I often visit them and they introduce me as either "cousins' daughter" or "second/distant cousin".
     
  5. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Moderator note:
    Please remember that this thread is about nephews and cousins, not degrees of cousins.
    Thanks,
    Nunty
     
  6. Tiggie7384 Senior Member

    Lugano, Svizzera
    English - Australia
    Bluegiraffe, I would probably call the person your are refering to a second cousin as well.

    I was trying to say that we either specify how the relationship exist - they are my cousins' child; or more simply and commonly just say second cousin and unlike the Indian English we never use nephew to speak of a second cousin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  7. Barque Senior Member

    India
    Tamil
    Ok. Thanks again.
     
  8. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I can speak for American English. We would never use nephew or niece to refer to anyone but the child of a sibling or of a spouse's sibling.
     
  9. Barque Senior Member

    India
    Tamil
    Got it. Thank you, Nunty.
     
  10. Spira Senior Member

    South of France
    UK English
    Tiggie's explanations are correct, it seems to me.
    But Tiggie, please: So in respect my cousin's that have children, My cousin's should have no apostrophe, because you aren't saying your cousin is that
    Not relevant to the answer given of course, but it's hard enough to follow without confusing it more with poor punctuation.
     

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