Adjective meaning 'aunt-like behavior'??

Discussion in 'English Only' started by italian_junkie, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. italian_junkie Member

    Springfield, MO, USA
    American English
    So if the proper adjective for:

    mother-like behavior is maternal,
    father-like behavior is paternal,
    brother-like behavior is fraternal,
    sister-like behavior is sororal,
    and uncle-like behavior is avuncular...

    What is the proper adjective for Aunt-like behavior??
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Auntlike, or my personal favorite: auntly.
  3. mplsray Senior Member

    Auntlike or auntly.
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English

    I don't recommend you actually use this word, Junkie ~ I had to look it up to make sure it really existed.
  5. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I agree with the above.

    Also, don't forget that there are Anglo-Saxon versions of most of the adjectives in post 1 - fatherly alongside paternal, etc. I'd be willing to bet that 98.73% of people have never heard of sororal, though they will all have heard of sisterly.

    EDIT: By the above, I meant the posts mentioning "aunt-like" and "auntly". Ewie's "materteral", which I hadn't seen at the time of writing, is way above my head....:(.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  6. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    No wonder I hang around here. Thanks, ewie, although I do think aunts get short shrift in the stylish-word department. One is too simple and the other too stuttery. (Although it did remind me check my turtle. Good thing, too; he was out of flies.)
  7. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    :thumbsup: Oh I agree, Mrs. Even avuncular tends to mean 'typical of the kind of thing an uncle would do/say' rather than 'of uncles'.
  8. Miss Julie

    Miss Julie Senior Member

    Chicago metro area
    Avuncular is one of my favorite words...that and gubernatorial. They're just so much fun to say! :D
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  9. mplsray Senior Member

    I learned from Wictionary that the OED also has materterine, which is given the label "humorous nonce-wd." Both it an materteral derive from the Latin word for maternal aunt, matertera.
  10. Sedulia

    Sedulia Senior Member

    Paris, France
    **Literate** American English
    I love WordRef forums!

    I would use "aunt-like" but because, in American English, that sounds like "antlike," which is much more common, I would not use it at all. Too bad!
  11. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    Thanks ewie. It sounds odd, but as I read above, there is no alternative except 'auntly'.

  12. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    I wouldn't even try to find a word for something that doesn't exist. We never seem to feel the need to talk about "behaviour typical of an aunt". If the aunt is motherly, we can say Aunt Mary is motherly. If the aunt is generous to her nephews and nieces, we can say "Aunt Mary is generous".

    I don't think we ever think of "auntly behaviour" in the same way as we have a conception of an "avuncular manner" - which very often doesn't refer to one's uncle. Someone may be "avuncular" even if he has no nieces or nephews.
  13. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I can imagine something like this appearing in the Times circa 1850:
    "The Countess of Stiffordshire then perorated for upwards of one quarter-hour on the urgency of guarding the morals of one's kitchenmaids. Her manner, though she spoke on a subject of such tremendous import, was engagingly avuncular, or, if it might be permitted by my readers, rather materteral. <--->

    <Apologies for the deletion. Cagey>
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2016

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