ancestral /patrimonial nest

< Previous | Next >

dec-sev

Senior Member
Russian
Hello.
In Russian we have an expression that can literally be translated into English as "ancestral /patrimonial nest". For example, a man builds a big house and lives there with his family. Later his grandsons also live there. The house can be called their "ancestral /patrimonial nest". I'm looking for something close in English. I've found "family home" but I'm not sure if it's the same. Can I say "family nest" or it won't work in Enlgish?
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Also in this context people sometime say ancestral pile .. which is perhaps a bit less formal than the word home. It suggests an accumulation of bits and pieces over time.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    " Ancestral home" strongly implies that the family were very wealthy, probably aristocrats, since they had the means to build grand houses, and that we're going back several hundred years. A building or a ruin, or a place might be described as the ancestral home of the XXX family even if they aren't living there any more.

    Here's an ancestral home built in 1541 by Sir William Petre, still occupied by his descendants.

    Ingatestone Hall, the new house that Sir William had built twenty-five years earlier in the midst of his Essex estates. Since then, the house has passed through the hands of eighteen generations of the Petre family who continue to own and occupy it today.
    http://www.ingatestonehall.com/
    :)
    Hermione
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I agree the notion does seem to be one linked to aristocrats, though the original poster did say a BIG home.

    For a normal family we probably don't have an idiom, other than family home.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I think the term "family estate" would also work in some contexts -- particularly those involving larger rural properties. (However, this term can also have some "upper class," artistocratic connotations, depedning on the country in question.)
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    The Russian expression is also about relatively wealthy families, I believe as you have to be wealthy to be able to have a big house built. Aristocracy, well I don't know, an important manufacturer could have an ancestral home as well but you're right about an epoch, so to say: you can came across the Russian expression many times reading Turgenev and other classical Russian authors. But I don't see anything wrong in calling a big house "ancestral home" if three generations live together under the same roof. I'm talking now about the Russian expression. Is it true for "ancestral home" as well? "Ancestral" makes me think of things and people that passed away long ago.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I think "ancestral home" has connotations of successive generations living in the home, one after the other, rather than at the same time, which is a less common practice.
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I think "ancestral home" has connotations of successive generations living in the home, one after the other, rather than at the same time, which is a less common practice.
    In other words, if a person has a house built and his grand and grand grand children will be living in it, but at the moment only he, his wife and may be their small children live there the house cannot be called "ancestral home" yet. Correct?
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Yes, I think so. But if his grandparents had lived there (or earlier generations) and then his parents, it would be his ancestral home.

    Maybe if you explain in more detail exactly the kind of situation you mean we could all put our heads together to find an appropriate English term.
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you, Nunty. I don’t really know what more I could give as details or context, but I guess I’ve already got the idea.
    Mr. Gates has a big house build and lives there with his family. They can call it their family home. His grandchildren will call it “family home” too, but his grand grandchildren may call it “ancestor house”.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    his grand grandchildren may call it “ancestor house”.
    I don't know at what point in the family history or, how many generations would have to occupy such a house before it would be called the "ancestral home"'

    ("Ancestor house" sounds like some tribe that has a special building where they keep the bodies of their ancestors and worship them.)

    I agree with the earlier comment that it is not usual for generations of an English aristocratic family to be living together in the same house after marriage. The daughters would of course move out on marriage. Such grand families usually have plenty of other suitable property so even if the sons and daughters with their families were living on the estate, they would not normally be in the same house, the family seat, as it's sometimes called. When the title holder dies, his widow would move out of the " big house", since the eldest son inherits.

    In fact multi-generational occupancy of one house is very unusual here, and regarded as highly undesirable by most people whatever their social status because it causes family conflicts.

    By the way the grandchildren's children are great- grandchildren, then great- great- grandchildren and so on. But one's parents' aunts and uncles are called great aunts and uncles, not grand aunts and uncles, although their parents are 'grandparents'.
    I am not sure about the hyphenation.

    Hermione
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top