cousin's husband

  • SPQR

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think I might vote for something simple, and perhaps less accurate:

    Cousin by marriage (if you have to explain beyond "cousin")
    I would just say "cousin". Who are you telling this to? Do they really care whether it is a blood cousin or cousin through marriage? I know that in Poland they use "cousin", "aunt", and "uncle" for both blood relatives and spouses of the blood relatives. It goes to show how family-oriented the Polish society is whereas in America we tend to be so "law" oriented. Just look at how many lawsuits we have. For example, my blood uncle died of cancer many years ago. After he had died, my extended family seemed to forget about the "aunt-in-law". Well, this is strange because she is still family regardless of blood.

    I am not sure about Canada. Tell us sister/brother! :D


    Mary R Carter

    Thai - Thailand
    <Thread merged with an earlier one. Nat>

    Dear Sirs/Madams,

    Do you have any word in English for "the husband of my cousin"? Some people in my country believe that they can use the term, "brother in law", but I disgree and tend to believe that "brother in law" is a word reserved for the husband of my sister, not my cousin. Am I right, or are they?

    Thank you in advance. I would really appreciate it.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    In AE, at least, my brother-in-law is my spouse's brother or my sibling's husband. My cousin's husband is my cousin's husband.


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    See this thread: < removed>

    The short answer is that there is no specific term for this relation, but "brother-in-law" is definitely wrong (for the reason you mention).

    <Thank you, the threads have been merged. Nat>
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I even refer to my cousins' cousins as 'my' cousins. I refer to my cousins' spouses as cousins but the spouses of my cousins' cousins are not my cousins.
    My blood line cousins are the children of my mother's brother.
    Their blood line cousins are the children of their mother's sister.


    Senior Member
    American English
    I would never call the husband of my cousin "my cousin"; he's not my cousin, so why would I call him that? And I've never heard "cousin-in-law" except as a joke.

    I have lots of cousins, and they have lots of husbands and wives, and I've never called them anything other than "my cousin's husband/wife."


    Senior Member
    I generally refer to cousins' spouses as "my cousin's husband" or "my cousin's wife," but I can certainly see why people might just say cousin, particularly for someone who's been a member of the family for a very long time. (Come to think of it, I'm nearly sure my father used to refer to the wife of one of his cousins as cousin, so I did, too. My dad, the cousin and his wife are all dead now, so there's no way to check, but I am pretty sure that's correct.) At one time, the word simply meant "relative," so why not? Precision isn't always necessary, nor is it always desireable.