Grandniece or greatniece

Betsy'sMom

New Member
English
I have always used the term grandniece for the daughter of my niece but have been told it should be greatniece. Which is correct or can either be used?
 
  • Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    Both are correct. I've always used "great-niece".

    The same applies to "grandnephew" and "great-nephew".
    I'd use great- by analogy with great-aunt and great-uncle (people who are the aunt or uncle of one of my parents).
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Here's what the OED says in its entry for grand-niece, n.:

    In North American use grand-niece is approximately as common as (and was formerly slightly commoner than) great-niece (which is usual in British use); grand-niece is much more common in Irish English than in most other varieties.​
    PS. Welcome to the forums, Betsy'sMom!:)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Like Roxxxannne, I would use great- by analogy with great-aunt and great-uncle. But like Rover_KE, I never hear the great-niece or -nephew terms used at all. In fact I didn't know what they were, and had to work it out by picturing a family tree. In my childhood I had various great-aunts and great-uncles, and knew several by name. Now I have to think: if I had a great-niece, whose child would she be? If my sister's son had a daughter, would she be my great-niece?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I prefer grand-uncle and grand-aunt as they are the same generation as your grandmother and grandfather. This way in the next generation you have "great grand uncle" and "great grandfather" instead of "great great uncle". You don't have do math to know your three-greats uncle is the brother of your two-greats grandfather when it's just your two-greats grand uncle and your two-greats grandfather.
     
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