My [distant?] grandparent

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Blue_Rose

Member
Arabic
I'm looking for an adjective to describe a member of the immediate family that the speaker doesn't know very well due to circumstances, such as living far away. Is there one?

Example: "I've just heard the news about my [adjective] grandfather's passing."

The context is that the speaker is telling a friend about her grandfather's passing, whom she had a normal grandparent-grandchild relationship with in early childhood, but didn't know him well beyond that age, and is using the adjective to convey that she didn't know him well.

Can "distant" work here? If not, what adjectives can be used that don't make the sentence sound uncommon?

Any help is appreciated. :)
 
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Distant' wouldn't work in this context because a distant relative precisely means someone who is not a member of your immediate family, but a relative nonetheless.

    Off the top of my head I'd say 'estranged' or 'long-lost' might work here.
     

    Blue_Rose

    Member
    Arabic
    'Distant' wouldn't work in this context because a distant relative precisely means someone who is not a member of your immediate family, but a relative nonetheless.

    Off the top of my head I'd say 'estranged' or 'long-lost' might work here.
    Thank you for explaining why "distant" wouldn't work.

    Are "estranged" and "long-lost" completely interchangeable? I'm aware they're synonymous, but I feel "estranged" could have some negative connotations. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    >> Are "estranged" and "long-lost" completely interchangeable?

    No, I don't suggest that they fully interchangeable, merely that they might both fit, the best fit being determined by the context.

    >> but I feel "estranged" could have some negative connotations.

    Yes, it can suggest that the separation was invidious, and in a way that 'long-lost' never does.
     
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