18:23 Friday 17th August 2018

Some things people expect you to be able to teach, things they expect everyone should know without special research. Things like:

* What do we mean by Nth cousin?
* What do we mean by Nth cousin at Mth remove?
* Are there gendered words for cousins?
* Is there a gender neutral word for nephew or neice.
* Is there a difference between a step-sibling and a half-sibling?
* If your sibling marries then divorces, is their former partner an ex-in-law?
* If Fatima is my great-aunt, am I her great-nephew or her grand-nephew?

The answer to all of these is "I'm not sure". Sometimes it's "I've looked it up on Wikipedia and sort-of understood it, but then forgot. Several times".

I don't really do families.

UPDATE: According to my mother, half-siblings share one parent, and step-siblings are adopted by remarriage. Neither of which concepts exist in Arabic. In Arabistan (yes, they do use that word) your half-sibling is legally an equal sibling, and remarriage doesn't entail adoption. In fact the rules for adoption are absurdly stringent.


  1. I grew up in a large extended family. Adopted or biological, it doesn't matter--your sibling is your sibling, brother or sister, all the same, regardless of how they became a part of your family. I grew up using terms like grand uncle or grand aunt to address my grandparents siblings (and their spouses). Great uncle and great aunt were reserved for great grandparents siblings (and their spouses).

    Cuz was short for cousin--boy or girl. Most times, our cousins were referred to as our brothers or sisters, especially if we were close and lived in the same area.

    1. Your use of "grand" is, like a lot of American and Canadian English, more sensible and regular than British English.