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describing relatives: cousins

Describing relatives: types of cousins

So here’s a topic I couldn’t get my head around for ages, but I think I’ve got it now: the different terms for cousins who aren’t the children of my parents‘ siblings, but a little more distant than that. I knew that they were called first and second cousins, and I had also heard about „cousins twice removed“, but I just wasn’t quite clear about how it all worked … until now!

So: my aunt’s son is my first cousin, so that’s actually what we usually mean when we just say „cousin“. My mother’s first cousin is my  first cousin once removed, and so that means my grandmother‘s cousin would be my first cousin twice removed. And so on! But what about my cousin’s children and grandchildren? My first cousin‘s children are my first cousins once removed. The children of my mother’s cousin (my first cousin once removed) are my second cousins. My second cousin‘s children are my second cousins once removed. Simple, right? My second cousin’s grandchildren are my second cousins twice removed, and her great-grandchildren are my second cousins three times removed.

So you see, it might take a little while to figure out exactly who you’re talking to at the next big family gathering, but as long as you know who is whose child, it’s not impossible!

P.S. Many thanks to my mum for clarifying this topic and pointing out my mistakes when I first showed her this text!

P.P.S. Do leave a comment if you think I got something wrong! Obviously I don’t want to spread any false information or confuse people further, so I won’t be offended 😉


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