What relation to you is your cousin’s child?

March 1, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Home & Family

Cousin is derived through French from Latin consobrinus, “the child of one’s mother’s sister.” Consobrinus was formed from con and soror (“sister”). The term was used loosely for various degrees of relationship before it acquired its present meaning. At one time it signified little more than “kinsman” or “kinswomen.” Formerly cousin, often shortened to coz, was widely used in England as a friendly term of address. Even English kings in olden times addressed the nobles and peers around them as cousin or coz. Now a cousin is one collaterally related by descent from a common ancestor, but not a brother or sister.

Reckoning cousin relationships is simple if one starts out right. Children of brothers and sisters are first cousins to one another. Sometimes they are variously called “full cousins,” “own cousins” or “cousins-german.” The children of first cousins are second cousins to one another; children of second cousins are third cousins to one another, and so on. The child of one’s first cousin is a first cousin once removed; the grandchild of one’s first cousin is a first cousin twice removed, and so on. Vice versa, the cousin of one’s father or mother is a first cousin once removed, etc.

Confusion sometimes arises from the custom of some people who speak of the children and grandchildren of their first cousins as second and third cousins respectively, but the practice is only local. The correct and almost universal rule for reckoning cousinage is as given above.

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