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My aunt, auntie, naunt and nauntie

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 February 2018

Other cultures and languages distinguish your aunts and uncles by blood from your aunts and uncles by marriage. They also sometimes distinguish between you aunts and uncles on your father’s side from your aunts and uncles on your mother’s side.

Just for fun, I tried to come up with how we could do this in English.

Your dad’s sister would be your aunt, and your mom’s sister would be your auntie. Your dad’s brother’s wife would be your naunt, and your mom’s brother’s wife would by your nauntie.

Your dad’s brother would be your unc, and your mom’s brother your uncle. Your dad’s sister’s husband would be your nunc, and your mom’s sister’s husband would be your nuncle.

HT to my nephew for the suggestion of unc and nunc.

And speaking of my nephew, somebody has to do this with cousins and with nephews and nieces.

2018-02-01  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 7

  1. William
    1 February 2018 @ 4:17 pm

    Not to spoil the fun but this might lead us on a path akin to the…LGBTQQIP2SAA. Please, let’s not go there! πŸ˜‰

  2. Craig
    1 February 2018 @ 5:17 pm

    Where is the LIKE button on your blog, Greg? I have a sudden and obsessive need to “like” William’s comment. πŸ™‚

  3. pentamom
    1 February 2018 @ 5:40 pm

    OTOH, we probably don’t have these words, because we don’t really need them. In our culture, the distinctions between aunt by blood and aunt by marriage matter only for medical history and other such limited purposes, which are uncommon enough occasions that it’s not cumbersome simply to specify in those instances and the distinction between maternal aunt and paternal aunt, matters not at all.

  4. Greg Krehbiel GregK
    1 February 2018 @ 5:43 pm

    Sure. But it got me wondering if hobbits had such words. I don’t mean what hobbits say in the LOTR. I mean what they actually said.

  5. NathanM
    1 February 2018 @ 8:49 pm

    Chinese has quite a lot of terms:

  6. Robin R.
    2 February 2018 @ 2:24 am

    I have only one living nuncle who is completely disgusting. When I refer to him as my uncle, I usually point out that he is so by marriage in order to dissociate him from myself as much as possible. My only living uncle by blood, however, is a great guy. The two terms could come in real handy for me personally. But we can’t fashion language to suit my personal needs, can we?

  7. pentamom
    2 February 2018 @ 7:48 am

    Hobbits being very interested in kinship and genealogy, they likely did! πŸ™‚

    German at least has the distinction between male and female cousins.

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