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In Spanish (at least in Colombia) I have heard that when announcing a pregnancy to a close friend, sometimes it can be said to "you will be aunt/uncle" due to the close relationship between the friends and the couple, or one of the parents.

I read that in English, there are other idioms and slangs like the "bun in the oven", "up the pole", "up the duff" or "knocked up" (am I right here?).

So I wonder if the aunt/uncle is used or could be used in English? or will it be totally understandable and weird for native English speakers?

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  • I think tío is used in a much more general sense in Spanish than uncle in English.
    – mdewey
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:37
  • In Spanish from Spain, "tío/tía" is used as an informal replacement for man, woman, dude, etc. But is not used in Latinamerican Spanish in that way. Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 16:56

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Saying "you're going to be an aunt/uncle" would definitely be a confusing thing to say to anyone other than a pregnant woman's siblings!

However, it's pretty common for a child (and parents, in the child's presence) to refer to close family friends as "Aunt (name)" or "Uncle (name)" even when the friend is not actually related to the family.

Having a "bun in the oven," being "knocked up" and being "up the duff" (British English) are indeed idioms for being pregnant. Please don't use them, though. They can have negative connotations/implications, and pregnancy can be a very sensitive topic. Saying these without a complete grasp of those connotations is much more likely to offend someone than to make you sound fluent.

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    In my youth (1950s/60s) it was common for children to address family friends as 'Auntie' or 'Uncle' because it was then considered bad manners for a child to use an adult's forename on its own. As this is no longer the case, I suspect the custom has pretty much died out. As for expressions like 'She's got a bun in the oven', these are jokey, irreverent expressions which people are unlikely to use when announcing a pregnancy to close friends. Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:29
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    Up the duff is used (UK) but is also rather disrespectful so your warning would cover that too.
    – mdewey
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:31
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    @mdewey thanks, I've edited the answer.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:35
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    @KateBunting From personal experience in my own family, it hasn't died out, at least in Am.E.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:37
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    I can add 'in the club', and 'in the pudding club' to the list of things you don't say. Also, don't say 'en cloque' about a French woman. Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:47

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