How do you call your aunt's or uncle's daughter and son respectively in English? Are they just called 'cousin'? or do you call them 'sister' or 'brother'? (Not about how I call them to their face but just the phrase they are called in general in this relationship.)

ex> She is my ______ (my aunt's/uncle's daughter).

  • 3
    Why do you think that "cousin" is wrong?
    – Catija
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 23:55
  • I just wondered if there's any word to differentiate a female and male cousin!
    – JoAnn
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 0:48
  • Well, you do say "she" in your sentence. :). Cousin comes from the French which does differentiate but that has been lost in the process.
    – Catija
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 0:52
  • 1
    You ask about uncle or aunt, which reminds me that they could possibly be step-uncle or step-aunt (brother or sister of your step parent) and thus their son/daughter might be called a step-cousin but they aren't related to you by blood. Commented May 21, 2016 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


Your aunt or uncle's child is your "cousin" regardless of gender.

More specifically, these relatives are your "first cousins".

There's a very interesting video that talks about cousins and the odd terms used to describe them here. Note that this video is designed for native speakers because even we often don't actually know what "third cousin twice removed" means, so it's not really necessary for you to memorize, either.

  • 2
    The nth cousin convention is actually pretty easy to understand and memorise, as is the n times removed thing. I think the reason many people don't worry about that stuff is that by the time you get to "third cousins" the nearest common ancestor linking the two is likely deceased. And (assuming no inbreeding) any two third cousins have seven pairs of great great grandparents that are not common between them.
    – nnnnnn
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 0:24
  • @nnnnnn I only learned the cousin rules when I got into genealogy. First cousins share a pair of grandparents. Second cousins share a pair of great-grandparents, etc, etc.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 0:53

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