Cousinship



[kuhz-uh n] /ˈkʌz ən/

noun
1.
Also called first cousin, full cousin. the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt.
See also , (def 2).
2.
one related by descent in a diverging line from a known common ancestor, as from one’s grandparent or from one’s father’s or mother’s sister or brother.
3.
a kinsman or kinswoman; relative.
4.
a person or thing related to another by similar natures, languages, geographical proximity, etc.:
Our Canadian cousins are a friendly people.
5.
Slang. a gullible, innocent person who is easily duped or taken advantage of.
6.
a term of address used by a sovereign in speaking, writing, or referring to another sovereign or a high-ranking noble.
/ˈkʌzən/
noun
1.
Also called first cousin, cousin-german, full cousin. the child of one’s aunt or uncle
2.
a relative who has descended from one of one’s common ancestors. A person’s second cousin is the child of one of his parents’ first cousins. A person’s third cousin is the child of one of his parents’ second cousins. A first cousin once removed (or loosely second cousin) is the child of one’s first cousin
3.
a member of a group related by race, ancestry, interests, etc: our Australian cousins
4.
a title used by a sovereign when addressing another sovereign or a nobleman
/French kuzɛ̃/
noun
1.
Victor (viktɔr). 1792–1867, French philosopher and educational reformer
n.

mid-12c., from Old French cosin (12c., Modern French cousin) “nephew, kinsman, cousin,” from Latin consobrinus “cousin,” originally “mother’s sister’s son,” from com- “together” (see com-) + sobrinus (earlier *sosrinos) “cousin on mother’s side,” from soror (genitive sororis) “sister.”

Italian cugino, Danish kusine, Polish kuzyn also are from French. German vetter is from Old High German fetiro “uncle,” perhaps on the notion of “child of uncle.” Words for cousin tend to drift to “nephew” on the notion of “father’s nephew.”

Many IE languages (including Irish, Sanskrit, Slavic, and some of the Germanic tongues) have or had separate words for some or all of the eight possible “cousin” relationships, e.g. Latin, which along with consobrinus had consobrina “mother’s sister’s daughter,” patruelis “father’s brother’s son,” atruelis “mother’s brother’s son,” amitinus “father’s sister’s son,” etc. Old English distinguished fæderan sunu “father’s brother’s son,” modrigan sunu “mother’s sister’s son,” etc.

Used familiarly as a term of address since early 15c., especially in Cornwall. Phrase kissing cousin is Southern U.S. expression, 1940s, apparently denoting “those close enough to be kissed in salutation;” Kentish cousin (1796) is an old British term for “distant relative.”

noun

Related Terms

kissing cousin, cousin
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