How To Describe A Family Connection.

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joko | 02:31 Sun 05th Dec 2021 | How it Works
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the situation is - my niece has 2 direct cousins - my nephews, but the cousins also have another cousin - my brothers wifes brothers kid.

What could you call the connection between my niece & my SILs brothers kid?

i know its a vague connection but if you were making a huge family tree they could feasibly both be included so there is some kind of familial 'connection'.

i was at school with a boy who 1 had a similar situation with - he was my aunties (by marriage) sisters son, & we always kind of just said distant cousins or something.



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Distant cousins sounds about right, joko.
I thought cousins had to have an ancestor in common. First cousins have the same grandparent, other cousins great or great great grandparents.
Your niece has no ancestor in common with the child of your sister in law's brother so they aren't any kind of cousins
Cousin inlaw?

Distant cousin rolls off the tongue better.
cousins once removed?
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well they both share an auntie & an uncle

i think maybe cousins in law suits it, since the connection only exists because of marriage, not blood.

some people say grand-cousins, but not sure that works

& others just say cousin of cousin

its odd that theres no 'official' name, since there must be a lot of people who know & care for their cousin in laws etc

they are both at all family occasions, funerals, as well as smaller get togethers, so its not like they dont interact

i suppose that would also make me an auntie in law to her
me wrong not joko!
There is no connection – vague or otherwise - between them. They share an uncle and aunt purely because your brother married his wife. If he had not they would not know about each other at all. The informal term “cousin-in-law” is sometimes used to refer to the husband or wife of one’s cousin or the cousin of one’s husband or wife. But that does not apply here.

//“cousins once removed?//

There is an easy way to remember what “second cousins” and “cousins removed” are, dave. First cousins share grandparents. Second cousins do not, but they share great-grandparents. Third cousins share great-great-grandparents. So first/second/etc. cousins are always of the same generation, but wider apart in the family tree (i.e. you have to go further up the tree to find the common ancestor).

First cousins, once removed are children of your first cousin. So they are a generation below you, the “removed” term referring to that removal down the family tree. “First cousin twice removed” means grandchildren of your first cousins. You can also have second cousins “removed” in the same way.
The OED definition of second cousin includes the child of a cousin and that is what I have always gone by.

"second cousin  n. a child of a first cousin of either of one's parents; a cousin with whom one shares (typically) a pair of great-grandparents; (also more loosely) a child of one's first cousin, one's first cousin once removed; "
If I'm reading it correctly, Corby, that definition of a second cousin describes two different relationships. The first part is correct. The child of your parent's cousin is indeed your second cousin - they are both of the same generation. The second part is also correct: the child of your first cousin is your first cousin once removed. But your definition seems to suggest that a second cousin is the same as a first cousin once removed. This article (from those provided by davepro) shows this is clearly incorrect.
if you're not defining "first cousin", fifth cousin" and so on, then "cousin" on its own is fine. It can be as vague as you like. Definitions from Oxford Languages (what you get when you google a definition) are:

- a child of one's uncle or aunt.
- a person in one's wider extended family, to whom one is not closely related: "she's a distant cousin"
- a thing related or analogous to another: "the new motorbikes are not proving as popular as their four-wheel cousins"

So what you've been saying is okay. If you need to be precise, other answers should help.
NJ, you clearly think it's incorrect but enough folk (including me), use that definition for it to be included in the OED.
The OED seems to be conflating the two (second cousin and cousin once removed) Corby - even though they say "more loosely". The two are clearly different. The two may be interchangeable in common parlance and the OED may reflect that, but, correctly, they are different nonetheless.
I agree they are different but both are correct.
NJ, your post at 14.43 is very clear and helpful to me, as I am attempting to place certain relatives on our family tree and it get's very confusing.
Question Author
its actually also kind of odd theres not a term for the girls parents relation to my niece.

also all of their relationships to me - the girls dad is the brother of my sister in law, but hes not my brother in law, hes my brothers brother in law.
but there seems to be even less options for that even though ive met him many times at family gatherings.

i guess for my niece he & his wife would perhaps be uncle in law, which makes sense

//...but hes not my brother in law, hes my brothers brother in law.//

That's correct. Your brother-in-law can only be either the brother of your spouse or the husband of your sister.
Question Author
Another thought - what about 'step'?

step applies to non blood related people who come into your life & family by marriage.

so in a sense, these 'distant cousins, cousins in law' are also only related ny marriage too, so might they fit the definition of Step cousin??
No. A step relationship occurs when a parent forms a second relationship. Second reliatonship is key to a step. Marriage just creates in laws. If there are children from previous relationships the marriage creates in laws and at least one step parent
NJ, Chambers Dictionary gives three options for a brother-in-law.

"brother-in-law noun (brothers-in-law) 
1 the brother of one's husband or wife. 
2 the husband of one's sister. 
3 the husband of the sister of one's own wife or husband."

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