waty
what's the meaning of 'second cousin' and 'third cousin' why can't we just said 'cousin'
Sep 5, 2008 2:41 PM
Answers · 4
You could call your second cousin just "cousin" for a "second cousin" or "third cousin" if you want to emphasize their closeness to you. In fact, if you're writing a letter to them, you'd probably say "Dear Cousin John" and not "Dear Second Cousin John" as the greeting. But technically a second or third cousin is different than a first cousin (commonly called just plain cousin.) Your second cousin is the child of the child of the sibling of either of your grandparents. So your grandma’s brother's daughter’s son is your second cousin. Your third cousin is the child of the child the child of the sibling of either of your great-grandparents. So your great-grandma’s brother's daughter’s son’s daughter is your second cousin. That’s away from you one more generation (great-grandma instead of grandma) and then one more generation closer to you. If you’re talking about other flavors of cousins, like ones who are one generation older or younger than you, you say “once removed” or “twice removed” to signify how many generations difference there is between you and this cousin. But those terms are somewhat generic, because a “second cousin once removed” might be a generation older than you, or a generation younger than you. There is not anything to distinguish either gender, or maternal/paternal side in the word cousin. Here is a handy chart that makes this clearer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin
September 6, 2008
If a relative of mine is beyond a simple cousin and is actually a 2nd, 3rd (etc) cousin, I'd just say that they are an "umpteenth cousin" :-D It's a slangy way to indicate a high number (since "umpteen" doesn't actually exist as a number). People usually understand me when I do, and if not, I say that relative is "like a 2nd or 3rd cousin or whatever they are...some kind of cousin", lol now the really complicated part is when you have to say "X is my 2nd cousin, once removed" or "twice removed", etc.; I still don't quite get how that works, but it involved just how far away from you (directly) that they're related; perhaps also pertaining to if related by blood or by marriage. Wait for more input on those points. ;-)
September 5, 2008
Right. It depends on who is related to whom exactly. Sort of the same as having a grandfather and a great-grandfather; it's generational.
September 5, 2008
hmm. how can i explain it? for example.. your mother has a cousin. so if your mother cousin has a child, then its your second cousin. and if you had a child and your second cousin had a child too,so youre child and his/her child are 3rd cousins. its like just a cycle. gets?
September 5, 2008
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waty
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Other), English, Indonesian
Learning Language
Chinese (Other), English