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33 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

As @YellowSky pointed, a very large number of languages make this distinction. The Wiktionary lists don’t even scratch the surface, since most languages are not in Wiktionary, and the real number ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Reversal of kinship terms when speaking to a child

Is there a name for this phenomenon? There are several in fact, but there doesn't seem to be a single unified term, which is quite a problem because it makes looking it up a real pain in the neck. ...
madprogramer's user avatar
17 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Another concrete example to extend upon these already excellent answers is the Swedish language. Here, the terms are "farbror" for a paternal uncle (literally: "father-brother") ...
physicalist's user avatar
13 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

In the Western variety of the Ukrainian language, maternal uncle is вуйко (vujko) [ˈʋui̯kɔ], and paternal uncle is стрий / стрийко (stryj / stryjko) [strɪi̯] / [ˈstrɪi̯kɔ]. Also, by analogy, maternal ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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10 votes
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Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

For more answers see the Translations chart in Wiktionary. Also, most Slavic languages are missing from the chart and many (all?) of them have some form of the word "svat"; feminine "svatya". The ...
ngn's user avatar
  • 505
10 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

In Hebrew, the father of your children's spouse is your מחותן /mexuˈtan/ and the mother of your children's spouse is your מחותנת /mexuˈtenet/ (derived from the same root as חותן /xoˈten/ "father-in-...
b a's user avatar
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9 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

In Italian, it is "consuoceri", where "suoceri" alone means "parents-in-law"
Elisa R's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes

Languages with masculine nouns for various female entities, or feminine nouns for male entities

In German, diminutives are almost always neuter, even when they refer to humans, like Mädchen "girl". In Ancient Greek, similarly, παιδίον "child". German also has some non-diminutive neuter words for ...
Draconis's user avatar
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9 votes
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When an outsider describes family relationships, which point of view are they using?

Kinship terms are a specialized form of social deixis. The things you are pointing out are a consequence of the fact that deictic terms have context-dependent meanings. What you've appropriately ...
Mark Beadles's user avatar
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9 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

As melissa_boiko and Yellow Sky have already mentioned, the number of languages with this distinction is likely to be in the thousands. Here are some concrete examples from the Indian subcontinent. ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Southern Sami (Finno-Ugric) has several words for distinguishing maternal and paternal uncles by relative age and blood relation: jyöne, maternal uncle jiekie, paternal uncle, but only when he's ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
7 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

The word in Spanish is consuegros (consuegro = father-in-law of one's child, consuegra = mother-in-law of one's child). "father-in-law/mother-in-law of one’s son/daughter" https://www....
Luis's user avatar
  • 189
7 votes

Reversal of kinship terms when speaking to a child

I wondered about this and answered my own question on the German StackExchange. The phenomenon exists in German dialects, but not Standard German (with the possible exception of Pate; see below). I ...
David Vogt's user avatar
7 votes

Is the word for "brother-in-law" in Germanic languages related to the Aramaic/Syriac גיס?

Aramaic gīsā is a shorter form for aḡīsā “wife’s sister’s husband”. I do not have an etymology for this, but it really does not look anything like Indo-European *sueḱuro- or any of its descendants.
fdb's user avatar
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6 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

In Riffian, the kindship denominations for the parents of spouses are gendered/gender-based. The husband and his parents will name the parents of his wife and all her family: adeggwal (masculine, eg: ...
amegnunsen's user avatar
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6 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

The German term is "Gegenschwieger" (sound file), which I have heard in the wild exactly once. The German Wiktionary article says it's an archaic term for the mother in law of one's own child, though ...
Alexander Klauer's user avatar
6 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

German has (well, had, not in common usage any more, respectively the use changed for some to describe the cousins, though even then not that common) separate words for some cases: paternal aunt Base ...
ferada's user avatar
  • 169
6 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Croatian/Bosnian has different words for it. "ujko" - maternal uncle, and his wife "ujna" "striko" - paternal uncle, and his wife "strina"
user32022's user avatar
6 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Armenian: Keri for mother's brother and Horeghpayr for father's brother.
TT_ stands with Russia's user avatar
5 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Pashto (Indo-Iranian) also has separate words for maternal uncle and paternal uncle: paternal uncle: تره maternal uncle: ماما And Urdu: paternal uncle: چچا maternal uncle: مامو (or ماما)
Mellifluous's user avatar
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5 votes

Reversal of kinship terms when speaking to a child

"to my knowledge, it doesn't exist in English or French for example" Actually, my father, born in a Francoprovençal village, often called me "mon petit père" or "mon gros père" (I used to be a chubby ...
Aksavavit's user avatar
5 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Arabic has separate words for: paternal uncle: 'Amm عَمّ maternal uncle: Khal خَال
4 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

In Turkish, dünür is the term you are looking for. Turkish English dictionaries literally give the translation as the father-in-law or mother-in-law of one's child.
Durmus's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

In Logoori, the parents of a married couple are mutually vaasáángi, or naaváana. The latter roughly means "one with children", and I do not have a clue what the source of the former is. Mothers of the ...
user6726's user avatar
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4 votes

Languages with masculine nouns for various female entities, or feminine nouns for male entities

Some Punjabi examples: مُندیر A grammatically feminine plural form of "boy," used in contexts like "me and the boys," or even as a substitute for "gang" (rappers like to ...
earlyinthemorning's user avatar
4 votes

Languages with masculine nouns for various female entities, or feminine nouns for male entities

Others have already mentioned that German has words with a fixed grammatical gender that can be used for both males and females, such as "Mensch" (m), "Person" (f), "Kind" (n), "Star" (m), "Opfer" (n)...
Uwe's user avatar
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4 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

The Korean word for it is 사돈 sadon. Random fun fact: in Korean, an idiom for "the farthest relative imaginable" is 사돈의 팔촌 sadon-ui palchon, where palchon is "third cousin". So this phrase, in ...
jick's user avatar
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4 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

In Finnish: Paternal uncle: setä Maternal uncle: eno
ruohola's user avatar
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3 votes

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

In Chinese, across all the major varieties, 親家 (simplified script: 亲家; Mandarin Pinyin: qìngjia [note the rarer pronunciation of 親], Cantonese Jyutping: can3 gaa1, Min Nan POJ: chhin-ke) is the ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
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