What is a cousin
Relationship: What is a grand cousin? Explanation & examples
The term “big cousin” often leads to a lot of confusion in the German-speaking world. The reason for this are the different definitions that exist for the term depending on the region. The following is intended to show and explain which family member you can call your grand cousin, depending on the definition.
Definition of a great cousin according to the Duden
Although it is not an official kinship name either, the definition of duden for a great cousin is generally considered to be the most common form. The Duden defines the grand cousin as the daughter of a cousin of your parents (the grand cousin is accordingly the son of a cousin or a cousin of your parents). Thus, the grand cousin is defined as an alternative name for your second cousin. The following example should clarify the Duden definition of a cousin even more clearly:
- Your father has a cousin → Your father's cousin has a daughter → This daughter of your father's cousin is now your grandcousin.
Definition of a grand cousin in the sense of a second degree aunt
This sometimes used definition differs from the definition of dude in that it does not refer to the daughters of your parents' cousins as your grandcousins, but defines the cousins of your parents as such (the cousin of your parents would accordingly be your grandcousin). So your second degree aunt would represent the grandcousin here. Here, too, an illustrative example:
- Your mother has a cousin → This cousin of your mother is your grandcousin.
Definition of a grand cousin in the sense of a niece of the second degree
Another definition of the term grand cousin sees the grand cousin as the daughter of your cousin. This means that the entire female offspring of all your cousins will become your grand cousins (the male children will become your grand cousins accordingly). So here your second-degree nieces are referred to as grand cousins. The example would look like this.
- Your cousin has a daughter → This daughter of your cousin is now your grandcousin.
Definition of a great cousin in the sense of a great aunt
A somewhat outdated definition for the great cousin, which is still used from time to time, characterizes the great cousin as the cousin of your grandparents. This means that all cousins of your grandmother and your grandfather become your grandcousins according to this definition (the cousins of your grandparents logically become your grandcousins). In some ways, this term makes sense as a derivative of the prefix “grand-”, but ultimately, grandparent's cousins are commonly referred to as great-aunts instead. According to this definition, however, the following person would be your grandcousin:
- Your mother's father (grandfather) has a cousin → This cousin of your grandfather is your grandcousin.
Definition of a grand cousin as a general term for cousins of different and unknown degrees
According to this definition, the term grand cousin does not describe an exact relationship, but is representative of all your cousins whose degree of relationship you do not know, as well as for all female children of your cousins. This means that all daughters of your cousins, all cousins of your parents and all family members who come to some extent from the cousins of your parents can be collectively referred to as grand cousins according to this definition (the same applies to grand cousins).
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