Saturday, June 4, 2011
I'm thankful to have lots of relatives and to see many of them at least every year or so. But my husband didn't come from that kind of family and when we first married he was confused about what to call some of those people.
Of course there are words for parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc. It's slightly more awkward to refer to second cousins, great uncles, and in-laws, but that's not really a problem.
However there aren't any simple terms in the English language for relationships like my cousins' cousin's granddaughter, my second cousin's cousin, someone's significant other, or a son-in-law's sister and I consider all those people part of my family even though the way they are related to me may be complicated. If I see them at family gatherings they're family to me.
Eventually my husband came up with a term that applies to all of those and any other convoluted relationships. He called them "step-neighbors-in-law" and now I do, too.
Do you have any step-neighbors-in-law?