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Uncle is a male family relationship or kinship within an extended or immediate family. Uncles are second-degree relatives and share 25% genetic overlap when they are the full brother of one of the biological parents. An uncle is the brother of one's parent. A half-uncle is the half-brother of one's parent. "Uncle-in-law" can refer to the husband of one's aunt or uncle of one's spouse. A biological uncle is a second degree male relative and shares 25% genetic overlap. However people who are not a biological uncle are sometimes affectionately called as an uncle as a title of admiration and respect. The co-uncle-in-law is the husband of one's aunt of one's spouse. The stepuncle is the stepbrother of one's parent or the brother of one's stepparent.

A woman with the equivalent relationship of an uncle is an aunt. The reciprocal relationship to both of these is that of a nephew or niece.

A granduncle/great-uncle is the brother of one's grandparent. Half-great-uncle/half-granduncle is the half-brother of one's grandparent. Great-uncle-in-law/granduncle-in-law is the husband of one's great-aunt/grandaunt. Great-uncle-in-law/granduncle-in-law and can also be great-uncle/granduncle of one's spouse. The co-great-uncle-in-law/co-granduncle-in-law is the husband of one's great-aunt/grandaunt of one's spouse.

A great-great-uncle/great-granduncle is the brother of one's great-grandparent. Half-great-great-uncle/half-great-granduncle is the half-brother of one's great-grandparent. Great-great-uncle-in-law/great-granduncle-in-law is the husband of one's great-great-aunt/great-grandaunt. Great-great-uncle-in-law/great-granduncle-in-law and can also be great-great-uncle/great-granduncle of one's spouse. The co-great-great-uncle-in-law/co-great-granduncle-in-law is the husband of one's great-great-aunt/great-grandaunt of one's spouse.

A cousin-uncle is the male cousin of one's parent, in other words, is the nephew of one's grandparent. A great-cousin-uncle is the male cousin of one's grandparent, in other words, is the nephew of one's great-grandparent. A great-great-cousin-uncle is the male cousin of one's great-grandparent, in other words, is the nephew of one's great-great-grandparent.

Cultural variations[]

In some cultures and families, children may refer to the cousins of their parents as "aunt" or "uncle". It is also a title of respect for elders (for example older cousins, neighbors, acquaintances, close family friends, and even sometimes total strangers). Using the term in this way is a form of fictive kinship.

Albanian, Slavic, and Persian[]

In some cultures, like Albanian, Slavic, or Persian, no single inclusive term describing both a person's kinship to their parental male sibling or parental male in-law exists. Instead, there are specific terms describing a person's kinship to their mother's brother ("dajë" in Albanian language, "daiyee" in Persian) or a person's kinship to their father's brother ("xhajë" in Albanian, "amou" in Persian). An analogous differentiation exists using separate terms to describe a person's kinship to their mother's female sibling, ("teze" in Albanian, "khaleh" in Persian), and a person's kinship to their father's female sibling, ("hallë" in Albanian, "ammeh" in Persian).

Furthermore, in Persian culture the terms used to describe a person's kinship to their maternal or paternal in-laws bear clear and unambiguous descriptions of that relationship, differentiating the parental in-laws from blood-relatives. For example, there is a specific term describing a person's kinship to the spouse of their paternal uncle (i.e. "zan-amou", literally 'wife-of-' amou). This clarifies that kinship is to the spouse of the person's paternal male sibling, as opposed to a blood-relationship.

Irish[]

Uncles and aunts are considered important in modern Irish culture and are usually chosen to be godfather or godmother of children during Catholic baptism. A young Irish person might seek the counsel of their favourite aunt or uncle before making an important decision and the opinion of the respective aunt or uncle is treated seriously.

See also[]

  • Cousin
  • Bob's your uncle
  • Say Uncle
  • Uncle Sam

External links[]

  • The dictionary definition of uncle at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of granduncle at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of great-uncle at Wiktionary


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Uncle. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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