Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

Cousins

Okay, so, in English, a cousin might be your dad's brother's son. Or your mom's sister's grandma's daughter-in-law's daughter-in-law's daughter.

In Hindi, Bengali and other related languages, they have such vivid words for each.

Anyway, what I actually meant to say was, in Bengali, I'd introduce my dad's brother's son as my brother (i.e. 'dada') and it would be perfectly fine.

Some time ago, I had a fight with someone about this. And as I am not that confident about anything much, let me just ask this. In English, does 'brother' or 'sister' imply 'sibling' or is it just as fine to call your cousin your sister or brother?

I probably sound a bit messy here. Sorry. It's the best I can do. After all, I don't know any languages.
2 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

One would not call a cousin "brother" or "sister".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

Okay then. Thank you. :)

And ugh. I just lost the fight. T_T
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ESAndrew

Some people call those close to them brothers or sisters, just to let them know how much they mean to them. However, your cousins are not your brothers and sisters.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
Dcarl1
  • 25
  • 9
  • 9

No we wouldn't do this. In the true sense of the word, only your siblings would be brothers or sisters.

However, we sometimes call people close to us "brother," or "sister" informally as slang ("Hey, brother, what's up with you?"). And specifically in U.S. slang these words are often used within the African-Anerican community with a shade of meaning of "you're one of my peeps".

By the way, I LOVE all the many family terms in Bengali!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
  • 25
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 5

For what it's worth, the Yup'ik of Alaska use sibling terms to refer to their parallel cousins (children of their mother's sister or their father's brother) but not their cross cousins (children of their mother's brother or their father's sister).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Loopulk

A "brother" or a "sister" would be another child of both your parents.

A "half brother" or a "half sister" would be another child of one of your parents.

It's okay to call a half sibling a brother or a sister. It depends on your living situation and whatnot I guess.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ViolettePolyglot

Well, in the general sense brother and sister would be your siblings,(you share at least one of the same parents), however, in some instances, like slang if your cousin is close enough you might call them that, but that's informal.

2 years ago