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Gender-neutral way to say niece/nephew?


I'm looking for a gender-neutral way to say neice/nephew. Any language is fine. Any suggestions?

Many bunny thanks! /^_^\

Note: I'm not looking for a word that uses the masculine or feminine as a universal term. For example "sobrinos" is Spanish for nephews but can also be used for nieces if they are in a group with nephews. I'm trying to avoid that.

July 5, 2014



Nibling, English. At least according to reddit a few months back.


LOL! That's adorable! I wonder if whoever coined that was a btvs fan?


According to this, coined by linguist Samuel E. Martin in 1951. Apparently has been used some since then in written and academic works. https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/nibling


I found I was uncomfortable using it. My sisters' children did not grow up in the same city as myself. Since it sounds so much like "nibbling", it sounds too informal through association. :(


This is going into my daily vocabulary immediately. I love it! :)


In Italian, "nipote" means either niece or nephew, as well as grandchild (male or female).


Thank you! :D
Lingot with bunny ears


Yeah, I use nibling too. I have two niblings, and I call them that all the time.


Glad to know its in active use!


If you're not looking for a spoken form, just a written one, in Spanish they sometimes use the at sign for cases like this: "sobrin@" or plural "sobrin@s."


there's also the use of "x" to replace a/o, so "lxs sobrinxs". I don't remember how the singular article is dealt with tho. Coincidentally I stumbled across this wiki article recently http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutrality_in_Spanish_and_Portuguese


That article is really interesting. Out of those options, I've only seen @ and slashes (sobrino/a) used in Spanish, though I guess some might be more specific to Portuguese, which I confess I don't know much about at all. Have you seen the X used in Spanish? I'm not familiar with that usage, and the Wikipedia article links to an article in Portuguese.

Searching around, I found this document (in Spanish) from the University of Barcelona with a bunch of great tips for avoiding gendered language, especially avoiding the masculine as a universal: http://www.uab.cat/Document/964/953/Guia_uso_no_sexista_lenguaje2.pdf


I'm a member of the forum that is in Spanish and 'x' is a lot more common there than '@'. But before I had started reading so much (informal) stuff from native speakers I only knew about the @ and o/a


I listened to an NPR show awhile back, where a non-binary person used lantinx in reference to their self. (Didn’t have luck finding it just now...may have been Radiolab, This American Life, or Invisibilia show.) Also, here is a dictionary entry for it. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/latinx I have heard it pronounced “la-teen-ex”


Yes, La-teen-ex is how it's being pronounced by everyone I'm familiar with.

There is definitely controversy over that (not the pronunciation, but the "x" in place of o/a). At this point in time, I follow the lead set by the Spanish-speaking Latinx community and use it.


I wonder how the articles are pronounced.


I've heard of this and I love it! Though, I always wonder what to do with the el and la. I suppose I could always just drop those. I've been wondering what gender-diverse Spanish native speakers use in conversation.


Once upon a time, I created a Polish neologism "rodzeńdziecko" [roʣen'ʣ'etskoh] (which can be translated as 'sibl(-ing)-child) :)

  • ' - means palatalization


I love when people are creative with language!


In Swedish, a neice or nephew is a "syskonbarn", which literally translates as 'sibling-child'. (Edit: Also means sibling-children. since 1 barn, many barn.)


That makes a lot of sense! :)


The wee ones (Weans)

or perhaps just address

to them by there first name

and ice cream

that is give them lots of

Ice cream


I do unless I'm referring to them in 3rd person. Ice cream, huh? I hadn't thought of that. I'll have to incorporate it. Though, if I give them ice cream everytime I start a new paragraph, it's gonna ruin ice cream for them. Just a bit. ^_~ Wee ones? I like it! I'll have to wait until we get a new one though.


huh, never heard of "to wean" being used as a noun.


Weaning is the process of gradually introducing a mammal infant to what will be its adult diet and withdrawing the supply of its mother's milk.

weans is a different meaning a different word





third-person singular simple present indicative form of wean


Yeğen (ye-en) in Turkish, there are no gendered nouns for niblings


in Turkish, just like most other words, niece/nephew is also gender-neutral :) it is "yeğen"


Thanks! And good to see you! ^_^


In Persian we use compound words for referring to niece/nephew and that would translate to "child of your brother/sister" putting the emphasis on your siblings. The exact word is خواهرزاده/برادر زاده .

In Persian nouns do not have gender themselves but when it comes to family relationships we are very specific, for example there are 4 distinct words for brother/sister of your mom/dad and instead of saying "cousin" we specifically state their gender like "daughter/son of my uncle" so that makes it 4x2=8 compound words for "cousin", 2 for "niece/nephew" and 4 for "uncle/aunt". In my opinion that originates from the huge importance of family relations in our culture.


I have few English options. I have been looking for something for my sibling to call my non-binary kid. We had been using “niephew,” someone recently suggested “nibling” (but my kid has objections to how it sounds like the word to eat something), and when I found this list https://nonbinary.miraheze.org/wiki/Gender_neutral_language, my kid’s favorite was “nessie” based off nephew & niece. “Chibling” based on sibling’s child, was the runner-up. I love the ones given here in other languages! Thank you for this question & answers.


Ooo! Chibling! I really like that. I think I will adopt it for my sister's child if they don't object. Thank you also for that resource link! :D


niéce amd neveu in french


I'm just looking for one word that covers both and doesn't use use the masculine (or feminine) to cover them both. :)


oh sorry i understand now :)


In German, there used to be "Geschwisterkind" (sibling child, i.e. my sibling's child). It can still be found in dictionaries, tagged as out of use in general but still used regionally. Nowadays it is mainly used to describe your children, i.e. we are having a new baby, when should we tell the "Geschwisterkind" (turns Geschwister [siblings] into singular and is gender-neutral).


How about just "Our kid's kids." - 'Our kid's' being either your younger sister or brother!


Happy Birthday Maddy!!

I'm looking for things that can be used to refer to adults as well as kiddos. And not to sound too removed. I want it to flow with the same ease.


Etymologically, the -o ending in Spanish is a blending of the masculine and the neuter gender from Latin. So if you're referring to a group of people as 'amigos' or 'sobrinos' or whatever, you're technically using the neuter gender, even though it looks the same as the masculine. :)


I don't think this is entirely true. Not that the neuter and masculine genders didn't combine in Spanish, because they did (or they ended up taking the same forms in most cases, anyway), but using the masculine as a universal was already present in Latin. According to my Latin book, for people masculine + feminine = masculine, but for things masculine + feminine = neuter. So I guess you're kind of half right, but it doesn't really apply here.


I wish I had been offered Latin while I was growing up! :)


"my parents grandchild" (place the apostrophe whether child of full or half-sibling)


"Frato-infano", Esperanto. Literally "Sibling-child."


Some English speaking enbies use nibling or sib kid.

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