What Do You Call Your Cousin's Kid?

By Matthew Jones | | People
What Do You Call Your Cousin's Kid?
MPH Photos/Shutterstock

Your cousin had a baby! Congrats on becoming a … grand cousin? Second cousin? Cousin twice removed?

Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Or does it?

Beyond your immediate family members, all the different names out there can easily confuse you. What do you call your cousin’s child? What do they call you?

Here’s everything you need to know about how to properly address this newest member of your family.

What is my cousin’s kid to me?

Very simply, your cousin’s kid is your “first cousin once removed.”

Most people get confused and think their cousin’s kids are their half-cousins or second cousins. But this is not true. These are totally different relatives.

Forget everything else you thought you knew: Your cousin’s kid is your cousin once removed.

What does removed mean?

Removed simply means your relative is from one generation down the line.

Your cousin’s children are your first cousins once removed, and their children would be your first cousins twice removed. If they had any kids, these would be your first cousins three times (or thrice) removed.

Using removed to mean “one generation” can at times make things more confusing. For example, your parents’ cousins are also your cousins once removed.

In this sense, all of these relatives are technically your “cousins,” which might seem weird since your cousins are your parents’ siblings’ children.

Just remember that removed equals generations, and you should be all set.

What do you call your cousin’s child?

Hey, cousin once removed, you want to come over for dinner?

This sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it? While it’s technically accurate, if your cousin once removed is in your life, it’s unlikely you will actually use this label as often as you might with other familial monikers, such as aunt or uncle.

But what do you say?

Ultimately, that’s up to you.

Age difference might be a factor as well as how close you are to your cousins. If you enjoy a good relationship with them, you may call your cousin’s children your niece or nephew. Or, if you don’t know your cousin that well, you can refer to your cousin first removed simply as your cousin.

You could also drop the formalities altogether and call them by their first name. Or you can use one of the many creative cousin nicknames people have come up with over the years, such as cuzzo or primo (cousin in Spanish)

Again, this is totally your decision. It may be worth having a conversation with your cousin to determine what makes everyone most comfortable.

What do my cousin’s children call me?

As far as how your cousins once removed refer to you, this is once again a personal choice. If you decide to go the niece/nephew route, you may have them call you aunt or uncle. Or, if you are calling them your cousin, you can have them do the same.

Or, once again, you can just get on a first-name basis and leave it at that. It all depends on what makes you comfortable and the type of relationship you plan to or currently have with your cousin’s kids.

What are my cousin’s children to my children?

These are second cousins.

First cousins share grandparents, but second cousins share great grandparents.

So, if your cousin has a kid and you do, too, these children will share one set of great-grandparents, which are your grandparents–the ones you share with your cousins.

Second cousins are not to be confused with half-cousins. Half-cousins are simply the result of someone down the line having kids with two different people.

For example, if your grandfather had kids with two different women, the cousins who come from the line starting with him and the woman who isn’t your biological grandmother would be your half-cousins. If these half-cousins had kids, they would be your half-second cousins.

But that’s a conversation for another day. For now, just remember that your cousin’s children and your children are second cousins.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.