Social Question

MissA's avatar

What does 'twice removed' mean?

Asked by MissA (7391points) October 3rd, 2010

Basic relationship titles seem pretty straight forward. But, once we get into second cousin twice removed and so forth, it seems pretty befuddling.

Does anyone know the rules in this area?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Frenchfry's avatar

I know I have been twice removed by divorice I think. LOL

lillycoyote's avatar

It means that the relationship in question, I think usually cousins(?) involves a difference of two generations, the “removed” meaning the number of generations involved.


MissA's avatar


So, they use removed instead of great sometimes?

lillycoyote's avatar

@MissA I don’t know. You may have reached the limits of my knowledge. The “removed” thing seems to be used when talking about cousins, a sideways relationship, and the “great” thing seems to be used when talking about a direct descendancy like grandparents or the half-sideways somewhat direct relationship of aunts and uncles. I don’t know if that is always the case, but that is the way I have seen it. I don’t know why or what the origin of it. Where are the experts on geneology and kinship structure when you need them? I answered your question, don’t make me cry just because that’s all I know and don’t know anymore. :-)

MissA's avatar

Don’t cry @lillycoyote. I won’t ask anything further. You can rest your head now…and, dream about it!!

Someone eventually will have the absolutes. I guess that throughout time, I didn’t listen ‘hard’ enough.


lillycoyote's avatar

Thank you for your understanding my dear @MissA. I seem to a bit sensitive and fragile tonight. :-)

MissA's avatar


No problem…I may be ‘fragiler’ some nights.

JLeslie's avatar

this has an explanation. It mentions the child of my cousin would be my cousin once removed if I understand it correctly. I always thought that made us second cousins?

It is not the same as great and grand as far as I know.

ucme's avatar

Once you start getting into twice removed territory, it’s best to just refer to them as strangers :¬)

Kayak8's avatar

I have a cousin named Bob. He is my first cousin (his father and my mother are siblings) Bob has children. Bob’s children are my first cousins once-removed. They are in the line of my first cousin but are one generation away from me. Bob’s daughter Becky had a baby I will call Joe. Joe is my first cousin twice removed in that he is still in the family line of my first cousin (Bob), but is two generations away from me.

The other usage for first cousin once removed describes my relationship to my mom’s first cousins (they are first cousins and are removed from me by one generation). Their children, however, would be second cousins to me (and my mom’s first cousins once removed).

Great and grand are used to first line relatives both going back (or up) the family tree (e.g., grand-parent, great grand parent) or down the family tree (grand nephew).

The wikipedia link posted above by @JLeslie offers a good illustration to help understand the relationship. Keep in mind that everything in the illustration is in relation to the person in the “self” position.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

The “great” designator works for some relationships: great-grandparents, great-uncles and -aunts, for example. But how do you say that you’re someone’s “great-cousin” with a straight face? I did it as a joke to some younger cousins, once-removed, and they appreciated it as a joke, but you see the point, right?

filmfann's avatar

your cousin is at the same generational level as you. You are both your grandparents grandchildren.
Your cousin’s child is your cousin, once removed. Their child is twice removed.
Your great grandfather had other children. Your grandfather’s sister has grandchildren. They are your second cousins. Their children are your second cousins, once removed.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther