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Meaning And Examples

The term “niece” refers to a female relative who is the daughter of one’s brother or sister. In other words, she is the child of one’s sibling. The relationship between an individual and their niece is based on a blood connection through a common parent.

For example, if John has a sister named Mary and Mary has a daughter named Emily, then Emily is John’s niece. The same applies if John has a brother named Peter, and Peter has a daughter named Sarah. In this case, Sarah would also be John’s niece.

The term “nephew” refers to a male relative who is the son of one’s brother or sister. In other words, he is the child of one’s sibling.

For example, if Sarah has a brother named Michael and Michael has a son named Alex, then Alex is Sarah’s nephew. The same applies if Sarah has a sister named Lisa, and Lisa has a son named James. In this case, James would also be Sarah’s nephew.

A cousin is a more extended family relationship. Cousins are the children of your parents’ siblings (uncles or aunts). For example, your father’s brother’s children or your mother’s sister’s children would be your cousins. Cousins can also be classified as first cousins, second cousins, etc., depending on how many generations they are removed from your common grandparents.

Cousins, specifically first cousins are people who have the same grandparents. Their parents would be siblings. Though in some cultures and families, it is common to call the child of one’s cousin a ‘’niece’’ or ‘’nephew’’.

You may call a relative a niece or nephew of yours if the relationship is any of the following:

  • Your own blood brother or step-brother or half-brother’s children
  • Your own blood sister or step-sister or half-sister’s children
  • The children of any people who have those relationships (Niece & Nephew) to your spouse.

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What You Need To Know

Niece:

  • A niece is a female relative who is the daughter of one’s sibling (brother or sister).
  • For example, if you have a sister named Sarah, and she has a daughter named Emily, then Emily is your niece.
  • Nieces can be related by blood or marriage. For instance, if your sibling has a stepdaughter from a previous marriage, that stepdaughter would also be considered your niece in the context of your family.

Nephew:

  • A nephew is a male relative who is the son of one’s sibling (brother or sister).
  • For instance, if you have a brother named John, and he has a son named Alex, then Alex is your nephew.
  • Similarly to nieces, nephews can be related by blood or through marriage, such as if your sibling has a stepson from a previous relationship.

Cousin:

  • A cousin is a more distant family relationship compared to nieces and nephews.
  • Cousins are the children of your parents’ siblings (uncles or aunts). In other words, they are the offspring of your maternal or paternal aunts and uncles.
  • For example, if your mother has a sister named Lisa, and Lisa has a son named Michael, then Michael is your cousin.
  • Cousins can also be classified into different degrees based on the number of generations they are removed from your common grandparents.
  • First cousins: Share the same grandparents.
  • Second cousins: Share the same great-grandparents.
  • Third cousins: Share the same great-great-grandparents, and so on.

Use or Variation of Terms

  • Half-niece or half-nephew– The child of one’s half sibling
  • Sororal niece or sororal nephew-Sister’s child
  • Fraternal or fraternal nephew– brother’s child
  • Grandniece– is a granddaughter  of one’s sibling
  • Grandnephew-is a grandson of one’s sibling
  • Niece in-law or nephew in-law-children of in-laws (An in-law is a relationship that is not by blood, but instead by marriage.