Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-03-2007, 04:20 AM
Revenant Threshold Revenant Threshold is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 12,048
My brother's father-in-law is my what?

Title says it all, really. Is there a word for this relationship?
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-03-2007, 06:40 AM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SLC, USA
Posts: 4,078
Yes. He would be your brother's father-in-law.
  #3  
Old 11-03-2007, 08:03 AM
twickster twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
That's four words.

In English, no. In other languages, possibly.
  #4  
Old 11-03-2007, 08:17 AM
StuffLikeThatThere StuffLikeThatThere is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: a farm in Ohio
Posts: 1,356
My husband calls them "shirttail relatives."

By them I mean your brother's father-in-law, and other not-quite-relatives that you feel related to because you are both related to the same people in different ways. I think it's just something that he made up himself, but I kind of like it.
  #5  
Old 11-03-2007, 08:39 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is online now
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,840
In my case, that word would be "stranger."

I literally don't even know if my brother's father-in-law is alive. Never met the man as far as I know.
  #6  
Old 11-03-2007, 08:40 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 17,045
"Absolutely nothing."
  #7  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:06 AM
Mycroft H. Mycroft H. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Diogenes Club, TC, MN
Posts: 680
I've wished for a word/term too. It's the same thing with trying to refer to my wife's sister-in-law. As mentioned by others, there is no English term for the relationship.
  #8  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:06 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 37,972
"Acquaintance".
  #9  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:27 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,364
Quote:
Originally Posted by John DiFool
"Absolutely nothing."
Your forgot the [Dark Helmet] tags.
  #10  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:33 AM
zagloba zagloba is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Soplicowo
Posts: 2,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuffLikeThatThere
My husband calls them "shirttail relatives."

By them I mean your brother's father-in-law, and other not-quite-relatives that you feel related to because you are both related to the same people in different ways. I think it's just something that he made up himself, but I kind of like it.
"shirttail relatives" is a good term for such people, but if your husband made it up independently, he's not the first or only one to do so. I've heard and read it in many places, though I can't tell you how common or widespread it is.
  #11  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:34 AM
Soul Soul is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 828
My family refers to such relations as "uncle-ish," which is decidedly useless.
  #12  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:45 AM
twickster twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
I've been known to refer to my BIL's brother (a.k.a. my sister's BIL) as my "brother-in-law-in-law."
  #13  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:55 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,364
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
I've been known to refer to my BIL's brother (a.k.a. my sister's BIL) as my "brother-in-law-in-law."
You're brother-in-law's brother would also be your brother-in-law.
Your sister's brother-in-law would be different.
  #14  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:18 AM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: I'm coming back, now.
Posts: 7,419
He's your sister in law's father, you nitwit!

Tris
  #15  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:33 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17,632
My brother's father-in-law is my what?

I'm still tossing up between "complete and utter stranger" and "who cares" because I have used both interchangeably.
  #16  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:35 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,364
Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask
I'm still tossing up between "complete and utter stranger" and "who cares" because I have used both interchangeably.
My wife calls her sister-in-law "horse face."
  #17  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:51 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Posts: 3,145
A term I use, somewhat tongue in cheek, for my brother's wife's sister is sister-in-law once removed.
  #18  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:59 AM
Man With a Cat Man With a Cat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: where you least expect me
Posts: 7,518
We call my sister in law's husband Jerry.
  #19  
Old 11-03-2007, 11:49 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is online now
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,840
Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask
I'm still tossing up between "complete and utter stranger" and "who cares" because I have used both interchangeably.
Sorry, I read that as "still tossing off" and got a very, very strange visual.
  #20  
Old 11-03-2007, 11:49 AM
Loach Loach is offline
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 22,707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bus Guy
We call my sister in law's husband Jerry.
That sounds good. From now on we will call all of them Jerry.
  #21  
Old 11-03-2007, 12:30 PM
twickster twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
You're brother-in-law's brother would also be your brother-in-law.
Your sister's brother-in-law would be different.


No, they're the exact same person -- the brother of the man who's married to my sister.
  #22  
Old 11-03-2007, 01:07 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is online now
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,840
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster


No, they're the exact same person -- the brother of the man who's married to my sister.
Your brother-in-law (first example) can also be your spouse's brother.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 11-03-2007 at 01:07 PM.
  #23  
Old 11-03-2007, 01:09 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,364
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster


No, they're the exact same person -- the brother of the man who's married to my sister.
My BIL's brother could be my wife's brother (if she has more then one).
  #24  
Old 11-03-2007, 01:16 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 43,963
Shelly Winters as Nana Mary (Roseanne's mother's mother): Let's see, you are married to my daughter's husband's father. That makes you and me......nothing.
  #25  
Old 11-03-2007, 01:37 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 36,504
When I met my brother's wife's sister's husband's brother, we tried to figure out the simplest way to describe our relationship. We gave up.
  #26  
Old 11-03-2007, 01:39 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,857
I can't post what my siblings call my Father-in-law.

At least not in GQ.
  #27  
Old 11-03-2007, 02:06 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Elgin IL
Posts: 8,540
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites
I can't post what my siblings call my Father-in-law.

At least not in GQ.

Jerry?
  #28  
Old 11-03-2007, 03:45 PM
twickster twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
Your brother-in-law (first example) can also be your spouse's brother.
Could be, but isn't. I was pointing out that one particular individual could be identified in two (slightly) different ways, not that there couldn't be more than one way of fitting into that slot.
  #29  
Old 11-03-2007, 04:48 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Not here. There.
Posts: 18,654
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuffLikeThatThere
My husband calls them "shirttail relatives."

By them I mean your brother's father-in-law, and other not-quite-relatives that you feel related to because you are both related to the same people in different ways. I think it's just something that he made up himself, but I kind of like it.
I came in to say that. It's a good term, since people like that are not exactly your friends, usually, and they are not exactly your relatives, but you keep bumping into them on Thanksgiving and other family gathering-type holidays.
  #30  
Old 11-03-2007, 04:55 PM
Jurph Jurph is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Charm City, Hon
Posts: 3,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revenant Threshold
Is there a word for this relationship?
We've used "uncle-in-law" to describe the relationship between me and any number of my relatives by marriage, but the family I married into is large, Italian, and doesn't really bother with describing relationships with any deal of precision.
  #31  
Old 11-03-2007, 05:56 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is online now
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,840
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
Could be, but isn't. I was pointing out that one particular individual could be identified in two (slightly) different ways, not that there couldn't be more than one way of fitting into that slot.
My mistake.
  #32  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:10 PM
Darth Nader Darth Nader is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Deep blue Tejas
Posts: 3,167
I have no brothers or sisters, but my sister in law's father in law is also my wife's uncle, somehow. It makes more sense in Spanish.
  #33  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:22 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is online now
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,840
Are you your own grandpa, by any chance?
  #34  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:23 PM
Darth Nader Darth Nader is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Deep blue Tejas
Posts: 3,167
I wish.
  #35  
Old 11-03-2007, 11:15 PM
StuffLikeThatThere StuffLikeThatThere is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: a farm in Ohio
Posts: 1,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by zagloba
"shirttail relatives" is a good term for such people, but if your husband made it up independently, he's not the first or only one to do so. I've heard and read it in many places, though I can't tell you how common or widespread it is.
Oh, probably he didn't, then. He's just the only one I've ever heard use it, and he does have a tendency toward coining new phrases if there isn't an appropriate one available. But if you've heard it elsewhere, probably so has he.
  #36  
Old 11-03-2007, 11:18 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
Elephant Whisperer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 37,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revenant Threshold
Title says it all, really. Is there a word for this relationship?
In Tennessee, he's often your grandfather.
  #37  
Old 11-04-2007, 01:19 PM
DefyingGravity DefyingGravity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 97
Inlaws of your sibling = "Competitors for presence of sibling at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner".
  #38  
Old 11-05-2007, 01:56 AM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N/W Arkansas
Posts: 8,070
No deaths, divorces or remarriages or other stuff allowed my Dad to say, "My sister-in-law's son-in-law is my brother-in-law."
  #39  
Old 11-05-2007, 03:57 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Troynovant
Posts: 7,768
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuffLikeThatThere
Oh, probably he didn't, then. He's just the only one I've ever heard use it, and he does have a tendency toward coining new phrases if there isn't an appropriate one available. But if you've heard it elsewhere, probably so has he.
Yes, it's an old phrase. Here's OED's earliest cite for it:

Quote:
1941 Amer. Speech XVI. 24/2 Shirt-tail kin, a remote relationship.
  #40  
Old 11-05-2007, 06:43 AM
Shecky Shecky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: About Exit 105 or so.
Posts: 920
We call them our out-laws.
  #41  
Old 11-05-2007, 07:49 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,198
Ancient Latin had very precise terms for relationships between family members. Many languages do (although I don't think any are as specific as the imagined one in Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy). My Latin dictionary has an interesting page showing these terms in a family tree, but I don't have it here, and haven't been able to find anything similar in a quick internet search. I'll bet they had a term ffor what the OP is looking for.

Contemporary English is sadly deficient in such terms. We end up labeling a lot of folks "cousins" of various sorts, or "great aunts/uncles".
  #42  
Old 11-05-2007, 10:47 AM
StuffLikeThatThere StuffLikeThatThere is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: a farm in Ohio
Posts: 1,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by aldiboronti
Yes, it's an old phrase. Here's OED's earliest cite for it:
Thanks! I crave an OED, but can't quite justify buying it.
  #43  
Old 11-05-2007, 03:45 PM
RoniaBorkason RoniaBorkason is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: West Laurentia
Posts: 423
Cal, I think I found what you were looking for - is this it?

Latin Family Relationship Titles
  #44  
Old 11-05-2007, 04:03 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,198
Basically. I think the one I saw went a little farther, and had it all in one diagram, but that's the basic idea.
  #45  
Old 11-05-2007, 05:52 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 9,857
What I want is a term for what my sons' in-laws (especially M&FIL) are to me (other than competition). Because I think that's a relationship unlike others.

I've been tempted to use Shecky's out-laws, and not because of any animosity.
  #46  
Old 11-05-2007, 10:01 PM
movingfinger movingfinger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,644
My mother referred to such people as "Christmas Card Cousins" as that was the only time of the year they came anywhere near her radar screen.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017