Word for the spouse of a cousin


New member
Nov 4, 2014
As someone with a sizable extended family (something of rarity in the US these days), I often find myself telling people about something that "my cousin's wife/husband" said or did. Well, okay, it's not "often", but it is "frequent enough that it's become an annoyance to not have a more concise term". I could just use "cousin-in-law", but hyphen-induced concision doesn't count. So I set about searching for a word or phrase to describe the relationship, and have come to the surprising conclusion that English doesn't have one.

Many of you, however, speak other languages, or are from different cultures, perhaps more family-oriented ones that might have been in the same situation and have a term. So I follow the traditional route of the English speaker and borrow a word from another tongue. Can any of you help?

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Feb 9, 2012
Well I Googled "wife of cousin" and got a bunch of porn, thanks for that.
In Spanish we use the same word for brother/sister-in-law whether that person married your sibling or your cousin: cu?ado for male, cu?ada for female. I don't think it gets any more specific. From my experience Latin/Mediterranean cultures use words like uncle and cousin as catch-all terms for extended family.

EDIT: Can't write down the enie (N with squiggly on top).


Elite Member
Jan 16, 2010
That's a good question, there probably is a word for...

Johnny Novgorod said:
Well I Googled "wife of cousin" and got a bunch of porn, thanks for that.
Ok, literally lolled at that.
Apr 5, 2008
There are a lot of things for which we don't have words in english, and I recently had a conversation with a colleague about some foreign words that don't have direct english equivalents.

On the subject of the OP, TBH I'd just say "cousin" and be done. It's a title regarding to a relationship as much as it does to any actual blood ties. You can get into -once-removed and second/third cousins, but often it's easier to just say cousin.

On the subject of other words we don't have, there was a great example in a show I watched a short time back. Guy Pierce has done a series of movies and a mini-series called Jack Irish, based on the eponymous character of a popular aussie book series. He's a former lawyer whose life derailed, and he's now part-detective, part-enforcer with friends on both sides of the law. In one storyline, he's romantically involved with a woman whose father is like a Senator, and whose sister was brainwashed and killed by a religious cult. I regret that this line of thought does necessitate a spoiler, so I would skip this paragraph if you will ever watch the films, else read on. Jack becomes involved with this woman while investigating her sister's death, and in the course of events she's also killed. In his grief, the father sought revenge and takes some lives himself. When Jack finally unravels the threads and finds him, the father says something like "When you lose a wife, you become a widower. When you lose your parents, you're an orphan. But what's the word when you aren't a father anymore?"

It's sensational storytelling, I can't recommend those movies/episodes enough.


New member
Oct 24, 2008
Cousin by marriage.

In actual conversation I would probably say cousin's husband or cousin's wife though.

For instance I might say: "my cousin's husband took a dump on my other cousin's wife's cousin's son-in-law once removed daughter's sofa."

But really. No one you're talking to cares about your family tree. Use names. Then explain the relation if it's important but to outsiders, probably easiest to just say "family".
English is weird in that it's partially a Romantic Language* (from the Normans, who are now the French) but partially not because of the Saxons (who are essentially now Germans, which is why Germans find learning English easiest of the Wester Euro languages) and partially because English is big on taking loan words, unlike other Romantic Languages.
*Romantic Language literally means - Roman-like; as in Latin.

We don't have many of the Romantic Language indicators of sex/gender/relationship or even verb modification other than the word "whom" which no one uses anymore. (The "M" in whom indicates the verb is acting on the "who", so "For Whom the Bell Tolls")

Unless you get knocked up or knock up your cousin, most people won't care about the exact relationship of the cousin. For ease of use, like "Uncle" and "Aunt", it's usually easier to be inclusive and just say "cousin" for married relations.


New member
Oct 7, 2009
Cousins are barely related to you anyway so the spouse of a cousin is nothing to you, so that's probably why there is no word for the spouse of a cousin. Just call them by there name like you would any other person not closely related to you.

Neurotic Void Melody

Bound to escape
Jul 15, 2013
New words are made all the time. Make one up and hope it catches on like hyperactive space rabies. So far, I got 'Cusband' (cousband?) for the husband of the cousin. Annnd, well, the other isn't so catchy, but...Spousin?