What’s a SECOND COUSIN ONCE REMOVED? Cousins Explained

What’s a SECOND COUSIN ONCE REMOVED? Cousins Explained

So you’re at a family event.  You meet your grandfather’s brother’s son’s son .  What do you call him, in relation to you?  You navigate the family relationships in your mind.  What a maze.

Your grandfather’s brother is your granduncle.  His son is your First Cousin Once Removed.  And his son is your Second Cousin.  What does “once removed” mean?  What’s the difference between first cousin and second cousin?  Who even created this system anyway?

Ok back to your family event.  You don’t have a cousin chart in your back pocket – But don’t worry.  You can still calculate cousin-hood the fast way.  Here’s how:

Most people know who their first cousin is.  It’s the child of your aunt or uncle.  But not many people know what a second or third cousin is.  To understand, think of the generic word “cousin” as a someone who shares a common grandparent.

That’s why he’s your second cousin.

Most people never meet their third cousins and beyond – unless you’re crazy rich and at your deathbed, and then you’ll meet your third cousin and maybe even fourth cousin you never even knew you had.

But what’s a “Cousin Once Removed” or “Twice Removed”?  Dont worry –  It doesn’t mean they got kicked out of the family.

They are once removed because they are 1 generation away from you.

The pattern is same for your grandparents.  Your grandparents are 2 generations from you.  So your grandparent’s first, second, and third cousins are also YOUR first, second, and third cousins – but TWICE removed.

If you still didn’t follow that, here’s another way to look at it.

You, your siblings, and your first, second, and third cousins are considered to be of the same generation.  It’s not by age or era, but just a categorical grouping.

Cousins who are “removed” are of a different generation.  A cousin who is “once removed” is 1 generation before or after your generation.  A cousin who’s “twice removed” is 2 generations before or after.

Now you can be that cool cousin who knows who’s who at every family event.

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