Dating my second cousin
The Oxford English Corpus indicates that removal is a forceful process: the most frequent collocations of remove show that figures of authority (police, government, doctors, surgeons, officers) remove troublesome objects (barriers, materials, tumors, obstacles, restrictions, threats) so that we can get on with our lives unhindered by such hurdles.Who knows – perhaps our own terminology could be partly responsible for that lack of familiarity many of us can feel towards our extended family, at least in the English-speaking world?It’s been used in this sense since at least 1548, according to the OED, but for many English speakers it may carry subliminally negative overtones.The Oxford Thesaurus of English, for example, throws up synonyms ranging from .
According to the standard symmetrical terminology used by most genealogists, Alice and Hermione are therefore first cousins once removed (not, as is quite often thought, second cousins – for that relationship, see Second time around). (Other genealogists support an alternative system altogether where relations are completely asymmetrical, but I will leave that for you to explore.) Before we move on to second cousins, let’s take a quick look at that peculiar word .The Chinese dictionary entry shows in more detail that our simple can be translated in at least eight different ways, not just according to whether the cousin is male or female, but also whether they are on the father’s or mother’s side, and whether they are older or younger than the speaker.