[LMB] Ivan's Aunties

Peter Granzeau pgranzeau at cox.net
Thu May 17 15:17:01 BST 2012

At 08:29 AM 5/17/2012, Pat Mathews wrote:

>> From: carolcooper at shaw.ca
>> t_neill t_neill wrote
>> > 
>> > Alys is not Miles's Aunt. She's his first cousin once removed (by
>> > marriage).  Aral is also Ivan's first cousin once removed, not his Uncle.
>> > And yet consistently they are referred to as aunt and uncle and refer to
>> > Miles and Ivan as nephew and Alys calls herself Miles's aunt.  So on
>> > Barrayar, an elder cousin is referred to as an Aunt or Uncle.  Or at least
>> > in this family they are.
>> > 
>> You may be overthinking this bit.  In Britain the adult close friends of
>> one's parents are often addressed as 'Auntie this' and 'Uncle that'.  In
>> North America I observed that my friends' kids insisted on calling me 'Mrs
>> Cooper', which drove me nuts as it sounded to me as if they were addressing
>> some stranger.  
>In many Americal regions, and I'm quite sure in a lot of the South, more distant any relative roughly your own age is "cousin" and any old enough to be adults when you were a child would be called "Aunt" and "Uncle" unless they were strangers to you for some reason. (I'm sure Abner in Hooten'Holler would *NOT* call the Lady of the Big House "Aunt" unless first invited to! Parts of the South are also as hierarchy-conscious as any Brit.)

In rural SE Wisconsin, when I was brought up, my actual uncles and aunts were always called "Uncle Bob" or "Aunt Priscill".  This extended to grand uncles and aunts as well.  My cousins, and my parent's cousins were just called by name.   My father z(whose own parents were dead) called his mother- and father-in-law "Mom" and "Dad", for that matter; to me they were, of course, "Grandma" and "Grampa".

I never once used "Mom" for anyone but my own mother; my own mother-in-law was "Mrs. Wade" (she hated me, and the feeling was reciprocated).

Regards, Pete
pgranzeau at cox.net 

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