Author Topic: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?  (Read 1490 times)

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #27 on: Monday 07 January 19 18:18 GMT (UK) »
The Oxford dictionary has
Uncle - NOUN - The brother of one's father or mother or the husband of one's aunt.

English Language is a strange thing, I hate as a female being addressed as a 'Guy(s)'   after all 'Guy' is male why should 'Guys'  be both sexes.

For the same reason as man applies to males and females, incidentally Guy is a name which may be a forename or surname and when used as a surname applies equally to the males and the females in the family. I suggest you meant guy or guys.

Uncle and Aunt in English often refers to adult friends of the family who are not related to the family in any way.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #28 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 15:10 GMT (UK) »
I must admit I do cringe, as a "more mature" female when addressed happily as "You guys..." usually by a pleasant young barman or similar!
No point saying anything, I can almost see why they do it .... but only once have I resorted to "I'm more of a Doll than a Guy", when the lad in question must've used it about 10 times in a short conversation! Needless to say, he looked baffled, although the young woman working alongside him chortled.
I'm certainly an old Grumpy!
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Offline Chilternbirder

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #29 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 15:27 GMT (UK) »
Quote
Is the word "uncle-in-law" ever used

"Oh - hello Uncle in law John - how are you"

No - I can't really see it taking off can you?  Have you ever hear it used - would you use it yourself?

What about honorary uncles and aunts who are just close family friends?  Do we greet them  - "hello honorary aunt/uncle"  ::)

Accept it's just uncle/aunt or christian names
What about cousins once removed called "uncle"? (as my cousin's daughters always address me)
By the time I reached middle age I just addressed uncles and aunts by their Christian names. My mother always thought it a bit "lower class" to use "auntie" for parent's friends and it always had to be Mrs -----. (She could be a bit of a Mrs Bucket at times)
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Offline Chilternbirder

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #30 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 15:33 GMT (UK) »
I think this is a very good question. It is irrelevant that it sounds like a mouthful when you say uncle in law John, as you would never use it in that form. You never address your mother in law as mother-in-law Susan or mother-in-law Mrs Smith.

Martin
I remember from Mrs Dale's Diary that Dr Dale always addressed Mrs Freeman as "mother-in-law".
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Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #31 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 15:58 GMT (UK) »
Someone I knew used to call his mother in law - they got on very well - "Millie" developed from "Mil".
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Offline Paulo Leeds

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #32 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 16:36 GMT (UK) »
You would be talking about very young children here. Part of family life is discovering and explaining relationships through light hearted activities. It used to be looking at photo albums etc but children soon know whose mum and dad their grandparents are. Most families talk and explain.
When it comes to more distant relatives - either in terms of relationship or geography then that could be more complicated.

Thank you Heywood...perfectly put!

Moderator edit: comment removed. Inappropriate.

Annie

...and you're coming across as very rude and a bit of an idiot madam!
HTH

In what way do I need to 'read up on genealogy'? I simply inquired as to what you meant by "they wouldn't be able to grasp the difference between gran & grandad (the relationship) on either side"
as your grasp of English and general grammar seemed as if you were either very old or very young, and it wasn't made clear at all!

Can I suggest you read up on some basic grammar Annie (Rosinish)?

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #33 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 16:38 GMT (UK) »
It is odd that it is sadly OK for a waiter to call a mixed group 'Guys', yet I'd probably get a slap if I called the waitress 'Doll'.  Use of 'guys' for a mixed group has been recorded since the 1950s. (Citation needed, but it was in a US film.)

I've heard groups of girls use it describing themselves.  I really cringe when it is used by a parent for a mixed bunch of small children.

Martin
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Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #34 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 17:49 GMT (UK) »
May I suggest that some posters to this thread read or re-read the following:

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I'm speaking as a Dutch uncle. (Look it up if you don't know what it means.)
             
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Offline Melbell

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Re: Why do we say Uncle, rather than Uncle-in-law?
« Reply #35 on: Tuesday 08 January 19 17:54 GMT (UK) »
When we were little, my brother and I had an "Auntie Scotland" because that's where she lived (a long way away from us).  She was not a relation, but our mother's best friend from their young days.  She was, however, the only person apart from relations that we called Uncle or Aunt. 

Melbell