[APG Public List] shirttail cousins

Craig Kilby persisto at live.com
Sun Jun 13 08:24:10 MDT 2010


My own two cents here. I do not think it would be fair to say this a strictly Irish term. My mother's German family calls them "shirt sleeve" relatives. As other have noted, the term is also called "Kissing Cousins." in English.  I would not make too much of it. You might want to explore other terms in other cultures and languages and then present a report. I would suspect Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese might turn up some good phrases for you. And that is just the Western Hemisphere.


On Jun 13, 2010, at 8:57 AM, LBoswell wrote:

> Would it be fair to say the term 'shirttail cousins' has Irish origins (as do some of these colorful, but apt descriptive phrases).  What I like about it is that it implies a characterization of the relationship in a more apt way than just "family of my second cousin's wife".   Some saying, 'they're my wife's shirttail kin" would convey more of a sense. Like "kissing cousins" (far enough removed that they could marry without breaking any cultural taboos)
> Larry
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Kathy Rippel
> To: LBoswell ; apgpubliclist at apgen.org
> Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2010 1:11 AM
> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] shirttail cousins
> In my experience, the term "kissing cousins" has been used in much the same way to mean distant "cousins", perhaps with no actual blood relationship (married in to the family, cousins of cousins, or even just distant cousins where the actual relationship is too convuluted to figure)
> Kathy
> At 01:18 PM 6/12/2010, LBoswell wrote:
>> Just curious as to any interpretations of the phrase "shirttail cousins".  I've had an excellent answer on TheoryGen but wondering if the phrase has different meanings in different locations?
>> Any other similar 'slang' type phrases defining kinship?  
>> best
>> Larry
>> Larry Boswell BA, PLCGS
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