Where does the term “Cousin-German” come from and What does Cousin German mean?

This matter of cousinship is sometimes made more complicated than it should be.

German is now rarely used in such relationship, replaced by the more readily understood first or full, coming from Latin germanus, denoting such relationship.

My brother’s son is my son’s cousin german, or first or full cousin.

My brother’s grandson is my son’s first cousin once removed, and is my grandson’s second cousin.

If you wish to carry it further, my brother’s great-grandson is my son’s first cousin twice removed, my grandson’s second cousin once removed, and my great-grandson’s third cousin.

But, even in the South, this degree of relationship scarcely constitutes a “kissing cousin,” unless the third cousin is female and very pretty.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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