cross-cousin


cross-cousin
/kraws"kuz'euhn, kros"-/, n.
a cousin who is the child either of one's mother's brother or one's father's sister. Cf. parallel cousin.
[1930-35]

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      the child of one's mother's brother or father's sister. Scholars of kinship distinguish the different types of first cousin as follows: the children of a father's siblings are patrilateral cousins, and those of a mother's siblings are matrilateral cousins; the children of a mother's sister or of a father's brother are parallel cousins (sometimes called ortho-cousins); and the children of a father's sister or of a mother's brother are cross-cousins.

      Whereas the English word cousin covers all of these relationships, many languages place parallel cousins and cross-cousins in separate categories; in such cases, the terms used to denote parallel cousins are frequently the same as those denoting siblings. A smaller group of languages places the parallel cousins in one category but distinguishes the patrilateral cross-cousins from the matrilateral cross-cousins. Still another group of languages uses separate words for each of the four possible kinds of cousins: patrilateral cross-cousins, patrilateral parallel cousins, matrilateral cross-cousins, and matrilateral parallel cousins.

      Some societies consider first-cousin marriages to be ideal. In those that differentiate between cross-cousins and parallel cousins, cross-cousin marriage is usually preferred or sometimes even obligatory, while marriage between parallel cousins often falls under incest taboos (taboo). In exceptional cases, however, the opposite is true. Even when a cross-cousin is the preferential mate, actual instances of such marriages in a given society may be small, for such decisions are also influenced by local customs governing succession, inheritance, and residence. Cross-cousin marriage often acts as a device to strengthen alliances between clans (clan).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cross cousin — The son or daughter of one s father s sister or mother s brother • • • Main Entry: ↑cousin cross cousin see under ↑cousin • • • Main Entry: ↑cross …   Useful english dictionary

  • cross cousin — n. Anthrop. a cousin who is the child of one s father s sister or one s mother s brother: see PARALLEL COUSIN * * * …   Universalium

  • cross cousin — n. Anthrop. a cousin who is the child of one s father s sister or one s mother s brother: see PARALLEL COUSIN …   English World dictionary

  • cross-cousin — ˈ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun Etymology: cross (III) : one of two cousins especially of different sex who are respectively the children of a brother and of a sister the institution of cross cousin marriage compare parallel cousin * * * /kraws kuz euhn,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cross-cousin — In kinship theory, cross cousin is a term used to describe first cousins whose related parents are of the opposite sex. In other words the mother of one is the sister of the father of the other. Societies vary as to whether they forbid or prefer… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • cross-cousin — noun The relationship between two cousins or two groups of cousins whose parents are brother and sister, respectively …   Wiktionary

  • cross-cousin — noun each of two cousins who are children of a brother and sister …   English new terms dictionary

  • cross-cousin marriage — marriage between the children of a brother and sister. Cf. parallel cousin marriage. [1885 90] * * * …   Universalium

  • cross-cousin marriage — marriage between the children of a brother and sister. Cf. parallel cousin marriage. [1885 90] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cousin marriage — Charles Darwin and his wife Emma were first cousins. Cousin marriage is marriage between two cousins. In various jurisdictions and cultures, such marriages range from being considered ideal and actively encouraged, to being uncommon but still… …   Wikipedia


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