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Gender Neutral Term for Aunt and Uncle?

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A transgender and gender-nonconforming listener wonders if there’s a gender-neutral term for “aunt” or “uncle.” Some people have suggested pibling, meaning the “sibling of one’s parent.” Others have proposed baba, titi, bibi, zizi, unty or untie, or simply cousin. In the same way that kids often come up with a pet name for their grandparents, perhaps nieces and nephews (or nieflings, as they’re sometimes collectively called) will come up with their own term. The tumblr Gender Queeries has more suggestions for all kinds of gender-neutral words denoting kinship. This is part of a complete episode.

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  • In my family we use the term Unky or Unty (contraction of uncle & aunty), depending on one’s preference.

  • How about some variants with “kin” as the root? This word on its own already offers a way to describes one’s familial relations without any reference to gender.

    Something like “kinner” or “kinny” could be used to describe an aunt/uncle. The latter seems well suited for forms of address, like Kinny Dylan or Kinny Diane.

    You could also use this form to neutrally describe grandparents with words like “grandkin”, “grandkinner” and “grandkinny”.

    For the other direction, just add a D into the mix, and the word “kinder” seems to work pretty naturally to describe one’s nieces and nephews (or any children a grown-up might feel responsible for).

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