Author Topic: Referring to Aunts and Uncles  (Read 6950 times)

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EllenS

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #75 on: May 15, 2014, 03:45:15 PM »
US here, early 40's, deep south upbringing. Aunt and Uncle are lifelong titles if acquired by blood or marriage.

There are also honorary Aunts and Uncles who lose their titles when the child is old enough to have an independent relationship with them (teens/adulthood), or if they acquire some other nickname. However, since these are most often close friends of the parents, it's not very usual for the kid to grow up and maintain the relationship on their own, so they usually revert to Mr and Mrs so and so, or just lose touch altogether.

Take2

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #76 on: May 17, 2014, 10:25:00 PM »
I am almost 40 and in Texas, and I call all my living aunts and uncles Aunt X and Uncle Y. My adult nieces and nephew call me Aunt Name and my husband Uncle Name. My kids call their aunts and uncles Aunt X and Uncle Y as well...except my brother because when my DD was little she called him Monkey Name by mistake and it stuck.

Oddly, my husband calls his aunts and uncles as well as mine Aunt X and Uncle Y when referring to them in conversation, but addresses them just by first name.

m2kbug

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #77 on: May 18, 2014, 01:48:33 AM »
I'd say mostly first name basis for me, but I have a few aunts and uncles where Aunt and Uncle are attached, mostly I think it just rolls off the tongue easier, can't explain it, more like a nickname.  When referring to someone, it's Aunt Jane or Uncle Bob, the same way talking about Grampa Jones or Grandma Smith, but face-to-face, drop the aunt/uncle.  I remember when I was little, my aunt, who was quite young, said not to call her aunt, it's too old, and she really hasn't been "aunt" ever since.  I call her Auntie when referencing her with my kids in conversation, but she's just Jane when we see her or when talking to other family.  I have a cousin, and just with the age gap, I'm "auntie" and she's my "niece."  She calls me auntie m2kbug.  I haven't paid a whole lot of attention with my other nieces and nephews, I think I'm Auntie m2kbug most of the time or maybe they've dropped the auntie part.  I don't really care one way or the other, so it really hasn't hit my radar.  I'm not really sure where my kids are.  I just asked my daughter if she still uses aunt/uncle, because I really haven't paid much attention. and she said mostly no, but some family are a little more formal and not as close or well known and aunt/uncle are still used. 

Margo

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2014, 02:19:49 PM »
First name basis as an adult. On my mother's side of the family, there is a very long tradition of everyone being on firt name terms (I always called my grand parents by their first names, for instance) so it was always first names for aunts and unckes, too.

On my dad's side we don't have a lot of relatives, but my dad's brother and his wife were Uncle and Aunt while we were growing up, I started using first names once I was an adult as it seemed more natural. My great aunt was always 'Auntie Name' to everyone (my generation and my parents' generation) however.

In my family we've never much gone in for 'courtesy' titles although lots of people here do - I recall visiting a friend of mine when her son was young, and she immediately referred to me as 'Auntie Margo', and that's what he calls me. Even though I wouldn't have any issue with him (or any actual nephews or nieces I may acquire) calling me by my name, I was quite flattered that I rated being an 'Auntie' to him!

EllenS

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #79 on: May 20, 2014, 03:08:22 PM »
True story (or as true as any family story) - my grandfather had an aunt called "Aunt Sister". She had spent her whole childhood being called "Sister" (common practice in her day for little girls) and the name just stuck. She then outlived everyone of her generation, and by the time my grandfather was an adult nobody alive could remember her real name!

magicdomino

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #80 on: May 20, 2014, 04:00:50 PM »
My siblings and I still refer to our older relatives as Aunt or Uncle.  On the other hand, my nieces and nephews have never called me Aunt, probably because they are within 5 or 10 years of my age.   I've been trying to remember if they ever called my much older siblings Aunt or Uncle, but to be honest, I don't think the niece/nephews spent much time with them.  We aren't the closest of families.

Next generation, however are all calling me Aunt, and I have heard them call one brother Uncle.  They've never met or spoken to my other brother, but presumably he would be Uncle as well.  One family has an honorary uncle as well, a long-time friend of the family.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #81 on: May 21, 2014, 02:23:07 PM »
In our family, we tend to refer to people as "Aunt/Uncle So and So" but we address them as "So and So". 

So, when I was a child, my parents might say, "We're going to visit Aunt Mary and Uncle John this weekend" but then when we got there, we all would say "Hello, Mary!" or "Good to see you again, John!" or whatever.  This was this way as far back as I can remember-no difference in address from when  I was a child to when I was an adult.

I think it's because there are so many people with similar names in the world, that it helps to tell them apart.  If I were to say to other members of my family, "I just talked to Sue the other day and she said she got a new car", the first reaction would be "Sue who? Sue from work? Sue that is George's mother? Online Sue?  Who?" and just saying "I talked to Aunt Sue..." and everybody knows right away.

LadyR

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #82 on: May 22, 2014, 01:13:40 AM »
It depends. My father's sisters who are in their 70s? They are still Aunts. They are aunts when I talk about them and when I address them in person. I can't imagine calling them by their first names.

My mother's family? Well before I gave several of them the cut-direct, I had still dropped Aunt for all but the oldest siblings and that is more when I talked to them than when I referred to them. The ones who are 10-15 years older than me were referred to by their first names since the time I was a teen.


oogyda

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #83 on: May 22, 2014, 07:04:46 AM »
Slightly off-topic..

Aunts and Uncles have those titles either by blood or by marriage.  I've long wondered why the ones who have obtained the title by marriage aren't referred to as Aunt-in-law or Uncle-in-law in the same way other in-laws are. 

Most of the time it doesn't matter, but sometimes it is pertinent. 
It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.

Roe

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #84 on: May 25, 2014, 11:01:25 AM »
Tia or Tio is how we refer to aunts and uncles in my family. We can say Tia Mary or just Tia, but never just Mary. It would be a sign of disrespect in my family.

Same here. My Tio's and Tia's (whether by blood or marriage) will always have the title in front of their name. Seems strange to me to drop the title once you become an adult, after all, it's not a kid thing, it's a respect thing. At least in our family.

Bellantara

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #85 on: May 25, 2014, 11:29:50 AM »
Another Southerner here, early 40s. My aunts and uncles and their spouses are still Aunt and Uncle Whomever. The lone exception to that was my uncle's wife Ginny. He married her when my cousins and I were all in our 30s, and *shrugs* she was just Ginny.

Margo

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #86 on: May 27, 2014, 08:34:35 AM »
Slightly off-topic..

Aunts and Uncles have those titles either by blood or by marriage.  I've long wondered why the ones who have obtained the title by marriage aren't referred to as Aunt-in-law or Uncle-in-law in the same way other in-laws are. 

Most of the time it doesn't matter, but sometimes it is pertinent.

I've heard people say 'uncle / aunt by marriage where it was pertinent, but as you say, mostly is doesn't matter.

It's actually differentiating between sisters and sisters-in-law, brothers and brother-in-law, (and indeed between step- and full siblings) which is 'new'  Historically people tended not to differentiate. I guess that most of the time, it doesn't matter much to those outside the immediate relationship, and to those it is likely to matter to, there isn't a need to differentiate as you already know.

Thipu1

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #87 on: May 27, 2014, 11:53:13 AM »
I have used 'Aunt by marriage' or 'Uncle by marriage' only in a medical context. 

'Aunt by marriage' is the only relative who had breast cancer.  'Uncle by marriage' is the only relative who had Altzheimer's.  In that context, the distinction makes sense.  In ordinary contexts, they were just referred to as 'Aunt' or 'Uncle'. 

Dindrane

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #88 on: May 27, 2014, 10:07:58 PM »
I grew up in Texas, and referred to and addressed all of my aunts and uncles by titles when I was a child (as did all my cousins). Now that I am an adult, I might sometimes refer to my aunts and uncles with just a first name, but I can't even remotely begin to bring myself to address them without the title. I don't really know if they would have an opinion on what I call them (now that I'm nearly 30), but I can't do it. It's just too weird.

My brother and I and several of our cousins are married, and I don't think any of our spouses use the "aunt" and "uncle" titles. I think the spouses in general call their in-laws by their first names, or studiously call them nothing at all.

My husband's family, on the other hand, mostly lives in a country where not using titles would be unthinkable. So I call all of my in-laws with some sort of title, except for the ones who are younger than me (who instead use a title of some sort for me). The titles in use are basically the equivalent of "aunt" and "uncle" for people in your parents' generation or older, and "older sister" or "older brother" for people who aren't quite old enough to merit the aunt or uncle title, but are still older than you. They're usually tacked on to a person's first name or nickname, except within immediate families (i.e. my husband talking to his older sister) where it would be immediately self-evident who is being addressed/talked about.

With my own nieces and nephews, my brother's kids are kind of spotty about calling us aunt and uncle. He mostly calls me "Aunt Dindrane" when he talks about me to them, but they don't always use the title. Then again, they are also 1 and a half and 3, so I'm not about to quibble. I really would prefer that they use the titles for me and my husband, although I'm not sure it will ever be important enough to do more than just refer to myself that way (like when I sign their birthday cards).

My husband's sister's older son gets regularly chided by his parents to not drop the title when talking to or about me. He's very consistent with titles for everyone except me (because he lives in my husband's home country), so it is kind of odd that he doesn't use it consistently for me. To his parents, it's a sign of disrespect, so even if I wasn't particularly bothered by it on my own account, I do remind him to call me "[Aunt] Dindrane" when he slips. And truly, I rather like the title. Being someone's aunt is a special thing, and it gives me warm fuzzies to have people refer to me as such.


MariaE

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Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #89 on: May 28, 2014, 01:08:43 AM »
Slightly off-topic..

Aunts and Uncles have those titles either by blood or by marriage.  I've long wondered why the ones who have obtained the title by marriage aren't referred to as Aunt-in-law or Uncle-in-law in the same way other in-laws are. 

Most of the time it doesn't matter, but sometimes it is pertinent.

In Danish, there are actually different words for this:
"Moster/faster" - literally "mother's sister / father's sister"
"Morbror/farbror" - literally "mother's brother / father's brother".
"Tante" - aunt - the person married to morbror or farbror OR a "catchall" to mean all aunts, mostre and fastre.
"Onkel" - uncle - the person married to moster or faster OR a "catchall" as above.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice