Author Topic: Referring to Aunts and Uncles  (Read 7900 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

daen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 888
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2014, 09:31:13 AM »
Canadian here, and a part of a very family-oriented subculture. (I'm not a genealogist myself, but I know all my first cousins and many of my second cousins. Figuring out connections with someone from this subculture you've just met frequently involves determining if you have relatives in common, or if you're acquainted with any of each other's relatives.)

Uncles and aunts, as well as great-uncles and -aunts, and parents' friends all get "Tante [Firstname]" and "Onkel [Firstname]." (German is also a part of said subculture) As a child, if I was speaking German, I would use Onkel or Tante in place of Mr. or Mrs. I still do this, and I'm in my forties. My parents referred to their cousins as "Cousin [Firstname]" to help give us some context about who they were talking about.

There are a few relatives who are nicknamed, due to duplicate first names, and there are a few that I call Auntie instead of Tante. As per Outdoor Girl, there are also some of my parents' friends where I can't settle on what to call them now, so I avoid using names at all.

I had one of my uncles as a teacher in high school. I was not to call him "uncle" in the classroom, and I refused to call him "Mr. [Lastname]" because it sounded weird. I ended up calling him "Excuse me" instead. (Picture me with my hand up in the classroom - "Um, Excuse me? Excuse me? I have a question...")

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9081
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2014, 09:39:15 AM »
I have an Aunt X, an Uncle Y, and an Auntie Z. I also have an uncle who is about 13 years my junior (long story) and I never did get into the habit of calling him Uncle; I call him by first name alone, like I do my cousins.

Most of my friends' parents are of the "Call me Mary" sort.

TriCrazy73

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 122
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2014, 09:48:21 AM »
I still call my aunts and uncles by "Aunt" and "Uncle".  Maybe when talking to other people and referring to them, I just use the first name, but even though I am 41, I still feel disrespectful if I don't use their "titles" when talking to them.

mime

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 808
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2014, 10:40:52 AM »
Midwestern US here. I know that my mom refers to her aunts and uncles without the title anymore, and that is common in her generation. I can't say it felt very natural to me, though.

Great aunts and uncles and one of my regular aunts and uncles were so much older than me me that it felt natural and respectful to keep the title. My other regular aunt and uncle moved to the south, where "Miss-" in front of a woman's name was common in their social circles, so keeping the titles felt very appropriate. My Auntie Carol will always be affectionately called "Auntie Carol".

Friends' parents and parents' friends were harder, especially those I knew as a child. My neighborhood gradually established a rite of passage (sort of) that upon turning 10 years old, a child called neighbors by their first names rather than "Mr and Mrs Whoever".


LadyClaire

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9915
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »
I call my mother's sister "Deyze" (which is turkish, and literally means "mother's sister"). My nephew calls me Deyze as well. Since my Dad's family isn't turkish, I always just called my uncles on that side Uncle Fred, Uncle Bob, and so on.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6944
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #50 on: May 06, 2014, 11:11:29 AM »
A small aside on Cousins. 

I was the last of a long list of cousins.  I was only 8 when the eldest was married.  Cousins close to me in age were addressed by first name only but older cousins were addressed as 'Cousin X'.  This preserved the 'respect for elders' without pushing things too far. 

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9081
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #51 on: May 06, 2014, 11:17:18 AM »
A small aside on Cousins. 

I was the last of a long list of cousins.  I was only 8 when the eldest was married.  Cousins close to me in age were addressed by first name only but older cousins were addressed as 'Cousin X'.  This preserved the 'respect for elders' without pushing things too far.

We never did the Cousin X thing. Not sure if it was the lack of a huge age gap or if we just weren't all that formal. On the side of the family I saw a lot less often, the oldest cousin is about 5 years my senior. On the other side, I'm the oldest myself, and nobody's a whole generation younger.

BeagleMommy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3256
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #52 on: May 06, 2014, 12:38:14 PM »
Pennsylvania here.

My family is a big mixed up mess.

Dad is the youngest of five.  His side of the family were always Uncle Benny, Uncle Billy, Aunt Mary Ann and Aunt Audrey.

Mom is the middle of five.  Her older brothers are Uncle Jack and Uncle Rich but her younger sisters are Diane and Donna.

My nieces call me Aunt BeagleMommy and DS calls my brother Uncle BeagleMommy's Brother.

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3361
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #53 on: May 06, 2014, 01:50:11 PM »
I am now and forever shall be Aunt SamiHami to my nieces and nephews. It's just how it's done in my family and in DH's as well. I'm almost 50 and my Aunt Barb is still Aunt Barb. We also never called any of my parents friends "Aunt" or "Uncle." Those titles were reserved for relatives only. Friends were always Mr./Mrs./Miss. And my grandparents are long deceased, but I had one Gramma that would knock a gc through a wall if they dared call her by her first name!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Daydream

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 290
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #54 on: May 06, 2014, 02:01:27 PM »
I refer to my aunts and uncles as "Aunt/Uncle FirstName". This is standard in my family. 

One exception to this, however, was me at one point.  Most people in my family are adults when they first become aunts/uncles, but I was a pre-teen.  For a few years, my sister's kids just called me by my first name. 

Then, one day when I was well into my teens, one of them called me "Daydream," as usual, and my BIL responded to them with, "AUNT Daydream," and added something about how they should call me that out of respect. 

I don't remember if my sister said anything in agreement, or if she was even in the room at the time.  I also don't know if they'd discussed it beforehand.  I remember wondering if the kids were going to resist using "Aunt Daydream," because they weren't used to it, or perhaps just forget to, but they didn't.  The eldest is 30 now and they all still call me that. 

It's a good thing I didn't mind being called "Aunt Daydream" since BIL didn't ask me!  :D    The truth is, I had noticed how the kids referred to his sisters as "Aunt FirstNames"  and kind of wished I was referred to that way, too.  But I never would have said anything at that age, or maybe ever.  I just assumed no one felt I "deserved" it since I was young when my sister started having kids. 

I don't know if it had always bothered BIL that his kids didn't address me that way, or if it suddenly bothered him because I'd become a young woman, but I really appreciated him doing that.

I don't think anyone in my family refers to non-relatives as Aunt or Uncle.   Aside from teachers, I don't think I was ever told to refer to an adult as Mr. or Ms. as a child, either.   

My parents' friends were just known to me by their first names, but as others have mentioned, I'm pretty sure I avoided calling them that to their face.  If my mother's friend, Sally, was in our living room, I might have said to her, "Would you like something to drink?"    Then I'd go into the kitchen where my mother was and say, "I'm getting some soda for Sally."
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 02:27:22 PM by Daydream »

Figgie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 418
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2014, 04:35:40 PM »
Our family drops the Aunt or Uncle title as soon as we become adults.  My Mom did that with the generation above her, as did my Grandmother (with the generation above her).  The only time the titles are used are if I need a quick way to say how they are related to me.

Because I grew up with a strong family tradition of first names, it was a very easy transition over to calling friends of my parents by their first names once I reached adulthood.  :)  Of course, those adults wanted to be called by their first names.  If they asked me to use their title and last name, I certainly would do that, but I would then have requested that they use Ms and my last name in return.

I tend to go with whatever the other person wants as far as names, but it is important to me that it works both ways.  First names, go ahead and use my first name too.  :)  Titles and last names, that's cool...just make sure that you use my title and last name too.

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2464
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2014, 04:43:18 PM »
In my experience, it varies quite a bit by family.

In my family (both my father's and myther's side), aunts and uncles are usually referred to by first name.  In LadyTango's family, aunts and uncles are addressed by title & first name (i.e. Aunt Sue or Uncle Bob.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31735
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2014, 04:51:04 PM »
I'm in my middle thirties, and I have never dropped the honorific for my Aunts and Uncles.   The only one of whom I don't use an honorific for is my Uncle's second wife.  He divorced and remarried after I did, so I did not grow up using an honorific for this aunt.  Even though I like her very much it just hasn't come up, or seemed natural to call her my aunt when she came into my life after I had a kiddo of my own.  Should I ever see my Uncle's former wife again at a wedding or other event, I don't know if I could bring myself to use an honorific knowing why the marriage ended.


One of my uncles divorced and remarried. I never call his new wife "Aunt Shelley."

But when I went for his daughter's wedding, her mom picked me & DD up at the airport, and I said, "DD, this is my Auntie Marie." She will always be my aunt, because that's the relationship she had with me.

Miss Understood

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1285
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2014, 05:28:58 PM »
I always called my aunts and uncles "Aunt ____" and "Uncle ____" even as an adult.  However, there were also a few adults I knew growing up (close friends of my parents) whom I called "Aunt" or "Uncle" as a child but not as an adult.  Wait, actually there was one who was always "Aunt ____" now that I think of it, but she was much older and very much like a grandmother figure to me.  I was raised in Northern California if region matters.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 05:38:05 PM by Miss Understood »

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3616
Re: Referring to Aunts and Uncles
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2014, 07:06:59 PM »
I strongly modeled the adults around me because I was so eager to grow up, and I was the eldest (of 18, now!) cousins. As a result, I called all my aunts and uncles by their first names (though "Uncle" somehow got tossed on the front of uncles' names more often--incidentally, I also saw them less!). It drove my aunts crazy.

I always addressed letters to them with Aunt/Uncle, though! I tried to get into the habit of using titles once I knew it annoyed them, but it was hard. Still is--and they still prefer it.

My youngest aunt married a guy who was the same age as my then-boyfriend (roughly in the middle of aunt's and my 13-year age difference). I've only met him a few times, but he'll probably never be "Uncle"!

Great aunts and uncles are always Aunt or Uncle Firstname; parents and grandparents don't get names, just titles.

I always called my parents' friends and friends' parents by their first names unless asked to do differently.