LANARK-L ArchivesArchiver > LANARK > 2005-12 > 1133956129
From: "Nivard Ovington" <>
Subject: Re: [LKS] "How great thou art!"
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 11:48:49 -0000
I was not going to comment but as the thread has trundled on I would just
like to give my opinion as to your comments.
> I know that "grand uncle" is probably preferred in England, but
> "great uncle" is a legitimate variant in Canada, the U.S., and
> Scotland. I'm sure that if you check the OED, you'll find that it is
> also used in England, although I'm not positive of that. I know it
> certainly occurs in Shakespeare. As for Australia--well, I really
> don't know how representative you are.
I have never in 50 years ever heard the term "Grand" used in conjunction
with Uncle/Aunt or Nephew/Niece in the UK
The term used in my experience has always been Great Uncle then Great Great
Uncle (or Aunt, or Niece/Nephew etc)
It may say different in as many dictionaries as exist but I for one have
never heard it used here. I have only ever come across the term from
American/Canadian or Australians.
Now having said that does it matter? Not a jot I would say.
To the original question posed I would say that any relationship given is
based only on what that person knew and how "they" interpreted (or were
brought up to use) an expression.
The terms of Step Daughter/Son , Brother/Sister in Law, Cousin, or any other
term found in Wills, Census etc are variable and used in different ways by
When growing up there were many people called Uncle or Aunt that had no
family connection at all, usually a very close friend of one or other
parents and used as a show of togetherness and closeness. I presume I am not
alone in that?
So any relationship needs qualifying where there is an element of doubt, by
some other means.
Best wishes Nivard Ovington Cornwall (UK)