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An aunt is a woman who is a sibling of a parent or married to a sibling of a parent. Aunts who are related by birth are second-degree relatives. Known alternate terms include auntie or aunty. Children in other cultures and families may refer to the cousins of their parents as aunt or uncle due to the age and generation gap.
- A half-aunt is a half-sister of a parent.
- An aunt-in-law is the aunt of one's spouse. An aunt-in-law can also be an aunt by marriage (female spouse of a relative).
- A great-aunt/grandaunt (sometimes written grand-aunt) is the sister of one's grandparent. Despite the popular usage of great-aunt, genealogists consider it more correct to use grandaunt for a grandparent's sister to avoid confusion with earlier generations. Similarly, the female siblings of one's great-grandparents are referred to as great-grandaunts.
Genetics and consanguinity
Aunts by birth (sister of a parent) are related to their nieces and nephews by 25%. As half-aunts are related through half-sisters, they are related by 12.5% to their nieces and nephews. Non-consanguineous aunts (female spouse of a relative) are not genetically related to their nieces and nephews.
In some cultures, no single inclusive term describing both a person's kinship to their parental female sibling or parental female in-law exists. Instead, there are specific terms describing a person's kinship to their mother's female sibling, and a person's kinship to their father's female sibling.
|Language||Mother's sister||Father's sister|
|Polish||ciotka (diminutive: ciocia)||stryjna (diminutive: stryjenka)|
Aunts in popular culture
Fictional aunts include:
- May Parker, the aunt of Spider-Man.
- Auntie Mame, title character in the novel and film.
- Petunia Dursley, the aunt of the protagonist of Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling.
- Vivian Banks, the aunt of the main character in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
- Aunt Sally, a character in the Worzel Gummidge books and TV series.
- Aunt Em, the aunt of Dorothy Gale in the Oz books and film.
- Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge, the villainous aunts of James Trotter in James and the Giant Peach.
An agony aunt is a colloquial term for a female advice columnist.
- All pages with titles beginning with Aunt – includes many articles with titles "Aunt [name]."
- Auntie (disambiguation) (also includes "Aunty")
- "Definition of great-aunt in English by Oxford Dictionaries". oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Google Ngram Viewer of relative versions of name". Google Ngram. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Grandaunt definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Definition of grand-aunt in English by Oxford Dictionaries". oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Relationship Chart by Betty Eichhorn" (PDF). devonfhs.org.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2020.