Is it right to say?

Bindu   Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:16 pm GMT
Hi Friends!!

Can we say like this:

My cousin sister
My cousin brother - if no then how should say our uncle's

or aunty's son or daughter?
guest   Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:28 pm GMT
your uncle's or aunt's son or daughter would simply be 'cousin'

there is no gender disctinction between the two in Standard English

"cousin brother" and "cousin sister" sound funny
they evoke a weird religious sect to me (i.e. Prophet So-and-so, etc.)
Bindhu   Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:18 pm GMT
I am still wondering how to distinguish the male and female with the word cousin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lazar   Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:03 pm GMT
It's really just a gender neutral word. I suppose you could specify "male cousin" or "female cousin", but usually it's discernible from context.
RayH   Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:32 pm GMT
I've often found this odd about English. We have gender specific words for many family relationships but not all.
For example:
etc., etc. but not for cousins. Very odd.
Amabo   Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:08 am GMT
"Very odd."

Not odd at all.

The word "cousin" came into English from French where it exists in both masculine and feminine form ("cousin"/"cousine"). But the gender-differentiating pronunciation in French ("-in"/"-ine") did not carry over.

So (as someone noted) the only way to specify sex is:

1. by using "male cousin" or "female cousin" - I've also heard "boy cousin" and "girl cousin" for younger people;

2. by using it with a name - "Cousin Matt" or "Cousin Amy"; or

3. by context - "my cousin is visiting Chicago for the first time and she loves the city."

By the way, "cousin" is not gender-neutral, it's epicene. That's to say, it can refer to either sex.

In language, gender and sex are not synonymous terms.
K. T.   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:25 am GMT
To me "cousin brother" reminds me of Russian.
K. T.   Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:32 am GMT
It also reminds me of Serbo-Croatian. Hmmm, I wonder if this is common in all Slavic languages.

Back to the question, if I am talking about a male cousin, I'll use "he" somewhere in the conversation or his name.

If your cousin has a name like "Pat" or "Erin/Aaron" some clarification may be in order.
guest   Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:57 am GMT
In Serbo-Croatian, isn't a male cousin just referred to as a 'brother'?

'Cousin' in English is no different than the word 'friend'. They're both "epicene" ;)
Guest   Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:31 am GMT
<In Serbo-Croatian, isn't a male cousin just referred to as a 'brother'? <
brother = brat; cousin = bratić/bratanac
sister = sestra; cousin = sestrićna

<I wonder if this is common in all Slavic languages.<
I think it is.
K. T.   Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:41 pm GMT
Very interesting. I have some detective work in store for me. My SC materials use yet another term.
Guest   Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:11 am GMT
<My SC materials use yet another term<
K. T.   Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:43 pm GMT
I have a very old (1970s) language course in Serbo-Croatian. That's all my library had. I haven't sorted this language out. When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to a speaker of this language (when Yugoslavia was a country) and I learned some words. Last year I came into contact with speakers of this language several times and learned some more. I can't really give intelligent opinions on whether a word is correct or not until I can find a good dictionary comparing words in Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian. It's a beautiful language, though.

Anyway, I'm going a little too far off topic for the English section. It's interesting when we see direct translations from other languages here. It always makes me wonder what the poster's native language is.
Guest   Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:03 pm GMT
If you mean "rođak" (rodjak), it's really a wider term. It stands for a "relative", so it can be a cousin or a grandfather.
Guest   Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:06 pm GMT
<makes me wonder what the poster's native language is<
I'm an agent too. Shhh.