Origin of cousin
Definition for cousin (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for cousin
Mating with a cousin or brother is safer than risking life and limb to mate with an outsider.Mongooses, Meerkats, and Ants, Oh My! Why Some Animals Keep Mating All in the Family|Helen Thompson|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A few worries, to be sure, but not that cousin of depression and anxiety, dread.Awaiting the Grand Jury, Dread in Ferguson and America|Gene Robinson|November 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The second-to-last time we met Zalwar Khan, he brought a man he introduced as his cousin.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley|Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman|November 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
His brother and cousin had been killed a week earlier, he told her.Escaping Assad’s Rape Prisons: A Survivor Tells Her Story|Jamie Dettmer|October 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A cousin took me to the National Frontier Trail Museum, where I jotted down dutiful notes.
But when they rose Michael signed to his cousin to go on, and planted himself firmly in the path to the door.Michael|E. F. Benson
Cousin Percy Hungerford, fully dressed and debonnair as always, was descending the stairs.Cap'n Dan's Daughter|Joseph C. Lincoln
She slips her hand beneath his arm, and walks past Sir Guy composedly, with laughing friendly eyes uplifted to her cousin's.Airy Fairy Lilian|Margaret Wolfe Hamilton (AKA Duchess)
"I am delighted to see you at last, Monsieur," said my cousin.The Crossing|Winston Churchill
You know that Cousin Dick is a good deal changed since you saw him?Mount Music|E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross
British Dictionary definitions for cousin (1 of 2)
Word Origin for cousin
British Dictionary definitions for cousin (2 of 2)
Word Origin and History for cousin
mid-12c., from Old French cosin (12c., Modern French cousin) "nephew, kinsman, cousin," from Latin consobrinus "cousin," originally "mother's sister's son," from com- "together" (see com-) + sobrinus (earlier *sosrinos) "cousin on mother's side," from soror (genitive sororis) "sister."
Italian cugino, Danish kusine, Polish kuzyn also are from French. German vetter is from Old High German fetiro "uncle," perhaps on the notion of "child of uncle." Words for cousin tend to drift to "nephew" on the notion of "father's nephew."
Many IE languages (including Irish, Sanskrit, Slavic, and some of the Germanic tongues) have or had separate words for some or all of the eight possible "cousin" relationships, e.g. Latin, which along with consobrinus had consobrina "mother's sister's daughter," patruelis "father's brother's son," atruelis "mother's brother's son," amitinus "father's sister's son," etc. Old English distinguished fæderan sunu "father's brother's son," modrigan sunu "mother's sister's son," etc.
Used familiarly as a term of address since early 15c., especially in Cornwall. Phrase kissing cousin is Southern U.S. expression, 1940s, apparently denoting "those close enough to be kissed in salutation;" Kentish cousin (1796) is an old British term for "distant relative."
Idioms and Phrases with cousin
see country cousin; first cousin; kissing cousins; second cousin.