Serbian kinship

Serbian kinship

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The Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian language
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

 standard languages (Croatian
Croatian language
Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

, Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

 and Bosnian
Bosnian language
Bosnian is a South Slavic language, spoken by Bosniaks. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

) have one of the more elaborate kinship
Kinship terminology
Kinship terminology refers to the various systems used in languages to refer to the persons to whom an individual is related through kinship. Different societies classify kinship relations differently and therefore use different systems of kinship terminology - for example some languages...

(srodstvo) systems among European languages. Terminology may differ from place to place. Most words are common to other Slavic languages
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

, though some derive from Turkish. The standardized languages may recognize slightly different pronunciations or dialectical forms; these are marked [S] (Serbian) and [C] (Croatian) below.

There are four main types of kinship in the family: biological blood kinship, kinship by law (in-laws
In-Laws is an American situation comedy that aired on NBC from September 2002 until January 2003. The series starred Bonnie Somerville, Jean Smart, Elon Gold, and Dennis Farina....

), spiritual kinship (such as godparent
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child's baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother...

s), and legal kinship through adoption and remarriage.

As is common in many rural family structures, three generations of a family will live together in a home in what anthropologists call a joint family structure, where parents, their son(s), and grandchildren would cohabit in a family home.

Direct descendance and ancestry

Words for relations up to five generations removed—great-great-grandparents and great-great-grandchildren—are in common use. The fourth-generation terms are also used as generics for ancestors and descendants. There is no distinction between the maternal and paternal line. In addition, specialized terms
Jargon is terminology which is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, group, or event. The philosophe Condillac observed in 1782 that "Every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas." As a rationalist member of the Enlightenment he...

 for ancestry up to sixteen generations have been coined for use in genealogical
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

 circles, but these are not commonly known.These are, with feminine -a or -ka in parentheses, generation 6 kurđel(a), 7 askurđel(a), 8 kurđup(a), 9 kurlebalo/a, 10 sukurdol(a), 11 sudepač(a), 12 parđupan(a), 13 ožmikur(k)a, 14 kurajber(a), 15 sajkatav(k)a, 16 (m) b(ij)eli orao (f) b(ij)ela orlica.
Latin Cyrillic Relation
potomkinja потомкиња female descendant
potomak потомак male descendant
čukununuka, šukununuka[C] чукунунука great-great-granddaughter
čukununuk, šukununuk[C] чукунунук great-great-grandson
praunuka праунука great-granddaughter, descendant
praunuk праунук great-grandson, descendant
unuka унука granddaughter
unuk унук grandson
(k)ćer(ka), kći[C] (k)ћер(ка) daughter
sin син son
majka, mati мајка, мати mother
otac отац father
baba, baka баба, бака grandmother
d(j)ed(a), deka, đed,[S] dida[C] д(ј)ед(a), дека, ђед[S] grandfather
prababa, prabaka прабаба great-grandmother, ancestor
prad(j)ed(a), prađed[S] прад(ј)ед(a), прађед[S] great-grandfather, ancestor
čukunbaba, šukunbaka[C] чукунбаба great-great-grandmother
čukund(j)ed(a), čukunđed,[S] šukundjed[C] чукунд(ј)ед(a), чукунђед[S] great-great-grandfather
pretkinja преткиња female ancestor
predak предак male ancestor

Ego's generation

In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

 forms of siblings are used for cousins.
Latin Cyrillic English translation
brat брат brother
sestra сестра sister
bratić[C] братић male first cousin
sestrična[C] сестрична female first cousin
rođak рођак male cousin, relative
rođaka, rođakinja, rodica рођака, рођакиња, родица female cousin, relative

Indirect ancestry, descendants and legal relations

There are separate terms for maternal and paternal uncles, but not for aunts. In addition, spouses of uncles and aunts have their own terms.
Latin Cyrillic Relation
stric стриц paternal uncle
strina стрина paternal uncle's wife
ujak ујак maternal uncle
ujna ујна maternal uncle's wife; sometimes maternal aunt
tetka тетка aunt (only mother's or father's sister or cousin)
tetak (teča) тетак (теча) aunt's husband (where aunt defined as "tetka")
bratanac братанац fraternal nephew (for women)
sinovac синовац fraternal nephew (for men)
bratanica братаница fraternal niece
nećak (Dalmatian-Croatian) нећак nephew
nećaka, nećakinja (Dalmatian-Croatian нећака, нећакиња niece
sestrić сестрић sororal nephew
sestričina сестричина sororal niece


There are separate terms for a man's and a woman's parents-in-law. However, the same terms are commonly used for siblings-in-law and children-in-law. There are separate terms for co-siblings-in-law.
Latin Cyrillic Relation English translation
svekar свекар husband's father father-in-law
A parent-in-law is a person who has a legal affinity with another by being the parent of the other's spouse. Many cultures and legal systems impose duties and responsibilities on persons connected by this relationship...

svekrva свекрва husband's mother mother-in-law
punac, tast[S] пунац, таст[S] wife's father father-in-law
punica, tašta[S] пуница, ташта[S] wife's mother mother-in-law
zet зет daughter's or sister's husband son-in-law
Son-in-Law was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and an influential sire, especially for sport horses.The National Horseracing Museum says that Son-in-Law is "probably the best and most distinguished stayer this country has ever known." Described as "one of the principal influences for stamina in...

 or brother-in-law
A brother-in-law is the brother of one's spouse, the husband of one's sibling, or the husband of one's spouse's sibling.-See also:*Affinity *Sister-in-law*Brothers in Law , a 1955 British comedy novel...

nevjesta,[C] snaha,[S] snaja[S] нев(ј)еста,снаха, снаjа son's or brother's wife daughter-in-law or sister-in-law
A sister-in-law is the sister of one's spouse, the wife of one's sibling, or sometimes the wife of one's spouse's sibling...

šurak, šurjak, šogor[C] шурак, шурjак wife's brother brother-in-law
šurnjaja, šurjakinja шурњаја, шурјакиња wife's brother's wife sister-in-law
A sister-in-law is the sister of one's spouse, the wife of one's sibling, or sometimes the wife of one's spouse's sibling...

svastika, šogorica[C] свастика wife's sister sister-in-law
svastić свастић wife's sister's son nephew-in-law
svastičina свастичина wife's sister's daughter niece-in-law
djever, dever девер, дjевер husband's brother brother-in-law
zaova заова husband's sister sister-in-law
pašenog, pašanac, badžanac[C] пашеног, пашанац, баџа wife's sister's husband co-brother-in-law
jetrva јетрва husband's brother's wife co-sister-in-law


Latin Cyrillic Relation
očuh очух stepfather
maćeha маћеха stepmother
pastorak пасторак stepson
pastorka, pastorkinja пасторка, пасторкиња stepdaughter
polusestra полусестра stepsister
polubrat полубрат stepbrother


Foster relations are important and have dedicated terms.
Latin Cyrillic Relation
usvojenik усвојеник adopted son
usvojenica усвојеница adopted daughter
poočim поочим foster-father
pomajka помајка foster-mother
posinak, usinjenik[S] посинак, усињеник[S] foster-son
po(k)ćerka по(к)ћерка foster-daughter