Why Is There No Collective Term for Nieces and Nephews?
I have one niece and one nephew. Why is there no word in the English language that would allow for me to refer to them together?
If you have a brother (or brothers) and a sister (or sisters), you can call them your siblings. If you have a mom and a dad, you can call them your parents. There’s lots of words to refer to your son(s) and daughter(s) collectively – they can be called your children, your kids, your offspring, your progeny, or your spawn1. But there’s nothing for “nieces and nephews”2!
I went to the all-knowing Google with this important question, and it turns out that (a) I’m not the only person pondering this deficiency of the English language, and (b) there’s been a word coined for this, though it doesn’t seem to have yet caught on: “niblings” (based on “sibling”).
I can’t decide if I like this word. I mean, it conveniently sums up what I want to sum up – a collection of at least one niece and one nephew – but it also sounds like you want to have them for a snack. Thoughts?
- Apparently you can also call them your scions (thank you, thesaurus!), but I’m pretty sure if you did no one would know what the hell you were talking about! [↩]
- Similarly, there’s no collective word for “aunts and uncles”. [↩]