(Isn’t that a great word?)
So the other day a relation of mine posted on facebook that he wanted to do more writing, and enlisted his facebook friends to make sure he writes something every day. Coincidentally, I had been thinking about making a more concerted effort to write more as well, because I’m going to be writing my dissertation soon, and it’s good to keep the rust off my writing brain. So I suggested that we both pledge to write a blog post every day (hence my recent string of updates), and then we’d check slash motivate slash poke each other to keep going.
While writing last night’s post, I was talking on facebook to another friend (because the post is relevant to her interests, because she is the Real Madrid fangirl who prodded me to switch), and telling her the story I related above. While so doing, I realized that I had no idea what to call this relation of mine: his dad is the son of my mom’s sister, so that means he’s some kind of cousin, or something?
I did some googling and found a very helpful Wikipedia page on cousins. It turns out that there’s two pieces of information you need to specify a cousin relationship: the degree and the removal. The degree is the (smaller) number of intervening generations between the cousin and the common ancestor, and the removal is the difference (if any) between the two degrees. So, when you hear that two people are “xth cousins, yce removed,” that means that the closer cousin has x generations between them and the common grandparents, and the farther cousin has y more generations than that. This means that the guy with whom I am writing is my first cousin once removed (handy chart attached!).