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Coined by linguist Samuel E. Martin in 1951[1] from nephew/niece by analogy with sibling.



nibling (plural niblings)

  1. (uncommon) The child of one's sibling or of one's sibling-in-law (in other words, one's niece or nephew), especially in the plural or as a gender-neutral term.
    Synonym: nephling
    Hyponyms: nephew, niece
    • 1989 November, Gacs, Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies, University of Illinois Press
      She was close to her family, particularly her younger “siblings and niblings.”
    • 1998 May, D.J. Kruger, Relative worth across disparate types of assistance [1]
      Kin selection was strongest for choices between sibling and friend, decreasing across sibling vs. nibling, nibling vs. friend, and nibling vs. cousin.
    • 1999 June, Jay Miller, Lushootseed Culture and the Shamanic Odyssey, University of Nebraska Press
      Most distinctive of the system, therefore, were the two terms for parental siblings and for niblings, which occurred only among the Salish and neighboring Southern Nootkans.
    • 2005 February, N. J. Enfield, "The Body as a Cognitive Artifact in Kinship Representations", Current Anthropology, Volume 46, Number 1
      Cousins are informally referred to by the same terms used for siblings, but officially one has an aunt/uncle-nibling relationship with one's cousins
    • 2005 June 1, Sean M Theriault, The Power Of The People, Ohio State University Press
      But, it is my niblings2 who taught me how to love.

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Conklin, Harold C., "Ethnogenealogical Method", in Explorations in Cultural Anthropology: Essays in Honor of George Peter Murdock, W. H. Goodenough, ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964