Learn Basic English Vocabulary: FAMILY

Learn Basic English Vocabulary: FAMILY


Hello. I’m Gill at engVid, and we have a lesson
today on vocabulary connected with the family; so all the names, the family relationships, and
the standard names, and also some informal names that are used within a family
for different family members. Okay. So, let’s have a look. So, first of all: “mother”,
a very important person. So: “mother” is the standard name for mother, but within the family,
she might be called: “mum”, or “mummy”, or “mom”. “Mom” is a more American type of way
of saying: “mum”. We say in the U.K.: “mum”, but America… In America it’s usually “mom”, so…
And this one… This is a bit old-fashioned: “mamma”. So, if you’re watching an old film
that’s set in the maybe 19th century, something like that, the mother might be called “mamma”,
which was a bit more formal in those days. In the 19th century, in this country, anyway,
children and parents were more formal in the way they spoke to each other than they are
now. So, that’s “mamma”. And, also: “mater”, this is a funny one. This comes from the Latin
word for “mother”: “mater”. Although, if you’re studying Latin, you might pronounce it: “mahter”,
rather than: “mater”, but this was a slightly jokey name that mostly boys who went to private
schools, where they studied Latin, and they were… They were living… They were residential
schools, so when they came home to visit their parents, they would call their mother “mater”
and their father “pater”. That’s “pater”, there; the Latin names for mother and father. I
think it was a little bit jokey, and they’re not really used so much now. Okay, so let’s move on. “Father” is the standard
word for “father”, but he could be called: “dad”, or “daddy”, “pop”. Don’t ask me why: How
can it change to “Pop”? Don’t know. “Pop”, “pops”; then “papa” is the equivalent of “mama”,
so those… Again, that’s old-fashioned, 19th century; very formal: “mama”, “mama”, “papa”.
And “pater”, the Latin version of it. Okay. So then we have: “brother”, if you have a
brother, they could be called in a very informal way: “bro”. Not many people use this, but
some people do. “Bro”. So, the first three letters of “brother”: “bro”. Or: “bruv”. “Brother”,
but “bruv”, like a “v”. That comes from the sort of London accent; the Cockney London
accent where Cockneys, instead of pronouncing “th”: “brother”, they make a “v” sound instead:
“bruver”, “bruver”. So, that comes from that. “Bruv”, “bruv”. Okay, and then a female… These are called
“siblings”, by the way. Siblings. If you have brothers and sisters, they are called siblings.
So, a “sister”, “sister” is the standard word; it can be shortened to
“sis” in an informal way. Okay. And then you have “uncle” who could be
the brother of your father or the brother of your mother. It’s the same word for both;
there’s no difference. Maybe in some languages you have different words for that, but “uncle”
is the brother of either your mother or your father. And there’s no… As far as I know,
there’s no short, informal version of “uncle”. But with “aunt”, which is the female version-so
the sister of your mother or the sister of your father-there is – there’s: “auntie”,
so you just add “ie” at the end. “Auntie”. And just to mention, that in India, these
words: “uncle” and “aunt”, or “auntie” are used as a term of respect. So, we don’t do
that in the U.K.; we only use these for the actual family relative. We don’t… You know, if
there’s an older person, we wouldn’t automatically call them “auntie” or “uncle”. We might say…
I don’t know what you’d say. “Sir” or “madam”, or something, if you’re being very formal;
but not “uncle” or “auntie”. Okay. That’s in India. Maybe in some other countries as
well; I don’t know. Please put in the comments if you know a bit
more about that. Okay, so then: “nephew” and “niece” are the
next pair. This is the male version and the female version. So, a “nephew” is the son
of your brother or sister. Okay. So, if you have a brother or sister who has had some
children, the brother’s son or the sister’s… Your brother’s son or your sister’s son is
your nephew. Okay? And there’s no… As far as I know, there’s no informal word for that.
And then the “niece” is the female version, so your brother’s daughter or your sister’s
daughter is your niece. Okay? So: “nephew” and “niece”; male, female. Then you can have a “cousin”, and this word
“cousin” is the same for male and female. And your cousin is the son or daughter of your
aunt or uncle. Well, your aunt and uncle, because if your… If your uncle has married
somebody, she… The person he marries becomes your aunt; even though you’re not related by
blood, you’re related by marriage. So your uncle’s… Your uncle’s… This is getting
difficult. Your uncle’s son or your uncle’s daughter is your cousin; and your aunt’s son
and your aunt’s daughter is your cousin. So you can have lots of cousins if you have lots
of uncles and aunts who have all had children. Okay. So, and the only sort of short, informal words
I know for “cousin” is: “coz” or “cuz”, but those are a bit old-fashioned. You find them
in Shakespeare, which is sort of 15th century, so that’s quite a long time ago; that’s a
few hundred years ago. So, “coz” and “cuz”, they’re not really used very much, unless
people within one particular family decide to use it just in their family. Families sometimes
develop their own, you know, family names; but those are quite old-fashioned. They’re called
archaic or old-fashioned. Old… Old-fashioned, meaning that they were used in the past,
but they’re not really used now. Okay. Right, so then we have the older generation,
so: “grandfather” is the father of your father or the father of your mother. So it’s going one
more generation back. So, your grandfather is your father’s father or your mother’s father.
So, again, there are several family informal versions for this: “grandpa”, “granddad”,
and even “gramps” sometimes. Very informal, “gramps”; not every family uses that. Again,
each family decide what… Which one to use. Okay? And then “grandmother” who is the mother of
your father or the mother of your mother. So, grandmother: “grandma”; “granny”; “gran”;
“nan”; “nanna”, or I’ve heard some people pronounce it: “nannah”, but I think that’s a
particular region that does that. So: “grandma”, “granny”, “gran”, “nan”,
“nanna”, or “nannah”. Okay. Then: “wife” and “husband”. The wife… A man
who marries a woman, she becomes his wife; and then the husband – a woman who marries
a man, he becomes her husband. “Wife” and “husband”. Okay. And then, when that happens, when they get
married, they… They acquire… They acquire… Or they get what are called “in-laws”. “In-laws”
are people who are then connected by marriage. So, if a man marries a woman, she becomes his wife,
and her parents-her father and mother-become that man’s “mother-in-law” and “father-in-law”.
Okay? And the same applies for the wife; when a woman marries a man, his father and mother
become her “father-in-law” and “mother-in-law”. And for those parents, they acquire or get a
“son-in-law” and a “daughter-in-law”, because if their son marries a woman, that woman becomes
their “daughter-in-law”; and if someone’s… A couple’s daughter marries a man, that man
becomes their “son-in-law”. Okay. Right. So then things get even more complicated if
people who are married split up. They decide they don’t want to be married anymore; they might
get divorced. So, if there’s… If there’s a divorce; they break up… A legal break it…
Break up; they become divorced. So they’re no longer wife and husband; they are “ex-wife”
and “ex-husband”. And people sometimes refer to: “my ex”, without saying the rest of it;
just: “my ex”. So, “ex” can also be used with a girlfriend or a boyfriend that you’re no
longer with: “girlfriend”, “ex-girlfriend”; “boyfriend”, “ex-boyfriend” when that relationship
was in the past. So: “wife”, “ex-wife”; “husband”, “ex-husband”. Okay? And then, another complication: If the divorced
couple or one of them gets married again-they get another wife or husband-and if they already
have children from the first marriage, this word: “step” comes in. So, if someone whose
mother and father has divorced, a young boy or girl, if their mother or father marries
again, they have a new mother or a new father who comes to live with them who is not related
by blood-they’re only related by marriage; they’re the second wife or second husband of
the actual parent-that is the “step-father” or “step-mother” of that child. And the child
is the “step-son” or “step-daughter” of that new step-mother or step-father. So: “ex” and
“step” are the words for that, when things break up and new
relationships are formed. Okay, so that’s the first part of the lesson
with all the vocabulary; formal and informal. We’re just going to have another part of the
lesson which is about family history and research into old documents, where people find out
more about the earlier generations of their family. So, we’ll do that next. Okay, so let’s have a look at what’s called:
“family history research”. This is a very popular thing, which people in the U.K. do-I
think in lots of other countries, too-to find out the past generations of their family,
where they come from; going back hundreds of years, if they can. So, family history research
is when people, either on their computer… There are websites where they can find information,
even documents that appear on the screen; very old documents, which have been scanned
and put onto the internet. And people can find out, if they don’t know who their…
They may know who their grandparents were, but going back any further than that, their
great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents… As you go back each generation you add the word
“great”. So, here, you’d have: “great-grandfather”, “great-grandmother”, and you add the word
“great” for each generation. So, it’s not so easy to know, because families don’t always
keep information about who their… Their past ancestors were. So, family history research
is when people look into their family history, looking at old documents. So, the generations…
The word “generations” are the different periods of the family, going back. The “ancestors” are
the previous people that you are descended from. So: “ancestors” are the people in the
past that you have come from. “Ancestry” is the general term; the general abstract noun
for the whole idea of having ancestors. Okay. So, then “descendants”, those are the people now;
we are descended from/we are the descendants of our ancestors. We have come down from them.
Okay. Because “to descend” means to come down. Then there’s a “family tree”, which people
draw up on a big piece of paper, usually, and it looks like this. So, you get the branches
of the tree when you have one ancestor here who has some children, so the next generation
comes down here, then those children have children, and it just goes on from there.
So, this person had two children, and two children, and three children, and it just
goes on from there – so that’s a family tree with branches. Okay. So: “genealogy” is another word for family
history, really. “Genealogy” means knowing about who your ancestors were, or finding out
about it; the whole process of research. So, how do you do the research? You find the
official documents that were produced as a record of people’s birth… When people were
born, they had a certificate or they put in a register: Born, or married, and then another
certificate for marriage – marriage certificate. And then when people die, there’s a death
certificate, so there’s a lot of official documentary evidence… What’s called “evidence”
on paper; official documents, which you can look at and find information about your ancestors.
So: “official documents”. Birth, marriage, death certificates. Depending on what country you’re in, there
are different sort of procedures for this; some go back many, many years. In the U.K.,
these certificates go back to about the 1830s. So, people started having a lot of documents
around that period, 1830s. Before then it was up to the churches to keep a parish register.
So, if a baby was born and then they had then a baptism or a christening when the baby was
a few days old, that would be written in the church register; the parish register. Then
when a couple got married in the church, their wedding details would be written into the
parish register; an official book that was kept there. And if somebody died and they…
They were… They had a funeral service and a burial, again, that would go into the parish
register. So, parish registers go back much further than these certificates. So it’s possible
to find, in the U.K., going back to about the 16th or 15th… No,
16th century I think. So… And also, from the parish registers, there’s
a very useful index; it’s called the “IGI”, International Genealogical Index, which has
been put together by the Mormon Church who have a particular interest in family history.
So, that’s very useful because not everybody can go to a church and ask to see the parish
register. So, the Mormon Church have taken a lot of information from parish registers,
and they’ve put it all on one index, which is now available on microfiche, and on digital
recording, CDs, and also on the internet. So, there’s a lot of information on the internet now
that maybe 10 or 20 years ago wasn’t available, so it’s a lot easier now to find this information.
Just sometimes you have to pay a subscription to be able to get the information; it’s not
all available free. Okay, so that’s all the documents you can find, and
lots of other documents, too. And, finally, there’s a fairly new thing available,
which is a DNA test, which is a scientific analysis… I think you have to put
some saliva from your mouth… From your mouth, you have to spit into a tube, and
put it in a tube and send it off for analysis-your DNA; your own particular chemical makeup-and
you get your results back, and they tell you what percentage of ancestry you have: Whether
you come from Africa, or Asia, or different countries in Europe-east and west-Scandinavia,
North America, South America, all different parts of the world. You can find that you
have different percentages of your DNA based on who your ancestors were and where they
came from. So, people sometimes are quite surprised to find that they have quite a mixture
of DNA. They may have been born in England, in this country, and they think they’re just
English, and then they find that they have a bit of Irish ancestry, a bit from Scandinavia,
a bit from Spain or Italy, or even further away than that. So, it’s very interesting. You
have to pay a fee for that, but it’s interesting to know at some point in your life what
your DNA is and where you’ve come from. Okay, so I hope that’s been an interesting subject
for you and taught you some new vocabulary. So, do go to the website: www.engvid.com,
where there’s a quiz on this subject. And thanks for watching; and see you
again soon. Okay. Bye for now.

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