Niece and nephew  

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"When Tarquin the Proud caused one of his nephews to be murdered in the hope of securing the succession for his own son, the other nephew feigned insanity; and it was upon him, in accordance with matriarchal law, that the duty of blood-revenge evolved, when his niece Lucretia was assaulted. As in all patriarchal society, the distinction between paternal and maternal uncles was clearly drawn, the former being called ‘patruus’, the latter ‘avunculus’, a diminutive of avus ; that is, ancestor. Thus our word ‘uncle’, a corruption of avunculus, preserves a trace of the matriarchal order of succession." --The Mothers (1927) by Robert Briffault

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In the language of kinship, a nephew is a son of a person's sibling, and a niece is a daughter of a person's sibling. Conversely, that person is the aunt or uncle of their niece or nephew. The relationship of aunt/uncle to niece/nephew is an example of second-degree relatives, meaning that their coefficient of relationship is 25%.

The terms are also used colloquially for sons and daughters of siblings-in-law, even though there is no blood relationship.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Niece and nephew" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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