Topic-Specific Vocabulary about Family and Relationships

Vocabulary about Relationships and Family

We will update this post over time to add more vocabulary items about family and relationships.

Read this article to find out the best way to learn new vocabulary.

Words and Collocations

paternal grandfather
Your father’s father
My parents named me after my paternal grandfather.

maternal aunt
An aunt on your mother’s side
My maternal aunt is older than my mother.

A religious upbringing
When your parents raise you with religious values
His Muslim upbringing guides the way he treats other people.

Foster parents/mother/father
The people who take care of someone else’s child and become their legal parents
It is sometimes difficult to find suitable foster parents.

Foster brother/sister
Someone who has different parents from you, but who is being brought up in the same family
She has two foster sisters.

First-degree relative
A first-degree relative is a family member who shares about 50 percent of their genes with you. First-degree relatives include parents, offspring, and siblings.
Your wife or husband is not considered your first-degree relative.

Blended family
A family in which one or both parents have children from previous marriages living with the family
He comes from a blended family of seven.

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

To be a chip off the old block:
To be very similar to your mother or father in appearance or character.
Everybody says that I’m a chip off the old block. My face, especially my eyes, look like my mom’s.

Bad Blood:
Feelings of hate or anger between people.
I have never seen Jake and Robin together. There has been bad blood between the two for as long as I can remember.

keep someone at arm’s length
To avoid becoming too friendly with someone.
He doesn’t have any close friends because he always keeps people at arm’s length.

Broken home
A family in which the parents are divorced or separated.
He was the product of a broken home and therefore a single-parent child.

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