Cousins. Often our first friends growing up. But which cousin were they again?

The cousin structure is confusing. Twice removed? From what? Third cousin?

Right off the bat: your first cousin is the child(ren) of your aunt/uncle. Second cousin is the grandchild of your great Aunt/Uncle.

Nailed it.

A Puzzled Scratch

*cusses internally* (Getty Images)

Thrice Removed? From What?

The "once/twice/whatever removed" part describes the generation difference between you and a particular cousin. So:

Once Removed = One Generation Difference 
Twice Removed = Two Generations Difference

Your 1st cousin FOUR times removed (1st/four) is the child of your great, great, great grand uncle/aunt, because there's a four-generation difference between you and 1st/four cousin.

Got it? Me neither.


Okay, we'll start at the top(ish) with your Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents (Ned tip: also known as your 4th Great Grandparents). You are their great, great, great, great grandson/daughter. Your 1st cousin/four times removed is their grandson/daughter. How many 'great' difference is there between you and 1/four? FOUR. So, 1st cousin/four times removed. 1/four's kids are your 2nd cousins/thrice removed, because there's only a THREE generation difference.

And your 5th cousin is the child of your 4th cousin/once removed.

1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th cousins are all of the same generation as you.

Meanwhile, all this thinkin' gives me a hankerin' for drinkin'.

Guinness Toucan

Don't judge me. Judge this Guinness-drinking Toucan! (Getty Images)

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