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Families are dynamic, and many people make a family unique. It’s no surprise there are a lot of family words that can be used to describe members.

Here is a complete list that can be used to describe the different people who make a family unique.

Family Words Defined

A traditional family has a father, mother, and children. But we know that most families include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Additionally, many families are non-traditional. This means that there are stepparents, adoptive siblings, and other unique family members who are included in the unit.

Family words are any family members who should be defined when talking about the unit. These include adjectives and nouns.

Remember, an adjective is a descriptive word. A noun is a person, place, or thing.

It is important to know these family words because it adds interest and accuracy to writing. If you are writing something about your family, you will want to correctly identify your family members so that the reader understands who you are talking about.

Since families are so unique, there are many words to describe family members. Use this complete family word list as your resource to write about your own family.


Complete Family Word List


Words to Describe Women Words to Describe Men Words to Describe Children
adoptive mother adoptive father children
aunt bachelor child
birth mother bridegroom cousin
daughter brother descendant
daughter-in-law brother-in-law firstborn
bachelorette brotherhood first cousin
bride dad first cousin once removed
ex-wife fraternal twin foster child
fiancee grampa grandchild
foster mother gramps grandchildren
granddaughter grandfather identical twin
grandma grandpa infancy
grandmother great-grandfather infant
granny great-grandson juvenile
great-aunt great-uncle kin
great-granddaughter groom minor
great-grandmother grandson natal
half-sister half-brother offspring
heiress heir orphan
ma husband quadruplets
maternal nephew quints
mama Mr. quads
Miss papa second cousin
matriarch pa quintuplets
mom paternal stepchild
mommy patriarch stepchildren
mother pop teenager
mother-in-law son toddler
Mrs. son-in-law triplets
Ms. stepbrother twins
nana stepdad youngster
niece stepfather youth
sister stepson
sister-in-law twin brother
Mrs. uncle


Words to Describe Family Units Words to Describe Family History
Words to Describe Culture
adoptive family adoption heritage
blended family ancestor
multi-racial family
blood relative clan bi-racial family
care-giver genealogy
divorce hereditary
extended family history
family inherit
family tree inheritance
folks kinfolk
foster parent kinship
grandparent lineage
great-grandparent maiden name
nuclear family
unmarried parent



A Note About Names

Many families have their own names to describe their family members. Take, for example, father. This name alone could be transformed into Dad, dada, daddy, pops, papa, pa, or even Faja. 

This name will vary from family-to-family, so you might not find the specific name you call your father on our list.

Another approach to family words is the cultural names for family members, specifically when it comes to talking about grandparents. Here is a concise list of different family words from different cultures:

Country of Origin Words for Grandfathers Words for Grandmothers
French Grand-pêre Grand-mère
Italian Nonno Nonna
German Opa Oma
Spanish Abuelo Abuela
Polish Dziadek Babcia
Greek Poppoús Giagiá (Yaya)
Portuguese Vovô Avó
Irish Seanathair Mhamó
Hungarian Nagypapa Nagymama
Swahili Babu Bibi
Danish Bedstefar Mormor
Japanese O jiichan O baachan
Russian Dedushka Babushka
Hawaiian Tutu Tutu
Korean Hal-abeoji Halmeoni
American Papa Nana
Creole Pawpaw Mawmaw
Filipino Lolo Lola
In addition to names associated with culture, you might also find that you use family words from your  
 . This is specifically clear with words describing parents, grandparents, and cousins.

Using Descriptive Words for Family

In addition to using different words to describe the people in your family, you will also find that you want to use words to describe your family’s personality.

These words will describe how loving, fun, and paint a picture.

Descriptive Words
brotherly helpmate nest sisterly
childhood home newlywed support
close-knit household nuptial tribe
connection kindred nurture trust
devoted love posterity trustworthy
faithful loyalty related value
flesh and blood marriage relations village
foster mate relative wed
friend matrimony separation wedding
grownup monogamy single wedlock


Family words are a great way to talk about your family accurately. When you use the correct words, you can help your reader track and provide valuable insight into your family.

Here are a few things to remember about family words:

  • They are traditionally nouns and adjectives.
  • There are hundreds of words to describe your unique family.
  • Pay attention to the names that your family uses. This is often tied to your family history and culture.
  • Sometimes family names are a reflection of the region where you live.

What words do you use to describe your family? Let us know in the comments below!

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