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Hi, guys
I was just wondering how many words are there for an older brother or sister
in English? Except aunt and uncle of course. Because in my language the only other reason
to call someone uncle would be if they are old enough to be your father. (The same goes for aunt.)
And if there are more than these two words are they applicable for someone who's
not your relative but just slightly older than you?
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Hi,

I was just wondering how many words are there for an older brother or sister

in English? No others that I can think of. I suppose you could speal of a sibling.

Except aunt and uncle of course. Because in my language the only other reason

to call someone uncle would be if they are old enough to be your father. (The same goes for aunt.)

In the English cultures that I'm familiar with, we just say 'uncle' and 'aunt' for exactly those relatives. For no-one else.

And if there are more than these two words are they applicable for someone who's

not your relative but just slightly older than you? Can't think of any suitable words.

Clive
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Thanks, Clive!
An older brother or sister is often called "big brother" or "big sister" informally, and a younger, "little sister" or "little brother." or "baby [sister or brother]. This can also be used as a form of address: "Hey, big brother. What are you doing this weekend? Want to drive me and my friends to the mall Saturday night?"

There is an organization in the US called "Big Brother" (I think there is a Sister corollary as well) that encourages older men to partner with at-risk youth to act as a mentor for them. These men are often old enough to be the children's fathers, and I suppose the organization really ought to be called "Big Uncle" Emotion: smile

You should also know that, in the past, African-Americans in the southern USA were addressed as "Auntie" or "Uncle" by whites. (A white would use these terms to address any African-American, even people not known to them.) Today this is seen as demeaning and racist.
Hi,

I can't think of any other words for elder siblings apart from the ones already mentioned (big brother/sister).

But certainly in England, one often grows up calling one's parents' close friends uncle or aunt, especially if the real uncles and aunts do not live nearby or don't often visit.

I was also taught to call my Godparents uncle and aunt.

But I certainly wouldn't call my own friends uncle or aunt, even if they were older than me - I don't think it would be very well received!

Best regards,

Monty
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