In the book Bleak House,Why does Ada keep calling people "cousin"?
Is that just the grammar they used in old days? or are they really cousins with John Jarndyce and Richard?
- VampLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
Strictly, a cousin is anyone with whom one shares a common ancestor although these days, we tend to use it for very close blood relatives only.
Because of this it was usual for the European monarchs to address each other as cousin because they were all interrelated. This kind of terminology was also used in circles where intermarriage over the years rendered everyone some kind of relative to everyone else.
As a result "cousin" might be being used in two different ways.
Firstly, to a blood relative, however far removed.
Secondly to someone you wish to acknowledge (or claim) as part of the same social class