Talk:Affinity (law)

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Global perspective[edit]

Coverage is UK law and canon law at present. Either sections should be added on affinity law in other cultures, or the title and lead section should be narrowed to reflect UK legal scope (and its derivatives) or canon law scope. Rexparry sydney 02:34, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Yiddish affinity terms[edit]

The Jews of Eastern Europe (and perhaps elsewhere) recognized a type of affinity relationship that is preserved in the Yiddish language. It is the relationship that exists between persons whose children have married. This relationship terminoligy has male, female, and plural forms. In a roughly phonetic transliteration, the terms are m'khutt'n (male) makhatennista (female) makhatunnim (plural). So, if a man's child martied a woman's child, he would be her m'khutt'n, she would be his machatennista; they would be makhatunnim to each other. ('kh' pronounced like the consonant in the German 'ach', and 'u' pronounced like the vowel in 'look').

The relationship was the sign of the alliance of two families. My mother would frequently refer to my sister's mother-in-law as "my makhatennista". Other than personal observation, I don't have any documentation: I have only a slight smattering of Yiddish.

Perhaps wikipedia could find room for this sort of information in among all the articles about porn-stars, knife collectors, video games, short-lived TV shows, and such. Too Old (talk) 07:33, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


I find the term "in-law" to be unnecessarily ambiguous. Languages pride themselves on having an exact word for everything so that ambiguity can be avoided, but this term seems to invite the confusion. For example, I have a sister-in-law. What does that tell you except that either my sibling has a wife or my spouse has a sister? Makes no sense! I think that any relation you gain from your spouse should retain the "in-law" title; however, any relation you gain from your sibling should be an "out-law." Thus if I repeat my previous statement you can tell right away that my spouse has a sister. Similarly if I said, "I have a sister-out-law" you know my sibling has a wife. Maybe I'll send a note to the folks at Webster to ask them to consider this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 30 April 2009 (UTC)


I came to this article looking for answers to this kind of question: It seems a lot of people don't really understand this, so I think an explanation from someone who definitely does would be appropriate. -AndromedaRoach (talk) 00:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)