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Bhabhi (Hindi: भाभी, bhābhī) means 'elder brother’s wife', also used by Indian and Pakistani men to address wives of friends, colleagues and even wives of strangers when an unknown couple of similar age presents themselves.[1]

Familial role[edit]

In a traditional joint North Indian family, an elder brother's wife is called Bhabhi by his younger brothers. The wife of the eldest brother is traditionally considered to have higher authority over the matters of the house, and is given the charge of running household affairs. The younger brothers’ wives traditionally seek her advice and permission in regards to many matters/decisions regarding the household, and the rearing of children. In popular culture, Hindi dramas typically display these relationships as contentious, as the bhabhi frequently abuses her position of power.[citation needed] The term Bhabhi is also used to address a friend's wife, as a general term of respect. A bhabhi can also play the role of a mother, if both parents are dead, and in such cases the bhabhi often does raise her husband's younger siblings. She can be quite a pillar in a family. The relation between the bhabhi and the younger siblings of the husband is considered as one where a lot of humor is allowed, and the siblings, "devar" in case of a brother and "nanad" in case of a sister of the husband, may turn to the bhabhi to seek advice in personal matters, whereas they might feel shy in seeking the advice of their parents or elder

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Get Meaning of भाभी in English". Retrieved 9 July 2013.