This recently came up during a visa application, and we had a hard time coming to a definitive conclusion, even with Chinese family members :(

What is the preferred relationship title for "my mother's mother's big brother's son"?

If it helps to narrow the scope, I'm interested in the mainland Mandarin convention. Also, the son is older than 'me' in this situation by a lot, say 40 years.

  • 3
    (1) Mother's mother is 外祖母. (2) 外祖母's brother is called 舅姥爷 or 表舅公. (3) 表舅公's son is called 表舅父 or 表舅舅. So, the answer is 表舅父.
    – Stan
    Feb 16, 2016 at 4:13
  • "uncle" in English.
    – zz22
    Feb 17, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    @zz22 In English, the correct term is "first cousin once removed."
    – rschwieb
    Feb 17, 2016 at 14:40
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    @rschwieb 表舅 would be what you needed. But even in informal situations, 表舅舅/表舅父 doesn't sound too formal.
    – Stan
    Feb 17, 2016 at 15:28
  • 1
    @Stan I'm sure you can make it more than one line by finding some reference that supports your solution.
    – rschwieb
    Feb 17, 2016 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


You can use '表舅', because he is your mother's '表哥'.

Basically I think there are three prefixes that you can add to relationship words: '亲' (directly/closely related, which is usually omitted), '堂', '表'. All your ancestors, siblings (that share at least father or mother with you), and descendant are '亲'. '堂' only refers to your father's brothers' children. In this way, your '堂' something should have the same family name with you (assuming all children using inherit their family names from their fathers). '表' is used for basically all other kins that have a common ancestor with you.

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