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Polonius3 994 | 12,380
20 Dec 2008 #1
Ojczym = stepfather
macocha = stepmother
pasierb = stepson
pasierbica = stepdaughter
But what is the term a child uses to describe his stepbother or stepsister in Polish?
With a brat przyrodni (half-brother) and siostra przyrodnia (half-sister) you share one parent, but what about the stepbrother/sister, both of whose natrural parents are unrelated to you? This is becoming increasingly common in today's mucked-up families comprising second and third marriages/liaisons with unrelated kids entering households, but there is no name for it as far as I know.
Piorun - | 658
20 Dec 2008 #2
How about _ (brat/siostra - przybrany/a) - foster brother/sister
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
20 Dec 2008 #3
Is that the official term for it? The term przybrany and (jocosely) przyszywany is widely used, but would everyone know this is a stepbrother, the son of a woman or man my biological oarent has married?

My impression is that it is more general. Someone taken in (adopted officially or not) is called a przybrany syn, corka, etc.
mafketis 36 | 10,761
20 Dec 2008 #4
This is becoming increasingly common in today's mucked-up families

I'm sure that the people in the families in question appreciate your kind remarks.

It might not be the same traditionally but przybrany/a seems to be the expression used in translating from English so the semantics behind the word are probably changing in light of that.
Krzysztof 2 | 973
20 Dec 2008 #5
If two divorced people marry each other, but they don't adopt the child(ren) of the new wife/husband, then the children are not related at all, they are just underage strangers leaving under the same roof :(

So I guess the word "przybrany" could be used here, because it's not a legal term (which would be "przysposbiony/adoptowany" for a child).
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
21 Dec 2008 #6
Przybranie (adopting, taking under one's roof) refers to stepparents. But stepbrother and stepsister has to do not with adoption or any legality but the relationship of unrelated chidren living under one roof to one another. I beleive there really is no one word in Polish conveying the full meaning of stepbrother/stepsister. Moreover, stepbrother/sister contains an emotive element of alienness, distance or even estrangement ,whereas przybrany ranges from neutral to positive.
Krzysztof 2 | 973
21 Dec 2008 #7

I don't agree.
Przybrany refers to something "taken as your own", "assumed", it's not a legal term, it's not restricted to parent-child relation, it can be also used in other contexts, like "przybrane imię" (about a pseudonim/nickname).

As for

"an emotive element of alienness"

- it's too subjective to decide. In my opinion a sentence like "My stepmother is leaving for holiday" conveys absolutely no information about your emotional stance towards your stepmother.
piaskowy - | 13
7 Feb 2010 #8
brat przyrodni, siostra przyrodnia
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
2 Jul 2013 #9
Merged: Stepbrother, stepsister inPolish?

What is the Polish wrod for stepbrother nad stepsister?
2 Jul 2013 #10
In Russian, the word for "stepmother" translates literally as "not your mother":-)
Lenka 5 | 3,393
2 Jul 2013 #11
przyrodni/a brat/siostra
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
2 Jul 2013 #12
That's the problem. Przyrodnia siostra is a half-sister, ie the biological offpsring of one of your parents, hence she shares 1/2 of your blood.
A step sister is a total stranger; your dad married a woman with children from a previous marriage and those are your stepsisters or stepbrothers.

Someone suggested przybrany. Would you tell someone: Zosia to moja przybrana siostra? In English no-one would have any qualms about saying; Sophie is my stepsister nad everyone would know what was meant.

German acts just like English (both Germanic after all) with Stieftochter, the French say belle-soeur,
cводная сестра (literally soemthign like consolidated sister) is the Russian equivalent.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
2 Jul 2013 #13

Hope this helps :-)
ShortHairThug - | 1,101
2 Jul 2013 #14
Here's a list of proper definitions by Grzegorz Jagodziński [] - Terminologia pokrewieństwa i powinowactwa. Looks to me the riddle has been solved the same day it has been posted. LOL
OP Polonius3 994 | 12,380
2 Jul 2013 #15
I reckon the przybrany brat and przybrana siostra have carried the day. Thanks Shorthair Thug! Maybe it's just because up till recently that was a far rarer situation in Poland than in the English-speaking countries. hence

that term seems less familiar.
BTW, in Polish macocha (stepmother) is hardly neutral but carries a negative emotive charge. The term po macoszemu (in a stepmothery fashion) usually means to treat somebody like sh*t.

Do you find that wujek and ciocia have taken over and edged out stryj and stryjenka? Also do you call your 1st couisn brat stryjeczny or siotra cioteczna?

The listing provided shows many terms not only no longer used but even unintelligielbe to many of today's average Poles. I recall świekra from the Gospel about świekra św. Piotra...