On a small island such as mine (Malta), a common conversational topic when meeting someone new is about family. This is because with only 400,000 people, it’s very easy to find a connection.

A: I live in Xemxija.

B: Really? My aunt’s from there too.

A: Who is she?

B: Carol. She’s an aunt on my father’s side.

“She’s an aunt on my father’s side”. Hmm … I can use the word AGNATE and simply say “She’s an agnate aunt.”  What if you want to speak about a relative on your mother’s side? Then ENATE is the word to use. For example, “Simona is an enate cousin”, meaning  that Simona is a cousin on  my mother’s side.

Use the language

  • If you know of another word which can be used instead of agnate or enate, post a comment to share it.


  1. […] An AGNATE uncle? An ENATE cousin? […]


  2. […] Do you remember these 2, family related words – AGNATE and ENATE? […]


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