Admit It: You Probably Had No Idea What ‘First Cousin Once Removed’ Really Means
A ninth grade teacher has the internet surprised to learn what a cousin once removed actually means, and it's probably not what you always thought.
Don't worry: we've all felt like Karen Smith from Mean Girls when it comes to deciphering the confusing meanings behind cousins once or twice removed. (Well, you know, without the implied incest.)
Now, thanks to Social Studies teacher Kevin Silberman, we've got it down pat.
Silberman, who has been teaching for 22 years, enlightened more than 11 million people about the confusingly worded family relation in a TikTok video that has since gone viral.
Most people in the comments section revealed that they always thought a cousin once removed meant that the person was removed from the family tree due to a divorce. However, that's not the case.
"My uncle's son would be my first cousin. My first cousin's son would be my first cousin, once removed. Removed means down by one generation," Silberman explains in the clip.
"If my first cousin once removed has a son, he would be my first cousin twice removed," he adds. "Now, my first cousin's son and my son are second cousins. I hope that clears things up."
In another video, Silberman also answered the age-old question of how "removed" a cousin has to be to make marriage acceptable. (Listen up, Karen Smith!)
"I'll start by asking how far from Tuscaloosa do you live? That's a joke," he said.
Surprisingly, quite a few people asked him the same question.
"States allow you to marry second and third cousins because they're so removed generationally," Silberman explained, noting that he Googled the same question on his work computer, which probably wasn't the smartest decision.
In terms of marrying first cousins, 24 U.S. states do not allow this type of union while 19 accept it. Silberman classified the remaining seven states' stances on marriage between first cousins as "sort of" acceptable depending on the circumstance.
If you want to learn more about family trees, Silberman has an entire TikTok series about relatives and familial terminology.