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Relative position

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Topic: 5) Relative position (1 of 9), Read 114 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 11:26 AM

Manoj Saranathan, of Rockville, Md., writes: "How about a word for finding out where people stand in the sibling ladder -- that is, how would you ask them if they were the eldest or the second eldest or the youngest or ... ?"

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Topic: 5) Relative position (2 of 9), Read 107 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 03:31 PM

there are, of course, legalistic terms relevant to this:

primogeniture - rights of the first-born
ultimogeniture - rights of the last-born

primogenial was once in wider use to refer to first born when these sorts of things were of more import; one could extend this form; e.g, secondogenial, ultimogenial. these are mostly uncongenial for everyday use. 8-)

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 5) Relative position (3 of 9), Read 107 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Thursday, April 08, 1999 10:39 AM

The word that means "relative standing or position" is rank.

The extablished term is Birth Rank -- What is your birth rank?

As in:


"If the variance of ordinary brothers and sisters is significantly greater than that of fraternal twins, we have some presumptive evidence for the influence of environmental differences associated with birth rankÖ."
J.L.GRAY & Pearl MOSHINSKY, 1932/3, 'Studies in genetic psychology -- the intellectual resemblance of collateral relatives.' Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 53, 188-207.

Birth order refers more generally to the subject. You might ask about the birth order in one's whole family, but be careful how you ask. You might get an answer like; "The first child came first, the second came second, the twins came almost at the same time, ...."

Birth position is the term for whether you came out head first or feet first.

Birthing position is the term for the way the mother positions herself while giving birth.

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Topic: 5) Relative position (4 of 9), Read 90 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, April 08, 1999 06:48 PM

I appreciate Roger Gay's using the phrase "birth rank", but disagree with his reserving the term "birth order" for the position of the baby at birth.

A "birth position" Google search had the following results on it's first pages:

- 17 uses for the position of the baby at birth
- 13 uses for the position of the mother giving birth
- 9 uses for which child one is among siblings
- 5 uses for the position into which a child is born in a caste system
- 4 uses for the birth position of a star or planet.

We now have the questions, "What is your birth position?" and "What is your birth rank?" My Google search produced yet another phrase: "What is your sibling position?"



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Topic: 5) Relative position (5 of 9), Read 72 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Monday, April 12, 1999 04:58 AM

Rus,

What is your gynecological entanglement?

You now have one reference to "gynecological entanglement".

Roger

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Topic: 5) Relative position (6 of 9), Read 62 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 1999 12:18 AM

Hi Roger

My girlfriend is an RN in a special care nursery... Is that what you mean by gynecological entanglement?

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Topic: 5) Relative position (7 of 9), Read 76 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ruth Newton (figgy@mb.sympatico.ca)
Date: Saturday, April 10, 1999 03:49 PM

Sibuation!

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Topic: 5) Relative position (8 of 9), Read 69 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Monday, April 12, 1999 04:59 AM

sibuation

I like that one.

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Topic: 5) Relative position (9 of 9), Read 52 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 1999 09:38 PM

I've been thinking about it for two days... "Sibuation" is a great word.

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Topic: Relative Position (1 of 4), Read 115 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Tom Oster (toster@toster.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 11:06 AM

Here's a suggestion for a phrase to fill the gap expressed in "Relative Position":

familial ordinality

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Topic: Relative Position (2 of 4), Read 114 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Brian McGovern (bpmcg@pacbell.net)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 12:57 PM

How about "Natal number"?

On 4/7/99 11:06:05 AM, Tom Oster wrote:
>Here's a suggestion for a
>phrase to fill the gap
>expressed in "Relative
>Position":
>
>familial ordinality
>




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Topic: Relative Position (3 of 4), Read 99 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 07:17 PM

Don't we say "firstborn", "secondborn",.... "lastborn"?

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Topic: Relative Position (4 of 4), Read 93 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 08:14 PM

I misunderstood the question...

Usually, I think we ask the question in a context like, "Are you the oldest child?" or "Are you the baby in your family?" My response would answer the question: "No, the second oldest." Another context might lend itself to: "Which child are you?"

But the out of context question as I know it is, "What is your birth position?" Of course my answer would be, "Gee, I don't think I was a breech."


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