An aunt is a person who is the sister, half-sister, or sister-in-law of a parent, or the wife of one's uncle or aunt, but can also be an affectionate title for an older nurturing woman. Aunts are second-degree relatives and share 25% genetic overlap when they are the full sister of one of the biological parents. Known alternate terms include Auntie or Aunty. A half-aunt is a half-sister of one's parent and is a third-degree relative with 12.5% genetic overlap. If the aunt is a sister-in-law, direct genetic overlap will typically be 0%, as this person entered the family through marriage and typically is not a blood relative.
A grandaunt (sometimes written as great-aunt, great aunt or grand aunt) is the sister, half-sister, or sister-in-law of a grandparent, or the wife of one's granduncle or grandaunt. The male equivalent of an aunt is an uncle, and the reciprocal relationship is that of a nephew or niece.
A female cousin of one's parent is often, although technically incorrect, addressed as "aunt" instead of "cousin" due to the age difference.
Aunts in popular cultureEdit
Due to the positive image of an old but wise and friendly aunt in many cultures, the word has been used often as an affectionate nickname. Children's TV hosts using "aunt" as their nickname include Hannie Lips ("Tante Hannie"), Lily Petersen ("Tante Lily") and Terry Van Ginderen ("Tante Terry"). New Zealand radio presenter Aunt Daisy is another example.
Musicians using it include Dutch singer Helena Polder (Tante Leen), American folk singer Aunt Molly Jackson, country singer Aunt Sap, Hawaiian musician Aunty Genoa Keawe, Auntie Alice Namakelua and Auntie Nona, the rock bands Auntie Christ and Aunt Mary, the disco band Aunty Disco Project and the jazz band Aunt Ruby's Sweet Jazz Babies.
Due to its inviting image several buildings have also used the word "aunt" in their name, such as the Italian safe house Aunt Anna's and the Dutch restaurant Tante Koosje. Companies like the BBC (Auntie Beeb), Auntie Anne's, Aunt Bessie's, Aunt Carrie's, Aunty Green Hotel, Aunt Jemima, Aunt Judy's Magazine, Aunt Nellie's Red Cabbage, Spry Vegetable Shortening (Aunt Jenny), Aunt Lute Books and Club Penguin (Aunt Arctic) use it for the same reasons. An Aunt Sally is a dummy of an old woman's head, which players throw sticks or battens to.
Wise or otherwise eccentric aunts are common in works of fiction.
Fictional aunts in comicsEdit
- Aunt Eider in Donald Duck.
- Auntie Freeze in Grapplers.
- Aunt May in Spider-Man.
- Aunt Minerva in Captain Marvel
- Aunt Petunia in The Thing.
- Aunt Tenna in Channel Chuckles.
- Tante Leny Presenteert was the name of a Dutch underground comix magazine. The "aunt Leny" in the title referred to co-founder Leny Zwalve.
- Tante Sidonia in Suske en Wiske.
Fictional aunts in filmsEdit
- Aunt Clara in Aunt Clara.
- Aunt Clara in the 1954 film Aunt Clara.
- Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz.
- Aunty Entity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
- The Auntie from Chicago.
- Aunt Hilda
- Aunt Jutta in Tante Jutta aus Kalkutta (Aunt Jutta from Calcutta)
- Aunty in Aunty.
- Aunty No.1 in Aunty No. 1.
- Aunt Petunia in Meet the Robinsons.
- Aunt Preethse in Aunty Preethse.
- Aunt Rachel in Aunt Rachel.
- Aunt Rose in Aunt Rose.
- Aunty Sally in Aunt Sally.
- The Thirteenth Aunt in Once Upon a Time in China.
- Aunt Wanda in Aunt Wanda from Uganda.
Fictional aunts in folkloreEdit
- Tante Arie/Airie, French folklore and holiday character in Franche-Comté.
Fictional aunts in literatureEdit
- Aunt Agatha and Aunt Dahlia in the Jeeves novels by P.G. Wodehouse.
- Aunt Alexandra in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Aunt Bam in Aunt Bam's Place.
- Aunt Dan in Aunt Dan and Lemon
- Aunt Dimity by Nancy Atherton.
- Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz.
- Aunt Fanny in The Famous Five by Enid Blyton.
- Aunt Gertrude in The Hardy Boys.
- Aunt Jane in Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall.
- Aunt Jane in Aunt Jane's Nieces by L. Frank Baum.
- Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
- Aunt Julia from Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa.
- Auntie Mame in Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.
- Aunt Pettitoes in The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter.
- Aunt Petunia (Petunia Dursley), Aunt Marge and Auntie Muriel in Harry Potter.
- Aunt Phillis in Aunt Phillis's Cabin by Mary Henderson Eastman.
- Aunt Polly in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge in James and the Giant Peach.
- Aunt Xue in Dream of the Red Chamber.
- Aunt Yashra in The Echorium Sequence.
- Aunt Zelda in Septimus Heap.
- Tante Coleta in G.A. van Oorschot's novel Mijn Tante Coleta.
Fictional aunts in musicEdit
- "Auntie" from Philips Records.
- "Aunt Betty" by Middle Class Rut.
- "Aunt Hagar's Blues".
- Aunt Martha from "Aunt Martha's Sheep".
- "Old Aunt Jemima"
- "Tante aus Marokko" (German) and "Tante uit Marokko" (Dutch) are children's songs about an aunt who'll arrive from Morocco, set to the melody of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".
- "Your Auntie Grizelda" by The Monkees.
Fictional aunts in radio seriesEdit
- Aunt Mary in Aunt Mary.
Fictional aunts in TV seriesEdit
- Aunt Agatha in Aunt Agatha's Apartment, a similar name for Rent Control.
- Aunt Bee in The Andy Griffith Show.
- Auntie Boss in Auntie Boss!.
- Aunt Dolly in Hannah Montana.
- Auntie Dote in Brandy & Mr. Whiskers.
- Aunt Esther in Sanford and Son.
- Aunt Fahita, Egyptian puppet character.
- Aunt Flo in Bod.
- Aunty Hayley in Beautiful People.
- Aunty Jack in The Aunty Jack Show.
- Aunt Linda (played by Kristen Wiig) in Saturday Night Live.
- Aunt Martha (Martha Bronson in Leave It to Beaver.
- Auntie Momma in The Cleveland Show.
- Aunt Patty and Selma in The Simpsons.
- Aunt Sal in EastEnders.
- Aunt Sis in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
- Auntie Whispers in Over the Garden Wall.
- Tante Dora in 't Schaep met de 5 Pooten.
- Tante Gazeuse in Mijn Franse Tante Gazeuse.
- Tante Merlina in Merlina.
- Tante Til in De Familie Knots.
- Tante Toets in De Club van Sinterklaas'.