An aunt is a woman who is a sibling of a parent or married to a sibling of a parent. Aunts who are related by birth are second-degree relatives. Known alternate terms include auntie or aunty. Children in other cultures and families may refer to the cousins of their parents as aunt or uncle due to the age and generation gap.
The male counterpart of an aunt is an uncle, and the reciprocal relationship is that of a nephew or niece.
Aunts by birth (sister of a parent) are related to their nieces and nephews by 25%. As half-aunts are related through half-sisters, they are related by 12.5% to their nieces and nephews. Non-consanguineous aunts (female spouse of a relative) are not genetically related to their nieces and nephews.
In some cultures, no single inclusive term describing both a person's kinship to their parental female sibling or parental female in-law exists. Instead, there are specific terms describing a person's kinship to their mother's female sibling, and a person's kinship to their father's female sibling.
|Language||Mother's sister||Father's sister|
|Kurdish||Xaltîk (IPA: xɑːltiːk)||Metik (IPA: mɛtɪk)|
|Arabic||خالة (khaleh)||عمّة (ammeh)|
|Korean||이모 (Imo)||고모 (Gomo)|
|Polish||ciotka (diminutive: ciocia)||stryjna (diminutive: stryjenka)|
Aunts in popular culture have not always been portrayed as positive roles. Childless aunts are often subjected to othering in popular culture and presented as exotic or as having a second-best role, with motherhood preferred.
Fictional aunts include:
Aunt Flo is a popular euphemism referring to the menstrual cycle.
An agony aunt is a colloquial term for a female advice columnist.