Why are Kissing Cousins called......well, Kissing Cousins?

@veejay19 (3592)
India
August 1, 2011 2:35am CST
Hi guys, there are first cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, distant cousins, step cousins and ....kissing cousins.I have always wondered why this particular breed is called thus.Are they the only ones who can kiss and be kissed and do the other varities not have the licence to kiss or be kissed? Can anybody throw some light on this matter?
4 people like this
9 responses
@ElicBxn (60825)
• United States
1 Aug 11
Kissing cousins are generally often not actually too related, but have so much in common it would almost be incestuous to kiss. There are small towns in the States where they have so many people related at some point that they aren't too sure how they are related - so they are sometimes referred to as "Kissing cousins" but I've also heard "dog cousins" because their dog once walked on their yard (they live close together). Now, understand, that there are places in the States where it actually ISN'T illegal to marry even as close to first cousins, after all, they are actually only a quarter related - we are talking genetics here, and I realize that it would seem to be half, but unless their parents were identical twins it isn't. And most of those states in the States are rather southern states, so you get the "redneck" joke of: "Why did the Redneck go to the family reunion?" "To try to find a date." But there was a time when some small towns were so isolated that the residents were actually all related to one another, so unless they left town, finding someone who WASN'T a cousin could be hard... I, myself, didn't like my first cousin enough to even consider marrying him, even IF he had lived closer...
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
1 Aug 11
I wasn't sure what it meant, but thought it could mean exactly this, someone distantly related that were "close" friends etc. Here in the south it still isn't uncommon, ya know, to find people whose parents were first cousins, or second cousins even.
1 person likes this
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
1 Aug 11
Thanks. . .learned something new today! But it's not just the southern states that allow you to marry your first cousin. . .it is legal to marry your first cousin in New York, too!
1 person likes this
@veejay19 (3592)
• India
2 Aug 11
thanks for the detailed explanation.I too have several distant cousins whom i could call kissing cousins.In fact my mom and dad were also closely related to each other.My community is very closely knit and i find that somehere or the other i am related to someone whom i have never met.so i have plenty of kissing cousins. In fact i have just dscovered a pretty girl who is distantly related to me and i will be meeting her soon.
1 person likes this
@inu1711 (5288)
• Romania
1 Aug 11
Hello Veejay, I have never heard about this "breed" ( I found it funny how you called them a particular breed). We don't have such thing here, in Eastern Europe. Maybe this is something particular to your country?
@veejay19 (3592)
• India
2 Aug 11
Yes, it is funny,hahaha.And no,there is no such thing in my country.I had read about it somewhere in some books a very long time back.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Aug 11
When I was growing up, the only "kissing" cousins in my family were my little brother and my Aunt Ann's only daughter. The reason that they were called kissing cousins was because of the fact that Michael and Ryan were very close in age so they had very similar interests. Now that I'm grown and have children of my own, I see that my son and my oldest niece are "kissing" cousins because they've pretty much grown up together and each of them will tell people that their cousin is their boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course, they are only four years old so they really don't know any better.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
4 Aug 11
Great question. I thought I knew the answer, but I looked it up just to be sure. It means that they are distantly related but they know each other well enough to kiss each other when they see each other.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
3 Aug 11
My dictionary defines kissing cousins as a distant relative with whom one is intimate enough to greet with a friendly kiss. I don't quite agree with that. In the part of the country where I grew up, a kissing cousin is a person with whom you were related, but explaining just how would be too long and boring.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
1 Aug 11
Well, everybody knows that even from a very early age kids like to emulate adults. Most kids have cousins about their age, and of both sexes so its not hard to imagine, young, innocent cousins playing, and kissing, just to see what it feels like. After all they see it everyday on TV and in the movies.
@celticeagle (117728)
• Boise, Idaho
1 Aug 11
It's just that they greet with a kiss. Not necessarily that close relative wise. And also things that are closely familiar. I think kissing is the key here. So people that may be related and greet with a kiss. I guess. It doesn't always mean closely related even.
• United States
1 Aug 11
The term Kissing cousins means they are far enough apart that they can kiss and marry without it being incest. First cousins are not Kissing Cousins but 3rd cousins once removed are Kissing Cousins.
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
1 Aug 11
This is what I discovered on the Net: [i]1. A distant relative known well enough to be kissed when greeted. 2. One of two or more things that are closely akin[/i]. It is interesting because I didn’t know what the meaning of kissing cousin is. I would have thought that a kissing cousin was not a distant one but a close one; looks like I was mistaken.