I know that “אבא” and “אמא” are originally Aramaic translations of the Hebrew “אבי” and “אמי” which have become adapted to Hebrew, especially in the accusative case. Are there similar forms in Aramaic corresponding to “חמי” (or is that “חותני”?) or “חמותי”?

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  • חותני is son-in-law. Father-in-law is חמי – Double AA Feb 3 '12 at 4:50
  • For those that are confused, Vram is mentioning the same word that is used today for "groom" :) – avi Feb 3 '12 at 11:07
  • Chosen is a father-in-law. Chasan is a son-in-law (and a bridegroom). Two different words. (And, yes, cham is also a father-in-law.) – msh210 Feb 3 '12 at 16:19
  • @J.C.Salomon, I think Aramaic aba and ima are "father" and "mother"; OTOH Hebrew avi and imi are "my father" and "my mother". – msh210 Feb 3 '12 at 16:20
  • @msh210, see mechon-mamre.org/i/t/u/up0104.htm#555 for an example where Onkelus translates Hebrew avi to Aramaic aba. – J. C. Salomon Feb 3 '12 at 16:48

The problem becomes resolved when (iy"H) you have children. Then your in-laws become grandparents and you can call them as appropriate in their new role.


Not that I'm aware of. What to call your in-laws is always awkward, and I think the same is true in the Jewish community.

Rabbi Hershel Schachter notes that when he got married, it would be disrespectful to call his mother-in-law by her first name; he tried "Mrs. Stein" (or whatever her name was) but she said that was too formal; they settled on "Mom", I think.

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    I understand an old (now unused AFAIK) way of referring to one's parents-in-law in English is as "Father [surname]" and "Mother [surname]". – msh210 Feb 3 '12 at 19:02

One could use the Yiddish words - Shver or Shvigger.

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    I thought so; they have other ideas. ☹ – J. C. Salomon Feb 3 '12 at 20:39

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