Printable Version
Pronunciation: kahn-sæng-gwi-nê-ti Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: Kinship by blood rather than by affinity (marriage), descent from the same ancestor.

Notes: Consanguinity is clearly a noun derived from consanguine. It is, however, more often used than consanguine and generally correlates with consanguineous. Consanguine may also be used as a noun referring to people related by blood, as "Elmer is a consanguine of Gregory".

In Play: Relationships of affinity are usually prohibited by rules of consanguinity: "The marriage between Phil Anders and June McBride was annulled on the grounds of consanguinity." They thought their marriage would be OK since their consanguinity fell only within the fourth degree. The duties of consanguinity take precedent over the duties of affinity: "Reginald was bound by duties of consanguinity to attend his grandfather's wedding."

Word History: Today's Good Word was adopted and adapted from Old French consanguinité, handed down from Latin consanguinitas. This noun is based on the adjective, consanguineus "of the same blood", composed of an assimilated form of com "(together) with" + sanguineus "of blood", an adjective built from sanguis "blood". Sanguinarius was another adjective based on the same word. French converted this word to sanguinaire, which English turned into sanguinary. Latin distinguished sanguis, the generic word for "blood", from cruor "blood from a wound". This word was the Latin rendition of PIE kreue- "raw flesh" which, after its Germanic ancestors converted the [k] to [h], producing Old English hreaw, it ended up in Modern English as raw. (Now let's thank our old friend and master of Good Word suggestions William Hupy for recommending yet another fine one.)

Dr. Goodword,

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