Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    (Old Eng.) Any peer of the degree of an earl.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Kindred in the fourth degree, being the issue (male or female) of the brother or sister of one's father or mother. Those who descend from the brother or sister of the father of the person spoken of are called "paternal cousins;" "maternal cousins" are those who are descended from the brothers or sisters of the mother. Cousins-german are first cousins. Sanderson v. Bayley, 4 Myl. & O. 59. In English writs, commissions, and other formal instruments issued by the crown, the word signifies any peer of the degree of an earl. The appellation is as ancient as the reign of Henry IV., who, being related or allied to every earl then in the kingdom, acknowledged that conneotion in all his letters and public acts; from which the use has descended to his successors, though the reason has long ago failed. Mozley & Whitley.
    —First cousins. Cousins-german; the children of one's uncle or aunt. Sanderson v. Bay-ley, 4 Mylne & C. 59.
    —Second cousins. Persons who are related to each other by descending from the same great-grandfather or greatgrandmother. The children of one's first cousins are his second cousins. These are sometimes called "first cousins once removed." Slade v. Fooks, 9 Sim. 387; Corporation of Bridgnorth v. Collins, 15 Sim. 54l.
    —Quater cousin. Properly, a cousin in the fourth degree ; but the term has come to express any remote degree of relationship, and even to bear an ironical signification in which it denotes a very trifling degree of intimacy and regard. Often corrupted into "cater" cousin.