Note: This entry also incorporates former entry backyard relation.
backyard cousin n Also backyard relation Cf barnyard relation n, shirttail adj 2
A remote, nominal, or undesirable relative; also fig.
1939 (1962) Thompson Body & Britches 498 NY, He’s a backyard relation: (their cat came over into our yard once). 1963 S. Holland Tribune (IL) 3 Mar 15/5, Pairings are such that Thornton would . . continue at the expense of Thornridge, a ‘backyard cousin’ without a single favorable verdict over the ’Cats in seven previous shots. 1983 DARE File cwMA, Backyard cousin—Heard from an 81-year-old woman who didn’t specify illegitimacy. She said, “A backyard cousin is somebody you’re not especially proud to own.” 2012 in 2014 DARE File—Internet, My mom’s recently told me some stories of her childhood, and used the phrase “backyard cousin” a time or two. She says that these were children of people who were close friends of her parents, close enough that she and her sister addressed them as “aunt” and “uncle” as a courtesy and respect. Ibid CA, I have been working on the Williamson line for 20 years. I have been in contact with old (as I call) “back yard cousins” they have provided me with lots of information including notes from the bible.