I'm writing about Vietnamese culture and I want to use a word that is synonymous to compatriots/fellow citizens but the relationship it refers to here must be more intense and intimate like blood relatives as it would reflect the Vietnamese culture very much.

However, I couldn't find it anywhere. Does that type of words exist or compatriots/fellow citizens are something I'll just have to compromise?

  • I don't know the culture, but how about terms used for extended family members? English equivalent might be "cousins" or the (mostly out-dated) "kin". Deliberately exaggerating that familiarity would go to "brothers and sisters" which sounds a little religious/cult.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


The term "brothers in arms" is familial, but originally refered to soldiers that are not actually related at all, just bonded by going into battle together. "Brothers in arms" has since been used for non-family people that have gone through or are going through any sort of harrowing experience together.

In fact "brothers" and "sisters" is often used to indicate non-family members with a relationship more intense than just friendship or "fellow citizens". The same is true for "bosom buddies", it indicates a non-romantic love for certain friends.

For "fellow citizens", the word "countrymen" is a single word.

"Family" and various familial terms (like "Uncle") are loosely used everywhere, to indicate non-romantic relationships that are nevertheless more than just friendly.

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