Jisho gives "relative, relation" for both; I found this answer saying that 身寄り it's like a place where you belong and can stay, but it's not clear by the examples provided if it's something more broad that literal relatives: 私には身寄りがいない, translated as "I have no one who lets me stay with", means "no relatives", or does it imply absolutely no one, so no friends, etc. either?

Weblio says it's someone from the same lineage, and in the same definition lists 親類; 親戚's definition says it's the same as 親類, so... it kinda seems 親類, 親戚 and 身寄り are the same.

I'm confused about the difference between those terms, if any.

1 Answer 1


親戚 and 親類 are essentially identical in both meaning and usage, but 親戚 is used more frequently and widely, particularly in everyday language.

身寄り literally denotes a place or a person (or people) to which you belong and where you can stay. This term is often used in the phrases 身寄りがいない/身寄りがない.

As for the sentence 私には身寄りが(い)ない, this practically means you have no relative who helps you. As you suggested, by extension, it could mean you have absolutely no one who lets you stay with, but the scope of the word 身寄り is generally confined to relatives in most cases.

親戚 is the word of choice for "relatives" when you use Japanese, as it is the most frequently used all-purpose word.

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