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I saw it used in a short story online but was confused on what it meant since I wasn't sure and don't know enough. When I used translation software, it just translated the part as "cousins". Here is the context in the written dialogue used, "しかも従兄妹同士とは...". The context is an old man learning that a guy and girl were cousins in the story.

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従兄妹 is one of the kanji representations the word いとこ can take. Others include: 従兄/従妹/従弟/従姉/従兄弟/従姉弟/従姉妹. The two kanji words refer to one person whose kin relationship to the person of reference is cousin, namely person A is a cousin to person B. The three kanji words refer to 2 or more people being cousins (to one another).

When you add the word 同士 the combined phrase has more of an emphasis on the people involved being on equal footing, e.g. they are cousins (every member of this group is a cousin to the rest.) Another example is 恋人同士. When you say this you try to stress the fact that the two people are lovers and whatever happens is between lovers. You didn't include enough context or even a complete sentence in your question for us to explain to you the meaning.

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  • Oh yes, sorry. In the story, it was implied that they might have been lovers but wasn't outright stated. I didn't think that would help. Thank you though, that really cleared it up for me. Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 6:14
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Yes. It means cousin.

従兄弟(male and male)、従姉妹(female and female)、従兄妹(Male and female) all of these pronunciations are “Itoko” and meaning is uncle’s or aunt’s child.

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