How To Teach Siri Who Your Relatives & Friends Are

Siri is becoming more and more indispensible as your everyday unpaid uncomplaining secretary. She can do dictation, play your music, tell a joke (albeit not very funny ones), and she can also connect you when you want to make a phone call. But how do you teach Siri who these people are to you?

For example, if you want to call your mother, you could just say “Call Gertrude” (assuming your mother is called Gertrude). Siri would then find Gertrude in your iOS address book and show you the number.

But what if you have ten Gertrudes in your address book? Or the person you want to phone is called Noxochicoztli (an actual girl’s name)? Then we need a quicker faster method.

Teach Siri How Each Person Is Related To You

What some people do not know is that you can tell Siri how someone is related to you. That information is then stored in the person’s iOS contact book listing.

Then when you say “call my mother” or “call my big fat stinking neighbour with the weird voice“, then Siri will look through all of the iOS contact book entries. When she will finds one that matches the description you just gave, she will bring up the number for you.

Here is how to do it.

Go To Your Own Listing In The iOS Address Book

The first step is to go to your own listing in the iOS address book. You can either tap on the “Contacts” icon, or tap on the phone icon (which has a shortcut to the address book). Then find your own listing.

Find The Correct Section Of The Listing

In the top right corner of your phone book listing is an “Edit” link. Click on that and scroll down till you see the section with “mother”, “brother”, “spouse”, etc.

The names above were added by me some time ago. But if this is your first time doing this, there will be no names there and probably no relationships. In that case, look for the “add related name” field.

Add The Relationship & Person’s Name

Tap “add related name” and a new field opens up with a suggested relationship on the left. If you want to do this one, tap the “i” button to the right. If you don’t, tap the relationship name on the left and you will be taken to a list of other possibilities to choose from. I will go into this in the next section.

When you get a relationship you want to complete, tap the “i” button on the right and this will take you to the address book. Find the person who is related to you this way and tap on their name. Their name will now be added to this field.

Add a Custom Relationship

As I said in the last section, if you tap on the relationship type on the left hand side, Apple provides you with a whole list of possible relationship types.

But obviously everyone is different and you may have a relationship type that many other people do not say. For example, instead of father, you may say dad, daddy, papa, pop, and so forth. Same with your mother or your grandparents.

If the relationship type is not there, scroll right down to the bottom and you will see “Add Custom Label“. Tap on that.

You can now add whatever relationship type you want then add the name of the person. Using this method, I put Trendblog’s editor down as “boss”.

Test It

Once you have put everybody in, you can test it by activating Siri and telling it to phone someone. “Call my boss” or “call my assistant” for example. Assuming you put the correct name to the correct relationship type, Siri will have no problem.


From what I can see, the only problem you’re likely to have is that Siri can’t distinguish between father and say for example, daddy. Or mother and mommy.

So this is why you have to be precise with relationship titles. Say it the way you would normally say it. Siri will then learn. Now you just have to show it how to make coffee and she will be the perfect assistant.

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