If you’re finding out the Italian language, you’re likewise finding out the culture behind it, and family is a really crucial facet of Italian culture.

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In this short article, we’re going tolearn some vocabulary about the various members of the family—from that drunk uncle that taught us all the dirty words, to that cool aunt that owns a pool.

Let’s satisfy the paleas (and the siblings, and the extfinished relatives…)!

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18 Italian Family Words to Add to Your Vocabulary

Before we dive right into the vocabulary list, let’s take a moment to make learning these vocab words simpler for you.


The finest way to learn brand-new words isin context, so if you’re struggling to remember any kind of of these household words, attempt making use of authentic sources favor nlinux.org to commit them to memory.

nlinux.org takes real-civilization videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and motivating talks—and also transforms them right into personalized language discovering lessons, as you have the right to see here:


nlinux.org helps you obtain comfortable with daily Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and also native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.

Tap on any type of word to instantly see an image, in-context interpretation, example sentences and various other videos in which the word is offered.


Access a complete interenergetic transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and evaluation words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.


Once you"ve watched a video clip, you deserve to use nlinux.org"s quizzes to proactively exercise all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or ideal to check out even more examples of the word you’re on.


nlinux.org will certainly even store track of all the Italian words you’re learning, and offer you additional practice via difficult words.

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Now that you know just how to examine them, here are 18 essential Italian family members words eextremely learner have to know.


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1.padre (father)

He’s the head honcho, the substantial kahuna of the family members. He’s dad.

He provided to have actually absolute powers over the remote, ‘til he realized nobody’s interested in sitting in front of the TV anyeven more.

In Italian family members, he’s called padre, the very same word you’d usage for a priest.

But we don’t really contact our dads “father,” execute we? Unmuch less we belengthy to the set of “Downton Abbey” or are waiting for our trust fund to mature. We say “dad” or “daddy.”

In Italian, you deserve to usepapàand babboto refer to your dad. They’re warmth and endearing, much less formal than padre. It implies dad’s more than just a designated phardwood or ATM machine. He’s an all-about cool male who forgets to wear pants eexceptionally once in a while.

The better south in Italy you go, the even more most likely you are to hearbabbo used, and is specifically prevalent in Tuscany kind of.

2.madre (mother)

Like padre, madre is simply too formal to speak to the woguy who hosupplied us for nine months and still residences us…nine years after college.

Mammais even more choose it. It’s the perfect word for the woguy we owe everything to.

There’s nobody favor a mother. If you’ve grown eating the a lot of delicious food, if you’ve been dressed up in high fashion from head to foot, if you’re not allowed to go out on a Saturday night because of unspeakable dangers… you’ve most likely grvery own up through a loving mother—and a very Italian one, at that.

Italian mothers are a course act, especially once they have actually boys. They play the impossible job of being their son’s number one cheerleader and also doubter, all at the very same time.

Many Italian males find it difficult to leave the swarm and also are tied to their mother’s apron strings. (The Italian economy and job industry actually has a lot to do through it.) But they have a term for “mama’s boys” that are old enough and still opt to live via their parents: mammoni (plural) ormammone(singular).

But say what you desire, it’ll intend nopoint to a mom. Due to the fact that in Italy, they have a saying:

“Amor di madre, amore senza limiti.”(A mother’s love has no limits.)

3.genitori (parents)

Cognates are words in various langueras that have similar beginnings and therefore also have comparable sound and also definitions. English and also Italian have loads of cognates, prefer “familiar” and also familiare. They look so similar you deserve to commonly guess the definition even if you don’t recognize the word.

But tright here are additionally “false cognates”—words that look exceptionally comparable however have actually totally various definitions. They’ll make you say, “Boy, I didn’t check out that one coming!”

Parentiis one such word. No, it doesn’t suppose “parents”; it implies “loved ones.” (Although your loved ones could act choose they’re your parental fees periodically.)

Paleas in Italian is genitori. Remember that!

4.fratello (brother)

This would be easier to remember if you think of “frats,” those Greek-lettered “fraternities” in college. They’re all around brotherhood.

And they carry out have a pretty specific idea of what brotherhood is bereason the initially point they execute is provide you a great and memorable spanking. (Because hey, that’s just how you show someone you love them.)

If you uncover yourself among siblings, the oldest one’s dubbed il più grande(oldest) in Italian. The youngest is il più piccolo,and the bad one in the middle, via all the emotional baggage, is dubbed di mezzo(the middle).

5.sorella (sister)

If you’ve ever before had a sorella, specifically an older one, you know that they deserve to be both protective and also loving… and, okay, perhaps a tiny annoying, also.

But as soon as you prosper up, you’ll find that, no matter what your differences were in younger years, she can be an excellent amica(friend).

6.marito (husband)

Italians make excellent husbands: They’re passionate, cultured and also good-looking. (Well, the majority of of them are.)

If you’re “married,” that’s sposatoin Italian. That is, you have actually a spousage.

If you’re a single man, you’re a celibe (now, what English word does that remind you of…).If you’re a single lady, that’s referred to as nubile.

Someone divorced is divorziato/a. And if you consider yourself “separated,” then you’re separato/a.

Widowed? You’re vedovo/a.

Tbelow are so many ways to describe the state of humale relationships. But in any type of instance, whether you’re married, single, widowed or divorced… try to live la dolce vita(the excellent life).

7.moglie (wife)


The Italian wife could be stereotyped as the solid matriarch number, but remember that although women do play a really essential role in the Italian household unit, it’s unfair to organize everyone to a stereokind.

The book“The Italian Wife,” created by Kate Furnivall, shows avarious side to the coin. It’s a historic fiction set in Mussolini’s 1930’s Italy.

The book tells of Isabella, that was sitting at a caféonce a womale asked her to look after her daughter for a few minutes. This mommy then climbed to the extremely top of the Bellina clock tower and preserved walking till there was only air to action on.

The book will certainly not only take you earlier in time, it’ll likewise take you with enchanting hillside towns, winding roadways and also charming piazzas. See old-era Italy via Kate Furnivall’s masterful descriptions, and also learn somepoint around the true interpretation of household.

8.figlio/figlia (child / daughter)

Quick pronunciation note: The g below is silent. When you have actually gliin Italian, you pronounced it as a doublel or ll. So figliois pronounced “fee-llyo,” and also figliais pronounced “fee-llya”—through the letter gnowbelow to be heard.

Sons and also daughters are coddled in childhood, via the household unit (and also its extension) especially geared to elevating them correctly. In rerotate, the kids are supposed to show respect to elders.

As testament to the importance of family members in the Italian culture, you’ll discover plenty of sayings around it offered by indigenous speakers. One of them is, “Story padre / madre, tale figlio / figlia,”whose English equivalent is “Like father / mom, like boy / daughter.”

This expression might evoke somepoint positive, funny or nostalgic, favor when your kid drops a lump of spaghetti onto his lap, slathering himself through tomato sauce. But it have the right to additionally imply something negative, choose, say, a corrupt politician’s kid repeating the sins of his father.

9.zio / zia (uncle / aunt)

If you readjust the letter zto the letter t,then you have the Spanish equivalent of “uncle” and “aunt”—tioand also tia.

The more you examine these languages, the more you’ll alert the good overlap in between them. Spanish and also Italian are both descfinished from Latin and also are thought about 2 of the Romance languperiods.

They’re called “Romance” languperiods, not in the bouquet-of-flowers-champagne-lengthy walks-on-the-beach sense but quite because they’re descended from the language when spoken by the Romans. It’s constantly interesting to see just how language evolved and also which words continued to be equivalent throughout time and also space.

10.nonno (grandfather)

Raising the youngsters of the household is treated with the utmany prestige and everybody chips in. Even grandpa!

It’s incredibly common in Italian family members for the grandparental fees to have actually an energetic role in raising the grandyoungsters. Especially these days once husband also and also wife are out working, nonnocan exceptionally well be left via the youngsters.

In Italy, they think that “Guai a quella famiglia che non ha vecchi.”(A family members with no elderly is a doomed family members.)

This really talks to the richness of wisdom and also experience that elders bring, the life gems they have the right to imcomponent to the following generation.

And bereason grandpa and grandma love to spoil the youngsters, the little bit ones often adore them.

11.nonna (grandmother)

The nonnais the true head of the Italian family members. She’s old and wise, so much so thatyour very own father’s afrassist of her.

She’s so old, occasionally she’s dubbed nonnina(bit grandmother). Because she’s concerned that point in life once a perchild starts gaining smaller and her vertebrae begin acting up.

Italian grandmothers are the vessels of family heritages, household backgrounds and family members keys. There’s really rather nopoint favor the woguy that claims to have actually shaken hands with Mussolini and watched as the initially ever tiramisu was made by her own grandmother.

If you’re wondering how a huge Italian family members is maintained together, it’s most likely nonna’stask. She’s the glue that holds everybody in inspect. She likewise plays an important role in making sure that Italian culture and also traditions acquire passed from one generation to the following.

12.nipote (nephew / niece)

Nipoteoriginates from the Latin nepos,which means descendant. Words is also where we gain “nepotism”—which is the exercise of placing one’s very own family and loved ones in positions of power or preferential treatment.

If you’ll alert, Italian doesn’t differentiate between a nephew and a niece. You’ll understand the sex when an short article or possessive adjective is supplied. For example:

Mio nipote—My nephew

La mia bella nipoteMy beautiful niece

13.cugino / cugina (cousin)

For Italian family members, Sunday is household day. Everybody’s there—at somebody’s house—bringing all the different forms of pasta they’re so proud of.

Actually, any kind of excuse Italians have for a celebration—birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, first birthdays, winning third place in a Spelling Bee—everybody gathers approximately the table to eat.

That’s also once you satisfy the cousins your mom compared you via. And you think, “She’s not all that. I dunno what mommy was reasoning when she assumed Alessandra was so slim and also beautiful.”

14.fidanzato / fidanzata (fiancé / fiancée)

It’s thef word. Before ending up being a household, a man and womale acquire engaged.

It offered to be that fidanzatoand fidanzatajust referred to human being that were collection to be married. But over time, their use has extfinished to basic boyfriend-girlfrifinish relationships.

Besides this, the concept of engagement has lost its luster over time and many couples aren’t making a big deal out of it.

The terms ragazzoand ragazzahave the right to additionally be offered to convey boyfriend-girlfrifinish relationships. You say:

il mio ragazzo— my boy

la mia ragazza— my girl

Add to this a cocky smirk and you’ll be the envy of the human being.

15.patrigno / matrigna (stepfather / stepmother)

Here’s an additional instance of the silentg in Italian.

Italian is generally a language wbelow words are pronounced simply as they’re spelled. Spelling bees aren’t really pollinating in Italy. (The spelling and also the pronunciation go together so very closely that once a word is provided, you currently know exactly how it’s spelled.)

Tbelow are, of course, some exceptions. And this is among them.

Patrignoand matrignahas actually thatgn consonant combicountry. We don’t pronounce theg right here. Instead, thegn combination is pronounced as anny.

So patrignois pronounced “patree-nyo” and matrignais pronounced “matree-nya.”

And yes, gnocchiis pronounced “nyo-kee.”

16.suocero / suocera (father-in-legislation / mother-in-law)

They say that “la suocera non pensa mai che fu la nuora” (amother-in-regulation never remembers she used to be a daughter-in-law).

This is expected to remind a freshly married couple to move to one more state just as soon as the ink on the marital relationship contract has actually dried. There’s this idea that in-legislations, in basic, are meant to provide you a tough time. (It’s what you get for stealing their sons and also daughters.)

I’ve found this stereotype to be true.

But don’t ask me just how I found out.

17.cognato / cognata (brother-in-law / sister-in-law)

For Italians, a marital relationship doesn’t divide a household. Quite the oppowebsite, actually: Marriage extends or broadens a household. So you not just have a set of suoceroand also suocera, you’ll most likely likewise gain some cognatoand cognata.

In-regulations are really treated favor family. Just as you’re welcomed to your husband’s or wife’s circle, you likewise welcome them to your very own.

And the result? Sunday lunches end up being bigger, much longer tables are put up in the yard, you acquire invited to even more occasions and watch a totality brand-new generation thrive.

In many type of Italian communities, you deserve to actually watch how the people are related by marital relationship and witness how that renders the bond in between locals tighter.

18.bimbo / bimba (baby)

And last but definitely not the least, we have actually the baby. Bimboif it’s a boy and also bimbaif it’s a girl. These bad creatures obtain torturous punishment in the time of family members gatherings—experiencing pinched cheeks and playful bites on the tummy.

By the method, you can also usage the bambinoor bambinafor cuties.

But if you expect “baby” as in your “bae,” the love of your high school life, then you have the right to use words likeamore(love) or tesorino/tesorina(darling).

Although if you really want him to be part of la famiglia, you might desire nonnato take a good look at him initially.

See more: If You Want Something Bad Enough Quotes, Quotes About If You Want Something Bad Enough

So tright here you go! You now know what to contact your family members in Italian.

Use these words with some cool Italian slang on your following household gathering and feel the burning stares from your loved ones choose you’re in a scene from “The Godfather.”

Good luck!

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