Italian Word of the Day: Zaino (backpack)

The word for backpack, knapsack or rucksack in Italian is zaino (masculine, plural: zaini).

the italian word for backpack is zaino

lo zaino

uno zaino

gli zaini

degli zaini

It refers to any bag with shoulder straps, including those carried by hikers, soldiers, and school children.

Non mi serve una valigia. Lo zaino è più che sufficiente.

I don’t need a suitcase. The backpack is more than enough.

man wearing a backpack

According to Treccani, it is thought that the word may derive from the Lombardic term zaina meaning basket (cesto / canestro).

The diminutive zainetto literally means small backpack, but it is often used to specifically refer to a child’s school backpack.

Non dimenticare lo zainetto quando vai a scuola, Beatrice!

Don’t forget your backpack when you go to school, Beatrice!

Because there isn’t an equivalent for the verb to backpack in Italian, you have to say viaggiare con lo zaino in spalla (to travel with your backpack on your shoulders).

Ethics statement: Below you will find affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

Lingopie (affiliate link) is the Netflix of language learning application that uses real TV shows and movies to help you learn a new language. You can choose a show to watch based on your fluency level, and use the interactive subtitles to get instant translations to help you learn quickly.

Are you interested in improving your Italian in a fun and stress-free manner? Then we highly recommend Serena Capilli's short stories in Italian (affiliate link), designed for beginners, advanced beginners, and lower intermediate learners (A1-B1 CEFR). These stories have been optimised for English speakers in search of a fun, laid-back learning experience! Read our full review here.

Leave a Comment