Italian Word of the Day: Scodella (bowl)

Scodella (feminine, plural: scodelle) is just one of many words in Italian that can translate as bowl. I’ve settled on this particular word because it is the most generic, but don’t worry, I’ll touch upon the others below!

IPA: /sco·dèl·la/

In addition to referring to a handleless cup-like bowl, such as the kind used for breakfast cereal, it can also denote a soup plate (known more specifically as a piatto fondo in Italian) which is characterised by its wide rim and deep centre.

Ho versato il brodo in una scodella di plastica.

I poured the broth into a plastic bowl.

Scodella can also translate as bowlful, referring to the quantity of food contained within the bowl rather than the bowl itself.

Ho mangiato due scodelle di zuppa.

I ate two bowlfuls of soup.

soup in a bowl

The diminutive scodellina can be used to talk about any bowl with smaller than normal dimensions, whereas scodellone is used for large bowls.

Synonyms for Scodella

I started this article by saying that there are many other possible translations for bowl in Italian, so why don’t we take a minute to go through them!


IPA: /ciò·to·la/

I was torn between choosing this word and scodella because both have a fairly broad definition. It is defined as a large bowl-shaped cup without handles that is used above all for liquids and sometimes small solids. Unlike scodella however, it can’t refer to a soup plate. It is also the term used for dog and cat bowls.

cat eating food in a blue bowl

Piatto Fondo

IPA: /piàt·to fón·do/

Piatto fondo literally means deep plate and it is used to talk about any kind of soup bowl / plate with a wide rim and deep centre.

empty soup plate


IPA: /in·sa·la·tiè·ra/

An insalatiera is specifically a salad bowl. It has larger dimensions than bowls you’d use for eating.

wooden salad bowl full of green leaves


IPA: /tàz·za/

When you are talking specifically about deep cereal bowls, the term tazza (cup) is often preferred.

kid bowl full of cereals


IPA: /zup·piè·ra/

A large tureen equipped with handles and a lid, used to serve soup in broth.

metal soup pot with chickpea soup


IPA: /frut·tiè·ra/

This term is used specifically for fruit bowls.

bowl of fruits on the dining table

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