The word for cousin in Italian is cugino. Unlike the English word however, you can specify the gender of the person by changing the last letter of the word. A male cousin is a cugino and a female cousin is a cugina.
There are also masculine and feminine versions of the plural cousins. Many male cousins, or a mix of male and female cousins, are known as cugini and many female cousins are called cugine.
Ho quattro cugine e solo un cugino.
I have four female cousins and only one male cousin.
Of course cousins exist to varying degrees as you can see below:
- cugino di primo grado = first cousin
- cugino di secondo grado = second cousin / first cousin once removed
- cugino di terzo grado = third cousin / first cousin twice removed
- lontano cugino = distant cousin
Roberto è un lontano cugino ma vado più d’accordo con lui che con il resto della famiglia!
Roberto is a distant cousin but I get along with him better than the rest of my family!
When referring to children, people often use the diminutive forms cuginetto (masculine) or cuginetta (feminine). They literally translate as little cousin.
Heather Broster is a graduate with honours in linguistics from the University of Western Ontario. She is an aspiring polyglot, proficient in English and Italian, as well as Japanese, Welsh, and French to varying degrees of fluency. Originally from Toronto, Heather has resided in various countries, notably Italy for a period of six years. Her primary focus lies in the fields of language acquisition, education, and bilingual instruction.