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:
- first cousin = cugino di primo grado
- second cousin = cugino di secondo grado / biscugino / procugino
- third cousin = cugino di terzo grado
- first cousin once removed (son/daughter of your first cousin) = procugino / biscugino
- first cousin once removed (father/mother’s cousin) = cugino primo del padre / della madre
- distant cousin = lontano cugino
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.