How to Say “Cousin” in Italian – Cugino / Cugina

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.

/kuˈdʒino – kuˈdʒina/
The Italian word for "cousin"

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!

Warm toned portrait of two cute little kids hugging and laughing happily holding teddy bear toy
Siamo cugini! = We’re cousins!

When referring to children, people often use the diminutive forms cuginetto (masculine) or cuginetta (feminine). They literally translate as little cousin.

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