Italian Word of the Day: Incinta (pregnant)

The Italian word for pregnant is incinta (feminine, plural: incinte). It derives from the Medieval Latin term incincta.

IPA: /in·cìn·ta/

Below are a few verbs you’ll frequently see paired with incinta:

  • essere incinta = to be pregnant
  • rimanere incinta = to get pregnant
  • restare incinta = to get pregnant
  • mettere incinta = to impregnate, to get (someone) pregnant

Mia moglie è incinta di quattro mesi.

My wife is four months pregnant.

A pregnant woman can be called una donna incinta, una gestante or more informally, una futura mamma.

pregnant woman looking at ultrasound scans
La futura mamma guarda le prime ecografie della sua gravidanza. = The future mum looks at the first scans of her pregnancy.

A less common synonym of incinta in reference to women is gravida. Another synonym is pregna, which despite closely resembling the English word pregnant, almost exclusively refers to female animals. Below are a few other metaphorical synonyms you might hear in conversation:

  • aspettare un figlio = to expect a child
  • essere in stato interessante = literally: to be in an interesting state
  • essere in dolce attesa = literally: to be in sweet expectation

A well-known proverb in Italian is la mamma dei cretini è sempre incinta which literally translates as the mother of idiots is always pregnant. The equivalent English expression is stupidity breeds stupidity.

Did you know that…?
The adjective incinta is primarily used in its feminine form because it refers to a pregnant woman. The masculine equivalent incinto can however be used in an imaginary context or as a joke. (e.g. Pietro aveva mangiato così tanto che sembrava incinto. = Pietro ate so much that he looked pregnant.)

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