The word for squirrel in Italian is scoiattolo (masculine, plural: scoiattoli). Both terms can be traced back to the Greek skiouros, which is a combination of skia (shadow) and oura (tail).
The diminutive scoiattolino can be used to indicate a small squirrel or a squirrel kitten.
When you imagine a typical squirrel, what comes to mind is likely a member of the tree squirrel family such as the red squirrel (scoiattolo rosso) or Eastern gray squirrel (scoiattolo grigio). However there are many other species including the:
- scoiattolo volante = flying squirrel
- tamia = chipmunk
- marmotta = marmot
- scoiattolo di terra = ground squirrel
- cane della prateria = prairie dog
Gli scoiattoli sono tra i mammiferi più diffusi al mondo.
Squirrels are among the most widespread mammals in the world.
In a figurative sense, the word scoiattolo can be used to describe a person who is agile and energetic.
- È agile come uno scoiattolo. = He’s as agile as a squirrel.
- È veloce come uno scoiattolo. = He’s as fast as a squirrel.
- Arrampicarsi come uno scoiattolo. = To climb like a squirrel.
Quella bambina è proprio agile come uno scoiattolo. Guarda come si arrampica sull’albero!
That little girl really is a squirrel. Look at how she’s climbing the tree!