The word for a sink in Italian is lavandino. A word of northern origin, it is a derivative of the word lavanda meaning ‘wash‘ or ‘washing‘.
It is a masculine noun, so it takes the following definite and indefinite articles:
- il lavandino = the sink
- i lavandini = the sinks
- un lavandino = a sink
- dei lavandini = (some) sinks
Oh no, il lavandino è intasato! Abbiamo uno sturalavandini?
Oh no, the sink is clogged! Do we have a plunger?
In most regions across Italy, you can use lavandino to describe either a kitchen sink or a bathroom sink and no one will bat an eyelid. However, you may wish to specify which you are talking about using the terms lavandino della cucina (kitchen sink) or lavandino del bagno (bathroom sink).
There are also many possible synonyms, with a lot of regional variation as you can see below:
- lavabo = a common term across Italy for the bathroom sink
- lavello = a common term across Italy for the kitchen sink
- acquaio = used in Tuscany to refer to the kitchen sink, not the bathroom sink
- secchiaio = used in Emilia Romagna to refer to the kitchen sink
As a funny aside, lavandino is also the word for someone who eats a lot, without any regard for the quality of the food or hygiene of the place where it’s stored. Try saying “Ehi, ma sei un lavandino!” (“Hey, you’re a glutton!” – or literally “You’re a kitchen sink!”) the next time your son or daughter decides to raid the fridge!
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.