How to Say COUSIN in Italian

Sei fortunato ad avere tanti cugini!
You’re lucky to have a lot of cousins!

Learn all about how to say cousin in Italian, the difference between cugino and cugina, and how they’re pronounced. You’ll learn how to say, pronounce and use the Italian words for cousins (cugini and cugine), little cousins (cuginetto and cuginetta), different words for describing first cousins (like primo cugino), and how to use possessives with the word cugino.


Cugino means cousin in Italian . . . but not all the time. In Italian, nouns end differently depending on gender. So there are two different words for male cousin and female cousin

Un cugino is a male cousin (pronounced koo-JEE-noh).

Una cugina is a female cousin (pronounced koo-JEE-nah).

Ho una cugina che abita a Firenze.
I have a (female) cousin who lives in Florence.


There are two words for cousins in Italian, cugini and cugine. Again, it depends on the gender of the cousins. The difference between cugini and cugine is:

Cugini is the masculine plural. It means cousins, with at least one male in the group (koo-JEE-nee)

Cugine is the feminine plural form. It means cousins that are all female (koo-JEE-neh)

Yes, you read that right: one boy makes the noun masculine plural. Even if there are one hundred female cousins and one young boy cousin, you have to use the masculine plural form cugini.

If you wish to specify that you are speaking about just male cousins, use cugini maschi.

Ho tre cugine.
I have three (female) cousins.

Ho nove cugini.
I have nine (male and female) cousins.

Ho due cugini maschi.
I have two male cousins.


Italians use yet another word when speaking about cousins who are children. Cuginetto and cuginetta mean little cousin, or baby cousin:

Un cuginetto is a male little cousin, or male baby cousin (pronounced koo-jee-NEHT-toh).

Una cuginetta is a female little cousin, or female baby cousin (pronounced koo-jee-NEHT-tah).

Ieri è nato una cuginetta della mia amica!
Yesterday my friend’s little cousin was born!



Italians refer to a first cousin: that is, the child of an aunt or uncle, in a few different ways. Often, they simply use the word cugino(m) or cugina(f) for this relationship.

A first cousin is also:

Un primo cugino (m) or una prima cugina (f)
Un cugino di primo grado (m) or una cugina di primo grado (f) 


Un cugino(m)/una cugina(f) di secondo grado is a cousin once removed: that is, the child of your first cousin, or the first cousin of your parent. 

In the case of a first cousin of your parent, Italians also use the word biscugino (m) or biscugina (f).

A distant cousin is un cugino lontano (m), or una cugina lontana (f)


To say my cousin, use mio cugino for a male cousin, and mia cugina for a female cousin. Usually possessives in Italian also require the direct article (the). For example: il mio amico means my (male) friend. However, family members are a big exception.

Do not use the direct article with the SINGULAR, unaltered nouns of most family members. If there is an adjective before or after the family member, use the article. Also, use the article with the possessive loro. 


When talking about a male cousin: 

mio cugino is my cousin
tuo cugino is your cousin (informal you) 
suo cugino is his/her/your cousin (formal you) 
nostro cugino is our cousin
vostro cugino your cousin (plural you) 

When talking about a female cousin:

mia cugina is my cousin
tua cugina is your cousin (informal you) 
sua cugina is his/her/your cousin (formal you) 
nostra cugina is our cousin
vostra cugina your cousin (plural you) 


Il loro cugino is their (male) cousin
Il mio cugino più piccolo is my youngest (male) cousin
La mia cugina buffa is my funny (female) cousin
La mia cuginetta is my little (female) cousin

When talking to your cousin, you can call a male cousin cugino mio, and a female cousin cugina mia or cousin of mine/my cousin.

Ciao cugino mio, buon compleanno! Hi my cousin, happy birthday!

My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 comedy starring Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Ralph Macchio. Marisa Tomei won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her hilarious role as Mona Lisa Vito. Here is the trailer for the Italian version of the film, Mio Cugino Vincenzo, dubbed in Italian:


How do you say cousin in Sicilian?
is the word for cousin in Sicilian. It is sometimes also spelled cuscinu

You may want to read more about Relatives in Italian.