Ways To Say Cousin In Italian

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning how to say cousin in Italian? Look no further!

In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of ways to refer to your cousin in the beautiful Italian language. Whether you’re looking to address a male or female cousin, a blood relative or a relative by marriage, we’ve got you covered.

From ‘cugino’ to ‘parente di famiglia allargata,’ you’ll find all the terms you need to express your familial relationships accurately.

Speaking the language of your Italian relatives can help you connect on a deeper level and show your appreciation for their culture.

So, why wait? Dive into this article and expand your Italian vocabulary today!


My cousin’s coming over tonight, and I couldn’t be more excited to see him! In Italian, the word for cousin is ‘cugino.’ It’s a simple and straightforward term that Italians use to refer to their cousins, whether they’re male or female. The word ‘cugino’ is pronounced as ‘coo-gee-no’ and is used in both formal and informal settings.

Italians have a strong sense of family, and cousins play an important role in their lives. They often spend time together, celebrate special occasions, and share many memories. So, when I get the chance to see my cugino, it’s always a joyous occasion. We have a special bond that’s unique to our relationship as cousins, and I’m grateful for that.

Parente di secondo grado

Imagine being at a family gathering and your aunt introduces you to someone as their ‘second degree relative.’ You might be confused and wonder what exactly that means.

Well, in Italian, when we talk about a ‘parente di secondo grado’, we are referring to a cousin who is not your direct cousin, but rather a cousin from another branch of the family. This could be your parent’s cousin or your cousin’s child.

It’s important to note that in Italian, we have different words for male and female cousins. A male cousin is called ‘cugino’ while a female cousin is called ‘cugina’.

So, next time you hear someone being referred to as a ‘parente di secondo grado’, you’ll know that they are a cousin from a different branch of the family.

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Fratello di sangue

Picture yourself standing next to your blood brother, feeling an unbreakable bond that runs through your veins. In Italian, you would refer to this special relationship as ‘fratello di sangue.’ This phrase literally translates to ‘blood brother,’ emphasizing the strong familial connection.

It reflects the deep bond and shared experiences between siblings who have grown up together and share the same biological parents. When you use this term, it highlights the unique connection that goes beyond friendship or mere acquaintanceship. It signifies a deep level of trust, loyalty, and understanding.

So, whether you’re referring to your actual biological brother or someone who feels like a brother to you, ‘fratello di sangue’ captures the essence of this profound relationship.

Sorella di sangue

Growing up together, siblings share a bond that can only be described as ‘sorella di sangue,’ a deep connection rooted in shared experiences and unwavering support. The phrase ‘sorella di sangue’ translates to ‘blood sister’ in English and reflects the strong familial ties between sisters.

This term encompasses the unique relationship formed through a lifetime of growing, learning, and supporting one another. Sisters who are ‘sorella di sangue’ have an unbreakable bond, marked by unconditional love, trust, and understanding. They celebrate each other’s successes, console each other in times of sorrow, and provide a constant source of encouragement and strength.

This connection goes beyond mere blood relation, as it is built on a foundation of shared memories, inside jokes, and a deep understanding of one another. Being a ‘sorella di sangue’ is a lifelong commitment, and it’s a privilege to have someone who’ll always be there for you, no matter what.


My cognato and I share a deep bond that goes beyond being just in-laws. Cognato is the Italian word for brother-in-law, and it accurately describes the relationship I have with my spouse’s brother.

We have a strong connection based on trust, respect, and a shared family history. We support each other through thick and thin, always ready to lend a helping hand or offer words of encouragement. Whether it’s celebrating milestones or navigating through difficult times, we are there for each other.

Our bond is not limited to our spouses; it extends to us as individuals. We share common interests, enjoy spending time together, and have built a friendship that is meaningful and cherished. My cognato is not just a family member; he is a brother and a friend.

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Zio o zia

As a child, you always looked forward to visiting your zio e zia’s house for Sunday dinners. It was a special time for your family to come together and enjoy delicious homemade meals.

Your zio, or uncle, was always there to greet you with a warm smile and a pat on the back. He would play games with you and make you laugh with his silly jokes.

Your zia, or aunt, was the one who cooked all the amazing food. Her pasta dishes were always a hit, and you couldn’t wait to dig in.

The house was always filled with laughter and love during those Sunday dinners with your zio e zia. Those memories will forever hold a special place in your heart.


Every time you see your nephew, your heart bursts with love and joy. In Italian, the word for nephew is ‘nipote.’ It is used to refer to both a nephew and a niece. The word ‘nipote’ is derived from the Latin word ‘nepos,’ which means grandchild.

It is important to note that the Italian language doesn’t make a distinction between a nephew and a niece, using the same word for both. When speaking to your nephew in Italian, you can say ‘Ciao nipote!’ which means ‘Hello nephew/niece!’ This term of endearment shows your affection and closeness to your nephew.

So, whether you’re giving your nephew a hug, playing games together, or simply spending time with him, remember to express your love in Italian by calling him ‘nipote.’

Parente acquisito

Marriage brings a new member into the family, creating a bond with your spouse’s relatives, known in Italian as ‘parente acquisito.’ This term refers to the family members that you gain through marriage. When you marry someone, you not only join your lives together but also become connected to their extended family.

Your parente acquisito can include your spouse’s cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. It is important to acknowledge and value these relationships as they contribute to the fabric of your new family. Building connections with your parente acquisito can be a wonderful way to learn about Italian culture, traditions, and customs.

Embracing your spouse’s relatives as your own allows for a deeper sense of belonging and strengthens the bonds within your family unit.

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Parente lontano

Connecting with your spouse’s distant relatives brings a sense of warmth and belonging that can fill your heart with joy. In Italian, a distant relative is referred to as ‘parente lontano.’ While the term ‘cousin’ specifically refers to a relative who shares the same grandparents, a parente lontano can include a wider range of family connections.

These can include second, third, or even fourth cousins. Building relationships with these extended family members is an opportunity to expand your network of loved ones and deepen your understanding of your spouse’s heritage. By embracing the Italian language and culture, you can bridge the gap between you and your parente lontano, creating a bond that transcends distance and time.

Whether through shared traditions, stories, or simply spending time together, connecting with your spouse’s parente lontano can enrich your life and bring a sense of unity and belonging.

Parente di famiglia allargata

Expanding your family network through your spouse’s extended relatives can bring unexpected joys and a deeper sense of belonging. In Italian, a cousin from your spouse’s side is called ‘parente di famiglia allargata.’ This term refers to a cousin who is related to you through marriage rather than blood.

It is important to note that in Italian, the word ‘parente’ can be used to refer to both close and distant relatives. So, when you want to specifically indicate a cousin from your spouse’s extended family, you can use the phrase ‘parente di famiglia allargata.’

This distinction is helpful in conversations and family gatherings, as it allows you to be precise and accurate when referring to your spouse’s cousins. Embracing these new family connections can enrich your life and create a stronger bond with your spouse’s extended relatives.


In conclusion, there are several ways to say ‘cousin’ in Italian. The most common term is ‘cugino,’ which is used for both male and female cousins.

Other terms include:

  • ‘parente di secondo grado’ (second-degree relative)
  • ‘fratello di sangue’ (blood brother)
  • ‘sorella di sangue’ (blood sister)
  • ‘cognato’ (brother-in-law/sister-in-law)
  • ‘nipote’ (nephew/niece)
  • ‘parente acquisito’ (in-law)
  • ‘parente lontano’ (distant relative)
  • ‘parente di famiglia allargata’ (extended family member)

These terms are important to know when talking about family relationships in Italian.