Word of the Day (la parola del giorno)

Word of the Day: This One’s for the Ladies

In honor of International Women’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to compile a list of all the ways one can say ‘woman‘ or ‘girl’ in Italian.

Obviously the translations into English are not very smooth… I basically decided the age ranges according to my own opinion, so nothing is set in stone!

Femmina – A female. You can call someone a ‘femmina,’ but it’s not the nicest way to address a woman- it’s like saying ‘Hey, female!’
Bambina – A baby girl, or a very young girl. The diminutive is bimba. (From birth-4.)
Ragazzina – A young girl (From 5-12.)
Ragazza – The most basic way to say, ‘girl’ (From 12-18.)
Pischella – The Roman way to say ‘girl.’
Signorina – A young lady (From 12+, or just any woman that is ‘young.’)
Fanciulla – Literally, a maiden, but I find it used by old men who talk to any woman under the age of 30.
Donna – A woman (Depending on her maturity level of course, but I’d say 25+.)
Signora – Madam, Mrs., or simply, woman (I want to say… 40+ ..?)
Zitella – This is definitely not a nice term… but the English equivalent would be a spinster.

These are all the words I could come up with, if anyone out there has anymore, let’s hear ’em!

(And on a completely unrelated Women’s Day note, the word ‘woman’ always makes me think of this Mike Myers goody from the film, So I Married and Axe Murderer, a personal fav of mine. “Woman, wo-man, woooooooooo-man!”)

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