As I was eating my cacio e pepe pasta out of a parmigiano bowl yesterday for lunch, I realized that I didn’t know how to say ‘bowl‘ in Italian. It’s not the first time I wondered what the word is for bowl, but this time I made a mental note to look it up. Surprisingly enough, there are a few words one can use:
Piatto fondo: yesterday, my Italian lunch mate threw out piatto fondo as the translation of bowl. Obviously this didn’t sit well with me, since it just means, a deep plate. Womp womp womp. Way to just describe what a bowl is, but not actually have a word for it, Italian language! Well that’s what I thought yesterday at least…
Scodella: (noun, f) Hellooooo bowl! Etymology: coming from scutra which in turn comes from the Greek, chytra, meaning an earthen vessel. Specifically, it means a deep round dish, or a basin.
Ciotola: (noun, f) This word specifically means a large cup/mug without a handle- so a bowl. The etymology is a bit confusing, but from what I understand it comes from the Greek, kotyle, or from the Latin, cotyla. Both meaning a large and deep cup/mug used specifically for measuring medicinal herbs and what not.
Insalatiera: (noun, f) It’s a salad bowl! Obviously coming from the Italian word for salad, insalata, it’s a vessel that is used for holding salad.
Zuppiera: (noun, f) It’s a soup bowl, or a soup tureen! Obviously coming from the Italian word for soup, zuppa, it’s a vessel that is used for holding soup. (As if in Rome you would ever eat soup… boo! to no soup in Roman cuisine.. but nonetheless, that’s the word.)
‘Ho mangiato una ciotola di gelato per cena.’ – I ate a bowl of ice cream for dinner.
‘Il mio coinquilino ha rotto la mia insalatiera!’ – My roommate broke my salad bowl!
‘Mi passi un piatto fondo per il guacamole?’ – Would you pass me a deep dish for the guacamole?
‘Ho sempre una scodella di caramelle vicino la porta.’ – I always have a bowl full of candies near the door.
‘Ho una bella zuppiera sulla mia lista di nozze.’ – I have a beautiful soup tureen on my wedding registry.
PS– is it a coincidence that every word for ‘bowl’ in Italian is feminine? Discuss.