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Sicilian PupiThe translation of the word “child” In Italian is “bambino”. Often, people will use a different word: “pupo”. It is a more affectionate way of calling a child, perhaps a younger one, like a toddler.

This is different from a baby that in Italian is called with the French word “bebe’ ” and also with the less used word “infante”. Newborn is “neonato” while an older child like a pre-teen is called “ragazzino”.

Confusing? Let’s summarize:


  • Newborn = il neonato, la neonata
  • Infant =  il bebe’ , l’infante
  • Young child = il pupo (term of endearment)
  • Child = il bambino, la bambina
  • Pre-teen = il ragazzino, la ragazzina


And some more…

  • Teenager = il ragazzetto, la ragazzetta
  • Young adult = Il ragazzo, la ragazza


And now a bit of history and culture…

The word “Pupo” indicates a traditional Sicilian puppet that dates back from the medieval times.

You can learn more about Pupi and practice your Italian by visiting the museum of the Sicilian “Pupi”.

If you need professional Italian translation services check with a translation company offering these services.

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