How do you say LITTLE BEAR in Italian?

How exactly do you say little bear in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about little bears in Italian and you will even learn a few expressions featuring the word for bear. Read on to learn them all!

Orsacchiotto, orsetto
Little bear

Let’s start! Iniziamo!


How do you say little bear in Italian?

Orsacchiotto

Orsacchiotto is how you most commonly translate little bear in Italian.

Orsacchiotto
Little bear

smiling little bear

Little bear in Italian can be literally translated as piccolo orso, but we don’t really use this expression.

It is a masculine noun, so it uses the articles il (definite, the little bear), and un (indefinite, a little bear).

Un orsacchiotto
A little bear

Degli orsacchiotti
Some little bears

L’orsacchiotto
The little bear

Gli orsacchiotti
The little bears

It’s worth noticing that orsacchiotto in Italian has two different translations into English. It can mean:

  • bear cub
  • teddy bear (especially in the expression orsacchiotto di peluche or di pezza)

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For example, you could say…

Per Natale ho regalato a mio figlio un morbido orsacchiotto di peluche.
For Christmas, I gave my son a soft teddy bear.

Mamma orsa controlla che tutti gli orsacchiotti la stiano seguendo.
Mama bear checks that all the bear cubs are following her.

Il cane ha strappato una cucitura del mio orsacchiotto!
The dog tore a seam on my teddy bear!

Da bambina avevo un enorme orsacchiotto di pezza.
As a child, I had a huge stuffed teddy bear.

mama bears with two cubs

Orsetto

Orsetto is the other common translation for little bear in Italian, and it’s used as a perfectly interchangeable synonym for orsacchiotto.

Orsetto
Little bear, teddy bear

For example, you could say…

Oltre alla boccetta di profumo, mi hanno regalato un simpatico orsetto di peluche.
In addition to the perfume bottle, I was given a cute teddy bear.


The -acchiotto and -etto suffixes

There are many descriptive suffixes in Italian that can describe a noun without the use of an adjective. The -acchiotto suffix is one of these and it’s primarily used to describe some animals’ cubs with the meaning of “little and cute”. For example, lupacchiotto translates as “little and cute wolf pup”.

The –etto suffix behaves the same way. Orsetto and lupetto describe small and cute animal cubs.

lone wolf facing right

There’s a common and very wise Italian saying that goes non vendere la pelle dell’orso prima di averlo preso, meaning “don’t count your chicken before they hatch”. It teaches us not to be hasty.

Non vendere la pelle dell’orso prima di averlo preso.
“Don’t sell the bearskin before you get the bear.”

There’s also a very common idiomatic expression that translates to hibernate, andare in letargo, literally meaning “to go in hibernation”. For example, you could say…

Gli orsi vanno in letargo in inverno.
Bears hibernate in winter.

bear sleeping in its burrow during winter

And that’s it, now you know how to say little bear in Italian!


What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say little bear in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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