How do you say SQUID in Italian?

How exactly do you say squid in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different kinds of squid in Italian along with other kinds of mollusks. Read on to learn them all!


Let’s start! Iniziamo!

How do you say squid in Italian?


Calamaro is how you translate squid into Italian.

Il calamaro
The squid

giant squid with a scuba diver

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

Un calamaro
A squid

Dei calamari
Some squids

Il calamaro
The squid

I calamari
The squids

Its pronunciation is similar to kah-lah-mah-roh and it comes from the Latin calamarium because of its black ink. Make sure the final -o doesn’t have a -w quality, as Italian vowel sounds are clean!

Quante braccia ha un calamaro?
How many arms does a squid have?

Both squids and chameleons can change color.
Sia i calamari che i camaleonti possono cambiare colore.

Qual è il nome scientifico del calamaro gigante?
What is the scientific name of the giant squid?

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Polpo, seppia, piovra

Polpo is the Italian translation for octopus. It’s a masculine word.

Il polpo
The octopus

Il polpo si avvolse intorno alla sua preda.
The octopus wrapped itself around its prey.

red, smiling octopus holding two takoyaki

The Italian translation for cuttlefish is seppia, a feminine word. This is the word you will need to use to say squid ink: nero di seppia, “cuttlefish black”. We don’t actually say nero di calamaro.

La seppia
The cuttlefish

Il nero di seppia
The squid ink

Le seppie si possono acquistare al mercato del pesce.
You can buy cuttlefish at the fish market.

Then there’s piovra, which is the translation for giant squid. Sometimes you will see piovra gigante, which is the same animal. This is a feminine word.

La piovra gigante
The giant squid

Il kraken è un tipo di piovra gigante.
The Kraken is a type of giant squid.

kraken attacking a ship at sea - how do you say squid in italian

Dishes with “molluschi”

Cuttlefish, octopuses and squids are called molluschi in Italian, mollusks.

Il mollusco
The mollusk

The risotto al nero di seppia, the squid ink risotto, is a very famous dish in Italian.

Il risotto al nero di seppia
The squid ink risotto

Hai mai mangiato il risotto al nero di seppia?
Have you ever had squid ink risotto?

dish of squid ink spaghetti

Another very common dish with cuttlefish is the fritto misto, also known as frittura di paranza: crunchy, savory, fried pieces of flying squid (totano), cuttlefish and shrimps (gamberetti). It’s simply delicious and my mouth is watering just by writing about it!

Fritto misto literally translates to “mixed fried”.

Il fritto misto
The fritto misto

La frittura di paranza
The frittura di paranza

Non ho mai mangiato un fritto misto così buono!
I’ve never had such a good stir fry!

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

What next?

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

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