Vorrei sapere che differenze di utilizzo ci sono tra le parole il seno, la tetta, il petto.

  • 2
    There is no problem in asking about words that could be profane in some context. Just be respectful and try to suitably qualify words that may be offensive to people or groups of people when not in context. In the specific case, I see no issue at all.
    – egreg
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 8:36
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    Welcome! There is absolutely no problem in having a responsible and professional discussion about these words; this site is about the Italian language in all its forms. We even had an old discussion in Meta about possibly offensive words and it is clear that no one takes objection. Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:35

2 Answers 2


Petto is the most general and neutral term: it can refer to a man, a woman or an animal (petto di pollo = chicken breast). When in doubt, use this.

The general meaning of seno is that of any fold or cavity, so literally it would refer to the cleavage between a woman's two breasts. In practice, it is used to mean the whole bosom and, often albeit improperly, also to each of the two breasts.

These two words are perfectly polite and can be used in almost any context, medical or otherwise.

Tetta is the equivalent of “tit” or “boob”: each one of a woman's two breasts (so, mostly used in the plural tette). This word requires quite a bit of caution: depending on the context, it can be considered quite vulgar (one would never use it to politely describe a woman) or very intimate, but can also be more affectionate, especially when talking in a confidential context about babies and breast-feeding.


"Seno" è il termine più comune per indicare l'organo, ad esempio in ambito medico: Screening per il tumore del seno. È solitamente applicabile solo alle donne, perché originariamente indicava lo spazio fra le mammelle, ma per estensione si intende tutto l'area (Treccani) ed è considerato "neutrale".

"Petto" è il termine che indica l'area tra collo e addome (Treccani). È applicabile anche agli uomini (Esercizi per il petto, tatuaggio sul petto, bruciore al petto). Nella lingua comune, lo uso quasi solo per parlare di un allenamento sportivo.

"Tetta" è il termine più familiare, che indica una mammella (una sola, quindi un seno = due tette) (ancora Treccani).

  • “Tetta” può essere un po' più volgare: “Victor Mature aveva un bel paio di tette”
    – egreg
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 15:07
  • @egreg: “No picture can hold my interest when the leading man's bust is bigger than the leading lady's”.
    – DaG
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 16:57
  • @DaG Groucho Marx. :-)
    – egreg
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 16:58

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