Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Barberia and Barbiere, and when it is appropriate to use them?

I am doing a sign for a Barber Shop who wants to use the Italian wording. The shop has a name of it's own, this word would be to let people know what kind of shop it is (example: A Cut Above - Barbershop).

From my understanding:

Barberia = Barber Shop

La Barberia = Barber Shop

Barbiere = Barber Shop OR Barber

Il Barbiere = The Barber

Which is the most commonly used in Italy?


  • Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Apr 24 '18 at 15:46

Il Barbiere = The Barber is correct;

The most common way in Italy to mean "Barber shop" is "Barbiere", too.


"Vado dal barbiere" (I am going to the barber shop)


"Sei stato dal barbiere?" (Have you been at the barber shop?)

Barberia or La Barberia ("La" is just the determiner, like "the") is in my experience quite uncommon; it seems also a bit "old-fashioned" word and I can't exclude that some barbers use it as a distinctive brand name for their shop.

p.s. "vado dal barbiere" is in fact a figure of speech (a metonymy if I am not wrong)

p.p.s. "Barberia" is also an old way to denote a region in north Africa

  • It shouldn't be "barbieria"? I mean, according to dictionaries "barberia" is an obsolete or regional form for "barbieria".
    – Charo
    Apr 24 '18 at 16:35
  • 2
    In fact the first meaning coming to my mind for barberia is the region of Africa, not the barber shop :).
    – Denis Nardin
    Apr 24 '18 at 17:13
  • "Vado dal barbiere" (I am going to the barber shop) or rather, I am going to the barber's. Apr 24 '18 at 21:23
  • 2
    Non giurerei che sia una metonimia: va effettivamente da un signore che di mestiere fa il barbiere, come quando vai dal medico o dal sarto.
    – DaG
    Apr 24 '18 at 22:17
  • 1
    @DaG pensavo alla metonimia in quando mi sembrava uno scambio della persona col luogo (vado dal barbiere /vado al negozio del barbiere) Apr 25 '18 at 14:18

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