Italian with Cher
30 Minute Italian
[Italian Lesson] An overprotective mother.

[Italian Lesson] An overprotective mother.

Molti uomini italiani hanno una mamma chioccia.

In one of my previous relationships, I got the feeling that my partner’s mother was a tiny bit overprotective. 

When I mentioned the way she tended to his every need or even sometimes became competitive with me, my tutor laughed and replied, “Ah, una mamma chioccia.”

Simply put, “una mamma chioccia” means an overprotective mother and “chioccia” itself translates to “mother hen.”

How might this be used in Italian? Here are a couple examples:

  • Molti uomini italiani hanno una mamma chioccia. - Many Italian men have an overprotective mother. 

  • C’è una linea sottile tra una mamma che desidera il meglio per i suoi figli e una che si trasforma in una mamma chioccia. - There is a fine line between a mom that wants the best for her kids and one that becomes an overprotective mother.

Have questions about this? Hit reply!

Un abbraccio,


P.S. Do you know how we say “cold > warm > hot” when helping someone find something in English? Like, “you’re getting colder” or “you’re getting warmer!” Well, Rachel -- the culture features writer -- posted on her Instagram story that she learned that Italians use “acqua > fuochino > fuocherello > fuoco” instead, which translates to “water > tiny fire > bigger fire > fire.” Cute, right? If you use Instagram, follow her @theitalianista to learn more words and phrases like this! Also, today is her birthday! TANTI AUGURI RACHELE!

Note of language love: All of our articles, lessons, and podcast episodes have been edited by Irene Malentacchi, the founder of Italian in Love. However, if you find a mistake, let us know! We want these articles to be accurate, accessible, and easy to understand. Reach out directly at or leave a comment. Grazie in anticipo!

Italian with Cher
30 Minute Italian
Boost your confidence in speaking Italian in 30 minutes or less with the 30 Minute Italian Podcast. We cover expressions, sometimes sexy grammar, and culture through personal travel stories and detailed examples.