Vessels and Containers

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve done an old-fashioned Romanian language lesson, eh? But it’s Friday and for some odd reason, I always get the urge to write on the subject at the end of the week. So let’s do it!

Click on the links below to see the gender and declinations for each word, some of which can be very tricky for those learning Romanian (see especially ceașcă below) .

cană (con-uh) – A “cup” as in the kind of drinking vessel one uses with a saucer. If it doesn’t ordinarily come with a saucer, it isn’t a cană.

ceașcă (chosh-kuh) – A “mug” as in the thick-walled porcelain drinking vessel used primarily for coffee and other hot liquids.

cutie (koo-TEE-eh) – In most circumstances, this would refer to a box, whether a wooden box or a box of juice, etc. It is also used, however, to refer to food in a can, as in canned tuna, etcetera.

doza – This word means “dose” but it is also the word used to refer to a “can” but for drinks only. Therefore if it’s a can of drinks, it’s doza while a can of food is cutie.

farfurie (far-FUR-RY-eh) – The most common word for a plate. However be advised that often times the same word is used for a bowl as well.

bol (bowl) – Occasionally used to refer to a bowl to distinguish it from a flat farfurie.

sticlă (steek-luh) – Literally means the substance “glass” but never “glass meaning drinking vessel”. Instead, sticlă in Romanian usually means a bottle when referring to drinking vessels.

pahar (puh-HAR) – The most ubiquitous word for any drinking vessel, similar both to “cup” and “glass” in English.

halbă (hall-buh) – A stein or a mug, referring exclusively to the drinking vessel used for beer.


bere la halba – A mug/stein of beer (or “draft beer” in some situations)
bere la sticla – A bottle of beer
bere la doza – An aluminum can of beer

vas (vahss) – Sometimes exactly equivalent to the English word “vase”, as in a narrow, slender receptacle used to display flowers, etc. but sometimes it refers to a container used to transport liquids.

flacon (flock-cone) – Translated into English this would be “flask” but it also refers to plastic bottles with a flip lid that are used for such items as ketchup, mustard, etcetera.

oală (wallah) – The generic term for any pot used for cooking.

ceaun (chah-oon) – A term used for a much larger cooking pot, similar to the English word “cauldron”.

ceainic (chai-neek) – From the word ceai meaning “tea”, this word refers to a kettle or the vessel used to heat water in order to make tea.

ibric (ee-breek) – A regional vessel that is narrow, deep and has a longer handle, used for heating liquids, especially to make coffee. Click here to see a picture of an ornate ibric.

tigaie (tee-GUY-eh) – The generic term for a pan, as in a frying pan, or sometimes called a skillet in English.

pungă (poon-guh) – The most generic term for any bag.

plasă (plah-suh) – In ordinary Romanian, this means a “net”, however in the Banat and some other regions, this is the common word for any bag.

sac (sock) – This word refers to both “sack” in English as well as any larger bag. Therefore a garbage/rubbish bag would be a sac while a smaller shopping bag would be a pungă.

plic (pleek) – Refers to a paper pack(et), an envelope or in UKEnglish a “sachet” of something, such as sugar or salt.

găleată (gully-OTT-uh) – The most common term for any bucket.

lighean (league-ee-AWN) – A much shallower bucket, usually used for washing clothes.

Obviously there are dozens of other words for containers and vessels but this should get you started.