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illustration Fantoccini



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Italian, 18th century


Puppets used to enact dramatic scenes by means of machinery.


The puppet shows in which they are used.

Examples of Fantoccini in a sentence

"Fantoccini and other styles of puppet shows were once an extremely popular form of entertainment for children and adults alike."

"With this new choreography and music, the dancers move across the stage like fantoccini."

About Fantoccini

“Fantoccini” is based on “fantoccino,” a diminutive Italian word for “puppet,” which is itself based on the root “fante” (meaning “child”).

Did you Know?

For about a century before the arrival of the term “marionette” in the 19th century, “fantoccini” was the term used to describe puppets operated from above with sticks or cables. “Fantoccini” is related to the Italian root “fante” (meaning “child”) because of the small size of the puppets: Puppet shows were often advertised as bringing miniatures to life. Though the term “fantoccini” was originally associated with Italian puppeteer Carlo Perico, who brought his show to England in 1770, the term was quickly applied to all puppetry performances in which puppeteers operated from above.

illustration Fantoccini

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