'Prima Donna' | Phrase Definition, Origin, & Examples
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Prima Donna Phrase

Prima Donna


The phrase ‘Prima Donna’ is usually used to describe someone who behaves in a demanding and arrogant way, often expecting special treatment and usually unable to work well with others.

Example of use: “When I served that famous singer in my restaurant, she requested that the chef change almost all the ingredients in her pasta, changed tables 4 different times and then got upset when the main course didn’t’ arrive as soon as she’d finished her hors d’oeuvre!! She’s truly the biggest Prima Donna I have ever met.”

Interesting fact

The first use of the phrase 'Prima Donna' was in Italy in 1782, however back then it was used to refer to the principal female singer in the opera. Around the early 1800's the phrase became a mainstream term in its derogatory connotations, probably because of the stereotypical behavior of famous opera singers.