La Ruffiana (in Italian, pimp or whore) is an older female character of the commedia dell'arte with a shady past or who used to be a prostitute. She is used most often in relationship to the vecchi of which group she is a nominal member. Ruffiana is most often romantically involved with Pantalone, though his love may easily be unrequited if it suits the plot.
Ruffiana can also be used to describe a witch.
- Bettella, Patrizia (2005). The Ugly Woman. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 71. ISBN 0-8020-3926-X.
- Ariosto, Lodovico (1857). Opere di Lodovico Ariosto. L. Austriaco. p. 62.