Finnish Names

Finnish names are really different. I have no idea how to pronounce many of them. My Danish friend told me that Finnish people are very different from Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian people. I don’t know why that is. But I know that my design school was in awe of Finland. [name]Helsinki[/name] was considered a shrine to great beauty. Finnish names are gorgeous-looking with their pairs of the same vowels or sometimes consonants, side by side. I love it when there is a brave consonant at the beginning of the name, and a soft little vowel trailing at the end.

Classic Boys Names, Finnish Versions:
[name]Charles[/name] - [name]Kaarle[/name]
[name]Daniel[/name] - [name]Taneli[/name]
[name]David[/name] - [name]Taavi[/name]
[name]Edward[/name] - [name]Eatu[/name]
[name]Eric[/name] - [name]Eero[/name]
[name]Frederick[/name] - [name]Rieti[/name]
[name]George[/name] - [name]Jorma[/name]
[name]Henry[/name] - [name]Heikki[/name]
[name]Jacob[/name] - [name]Jaako[/name], [name]Jouko[/name]
[name]John[/name] - [name]Hannu[/name]
[name]Michael[/name] - [name]Mikko[/name]
[name]Oscar[/name] - [name]Okko[/name], [name]Oskari[/name]
[name]Paul[/name] - [name]Paavali[/name], [name]Paavo[/name]
[name]Peter[/name] - [name]Pekka[/name], [name]Petteri[/name]
[name]Philip[/name] - [name]Vilppu[/name]
[name]Richard[/name] - [name]Reku[/name]
[name]Robert[/name] -[name]Pertti[/name], [name]Roope[/name]
[name]Stephen[/name] - [name]Tapani[/name], [name]Teppo[/name]

[name]Susan[/name], you sound like you might enjoy the website of [name]Rea[/name] Uotila, one of my favorite Finnish names enthusiasts. I “met” this lovely lady some years ago when she visited’s message board.

[name]Rea[/name] has been gathering names for many years, and there are numerous names from her native Finland represented in her outstanding Forename Archive. You can access it here:

[name]Rea[/name] does not choose to make her information on name meanings and etymology public, but one can enjoy her names lists nonetheless.

The Finnish are noted for a number of outstanding academics in the field of onomastics, one of my favorites being Iiro Kajanto, the author of The Latin Cognomina – a frequent reference source of mine over on the [name]Roman[/name] history discussion forum that I moderate.

– [name]Nephele[/name]

Thank you, [name]Nephele[/name]!

Now for some Finniish versions of classic girls names:
[name]Ann[/name] - [name]Annikki[/name], [name]Annalie[/name]
[name]Bridget[/name] - [name]Pirkko[/name], [name]Pirjo[/name]
[name]Caroline[/name] - [name]Karoliina[/name]
[name]Elizabeth[/name] - [name]Liisa[/name]
[name]Eve[/name] - [name]Eeva[/name]
[name]Henrietta[/name] - [name]Rikka[/name]
[name]Jane[/name] - [name]Jaana[/name]
[name]Leah[/name] - [name]Leea[/name]
[name]Lillian[/name] - [name]Lilja[/name]
[name]Mary[/name] - Maiji
[name]Miriam[/name] - [name]Mirjam[/name]
[name]Nina[/name] - [name]Niina[/name]
[name]Veronica[/name] - [name]Veera[/name]
[name]Violet[/name] - [name]Orvokki[/name]
[name]Wilhelmina[/name] - [name]Mini[/name]

I love [name]Orvokki[/name]!

[name]Eero[/name] is my absolute favourite when it comes to Finnish names!! So funky! ^^

[name]Lilja[/name] is fun because she’s practically my favourite Norwegian name ever!! Norwegian has two written languages; one based on Danish and one based on various Norwegian dialects… The one based on Danish is the most used, but the other one is the prettiest by far!! Very poetic sounding!
Anyway, [name]Lilja[/name] is “lily” in the dialect based one, while Lilje is the Danish based version, and [name]Lilja[/name] is ever so much more beautiful!!

Dearest, I have a question for you, if you don’t mind. Which of those two Norwegian languages that you mentioned is the oldest? The one based on Danish? Or the other one that you say is the prettiest and most poetic? Thanks!

I agree with you – [name]Lilja[/name] sounds the prettiest (to me), too. But then, I think any girl’s name ending in “a” is lovely.

– [name]Nephele[/name]

Dearest, I love hearing your insight on these names! Is it true that the Finnish culture is very different than the rest of the Scandinavian countries and if it is, why is that?
I love [name]Eero[/name], too! And [name]Lilja[/name] is lovely. [name]How[/name] do you pronounce [name]Lilja[/name] and Lilje?

You ask a difficult question [name]Nephele[/name], but I’ll try my best to answer ^^

Through time, Norway has been colonised, by Denmark and [name]Sweden[/name] in many turns… As the Norwegian language developed itself more, and the written word became more and more important, Norway was a part of Denmark, and a Danish “accent” was considered evidence of high class and whatnot… Norway used Danish as the written language at that time, but the need for a true Norwegian written language became apparent as we got our own constitution and such (1814) and through the 1800’s two guys went in different directions trying to make a Norwegian written language…

One guyt ([name]Knud[/name]) used our Danish heritage as inspiration, but making the written word more true to the Norwegian pronunciation, mainly that in the cities and the language of the “educated”.
The other ([name]Ivar[/name]) travelled across Norway and documented the different dialects he found in every remote village and valley and such and compiled a dictionary with grammar and everything based on that, the actual language spoken across Norway, finding similarities and common ground between all the different dialects (and we have MANY, and they are all much more different from one another than a lot of dielects within the English language)…
From what I can tell and remember, [name]Ivar[/name] published his dictionary and grammar between 1848 and 1850. [name]Knud[/name]'s published his first article on the subject in 1845, but no grammar was published until 1907 or thereabouts, after his death… I’m not too sure… this is the part of school most people HATE because it’s so complicated and unnecessary to walk around and remember! ^^

I hope that answers for you, I don’t know anything further back, but both Danish and Norwegian are Germanic languages, and developed from Old Norse (I think) so it’s really the 1800 stuff that matters… :slight_smile:

And about girls’ names ending in A, I love too many of those, I always get in trouble trying to make good combos, because most of the girls’ names end in A, and I don’t like alliteration, be that of the first or last letters of the names…

[name]Edit[/name] for [name]Susan[/name] ^^
I guess [name]Lilja[/name] and Lilje would be pronounced something like [name]LIL[/name]-yah and [name]LIL[/name]-yeh if that’s enough of a difference for you… We have a lot more vowel sounds in Norwegian than you have in English, so it’s kind of hard for me to portray it accurately… For instance, it’s absolutely BEYOND me how anyone can take an I or an O in a name and just change it into a Y or something and expect the pronunciation to be the same! It’s just ridiculous!! In Norway, [name]Lin[/name] and [name]Lyn[/name] mean two completely different things, but the pronunciation is so distinct, no one would mistake one for the other!

And Yes, Finnish culture is very different from the other Scandinavian nations… For starters, I understand both Danish and Swedish without trouble and could probably wrap my head around Icelandic if I wanted to, but Finnish might as well be Mandarin to me because I have no clue as to what they’re talking about! I have no idea why there’s such a difference though… Finland was not our main focus in school one could say ^^; It might be because [name]Sweden[/name], Denmark and Norway have had a very conjoined history, if that makes sense? We’re kind of like siblings who grew up together, Finland being the stepbrother who came in after we were all grown up… Scandinavia for me does not include Finland. Not that I have anything against Finland, quite the opposite, it’s just a feeling of mine ^^ I think Finland being part of Scandinavia is something the rest of the world thinks, but not the Scandinavians themselves… I’m only speculating of course, it’s really hard to say anything… If you ask a [name]Swede[/name], you’ll probably get a completely different view of it all, because [name]Sweden[/name] and Finland have a very close relationship ^^

Thanks for that explanation, Dearest! Very enlightening!

– [name]Nephele[/name]

I’m glad it is ^^ I actually learned a bit myself as well o.O