Finnish/Scandinavian boy name for American use?

We are expecting baby #2 in [name_u]August[/name_u] and it is a boy. Husband would love to honor his heritage by choosing a Finnish name, and the middle name will be [name_m]Jonathan[/name_m], his first name.
We both love [name_m]Eero[/name_m] (pronounced eh-roh) but I’m not sure about the usability here in the US- people seeing the name will pronounce it as ee-ro, and when spoken it will sound like [name_u]Arrow[/name_u]/Aero and I feel needs explanation.

Thoughts on using a name like this, and/or other ideas for a Finnish/Scandinavian name that is easy to use here in the US?

Eero is very cool! I will admit, I pronounced it with a long-e sound (rhyming with hero) in my head before reading the actual pronunciation. It’s the kind of name where people may not just be confused, they may assume–both a pronunciation from the spelling, and a spelling from the pronunciation. But on the plus side for [name_m]Eero[/name_m], it’s short and easy for an American tongue to say once you know how to say it. So will it require explanation? I think almost certainly. But it’s not the kind of name that I would see being repeatedly mispronounced by the same people once they learn. Also, I find the sound very appealing! I would lean towards using it, provided you’re prepared to explain the pronunciation to new people and are okay with your son having to do so as well. It’s meaningful to you, sounds cool, and won’t be hard for Americans to say–they’ll just probably have to be taught! I don’t have other suggestions for Finnish/Scandinavian names off the top of my head, but I may come back, and I’m guessing someone here will have great suggestions!

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There’s nothing wrong with having to mention how a name is pronounced, and once you’re in the know, it’s quite straightforward. The correction factor will probably always be in play, but as long as that’s no big deal, I think it’s a wonderful name.

When it comes to Scandinavian names, there are a lot that I like but they’re mostly on the girl side of the coin.

Pronounciation could be a problem and he will either be correcting people a lot or just live with it being mispronounced through his life. Other Scandinavian names I have seen used in the US that I like are [name_m]Anders[/name_m] and [name_m]Johan[/name_m]. I also like [name_m]Bjorn[/name_m] (nn [name_u]Bo[/name_u]). I also have a friend in [name_u]Sweden[/name_u] who named her son [name_u]Finn[/name_u]. I assumed it was Irish related, but she explained it is Scandanavian too and is from the Old Norse name [name_m]Finnr[/name_m], which meant “Sámi, person from Finland”.

I really like [name_m]Eero[/name_m]! It’s familiar to be because of the architect [name_m]Eero[/name_m] Saarinen, but I agree that you will probably get slight mispronunciations at first. But [name_m]Eero[/name_m] [name_m]Jonathan[/name_m] is wonderful!

Other Finnish/Scandinavian names that might be a bit more straightforward…


I love [name_m]Eero[/name_m]! It’s on my favorites list. I think it’s so handsome and cool. When I first heard the name, I pronounced it correctly, though I do see how people could pronounce it wrong. I do think it could work though, its a quick correction to make!

I also love the suggestions of [name_u]Finn[/name_u], [name_u]Niko[/name_u], [name_m]Axel[/name_m], [name_m]Otto[/name_m], [name_m]Frey[/name_m], [name_m]Sven[/name_m], [name_m]Jonas[/name_m], [name_m]Jesper[/name_m], & [name_m]Ragnar[/name_m]!!

[name_m]Eero[/name_m] pronounced with a long ee (like hero) is actually a Finnish name as well! It’s just spelled Iiro.

I feel your pain - we’re a Finnish-American living in [name_f]Scotland[/name_f] and names that work in both languages are so hard to come by.

Some of our favourites though:
Sampo (Could go by Sam for short)
Niko or Nikolas
Tomi (pronounced the same as Tommy)

Love Eero too though! Wouldn’t worry about the pronunciation too much if it’s the one for you. I’ve taught the Scots to pronounce my name, Tuulikki. Your Eero will be fine too I’m sure.

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Eero is a super cool name! If you both love it, you should use it. People mispronounce “American” names in [name_u]America[/name_u] all the time; my brother [name_m]Gabriel[/name_m] gets his name pronounced wrong more often than not. It’s not a hard name to remember after the first time you hear it.

I love this name! Suits the middle name well! Other names:


I agree. It is simple for me (a monolingual American with some level of speech impediment) to pronounce once it is explained. However, it is something that will need an explanation.

Most of finnish names are pronounced very differently to english names as are alphabets individually too. But as a finn living in uk, I would say that it is allright, eventhough everyone says my name slightly off for first time - I still always recognice it. As long as the name is not way too different and difficult, I wouldn’t see it as a problem. And luckily, most finnish names are fairly short. :smiley: Here’s some came to my mind that might work with [name_m]Jonathan[/name_m]:

[name_m]Alvar[/name_m] (not typical finnish name, but by the famous finnish architect [name_m]Alvar[/name_m] [name_m]Aalto[/name_m])
Voitto (=victory)
Sisu (= unique finnish word for willpower, nowadays also a cute trendy boy’s name)
[name_u]Kimi[/name_u] ([name_u]Kimi[/name_u] Räikkönen eheheh)
[name_m]Jimi[/name_m] ( would be easy to pronounce with the both ways of saying letter J)
Nooa (=[name_u]Noah[/name_u])
[name_m]Onni[/name_m] (=luck)

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