Finnish Names 1

Finnish names: Common Finnish names for girls and boys

If you’re looking for inspiration for your new baby, then this list of Finnish names could be just the thing to give you a spark of creativity. Alternatively, why not browse through these common Finnish names to learn what Finnish titles mean.

What do you imagine when you think of Finland? This Nordic country is well-known throughout the world for its amazing scenery and stunning architecture. 

However, it also attracts expats from around the world with a unique heritage, culture, and history. One of the best ways to appreciate the unique nature of the Finnish people, is to take a closer look at their names. 

As the 8th largest (but least populated) country in the world, Finland is a unique place where you’re bound to find a selection of titles which might sound odd to the untrained American ear. Yet these monikers can also tell an incredible story about Finland’s growth. 

Let’s begin…

The rules on Finnish first names

Did you know in Finland a baby can have up to 3 first names? What’s more, not all your Finnish first names need to be given on the day you’re born. You can keep adding to your child’s title all the way up until they’re two months old. 

After this time, changing your child’s name gets a little more complicated. 

In Finland, names are surrounded by a series of rules and regulations intended to protect children from the bad decisions of their parents. 

A parent can’t pick a name deemed inappropriate for their child, or one which might harm their future, so something like “TunaFish” would be out of the question. 

Another law is that in Finland you cannot give a male name to a girl, or a female name to a boy. However, there are some unisex names that fit both genders.

The only way you can use a name a child with a “non-gendered” name is if there are already five people using the name with the same gender of the child. Names are spelled in a way which goes against Finnish naming practices are also strictly prohibited. 

Like in most parts of the world, of course, there are a handful of circumstances where you may be allowed to “break the rules” of naming in Finland. There is a special name committee that decides whether a name that is slightly unconventional gets accepted or not.

Last names are highly regulated in Finland too. In general, children are expected to take the last name of at least one of their parents. However, you can change your last name in Finland if you fill out an application, just like changing your first name. 

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Finnish male names: Popular Finnish names for boys

With our basic introduction to the complexities of Finnish naming out of the way, let’s start exploring some of the popular Finnish names in the country for young boys. 

Many of the Finnish male names mentioned here are also popular throughout the rest of Scandinavia too, although they may have slightly different spellings and meanings. 

1. Aapo

An abbreviation of “Aapeli” (another beautiful name for residents of Finland), Aapo is a name with many potential backgrounds. As well as being common in Finland, this title also appears in Germany, and Holland too. 

It means “father of a multitude of nations”, and it’s essentially a reference to God. For people of the Christian faith, this could be a wonderful name. 

2. Aadolf

Aadolf is a unique Finnish and Germanic name which has lost a lot of its appeal over the years in some parts of the world. However, you’re likely to still see this name appear quite often in Finland. 

Aadolf means “distinguished” or “strong wolf”, and it can also mean the “evening before”, as in the day before an important holiday. 

3.  Benjamin

The name Benjamin is rather popular in Finland too, and it is easy to pronounce in many languages. The origin of the name comes from Hebrew, “Ben” meaning son and “Yamin” meaning right hand. It has a long history behind it and is traditionally also used for the youngest child of the family.

4. Kalle

Kalle is a Nordic name, and one particularly popular in both Sweden and Finland. In some parts of the world, you’ll also see the name “Calle” used as a surname. As a Finish first name, Calle means “a man who is free,” and it’s a fantastic alternative to Karl, or Carl. 

5. Eero

Eero is a wonderfully strong and popular Finnish name for a young boy. It means “forever strong” or the “eternal ruler”, which should be enough to impress just about any little warrior. Eero might sound like it comes from the age of Norse Gods and Vikings, but it’s actually a variation of Eric. 

6. Daan

As you explore some of the most popular names in Finland, you’re likely to see a lot of spellings that use a double “a” sound. Daan is one of the popular choices for Christian families in Finland, as it means “The Lord is my Judge”. 

A longer version of the name which appears quite frequently in the Nordic region is “Daanin”. 

7. Edvin

It’s rare to see a lot of names with a “V” in the middle outside of Scandinavia. Edvin is the slightly quirkier version of Edwin in Finland, and it also has another spelling: Audun. Edvin means “rich or wealthy friend”. 

This name has spread from Finland into Sweden, Norway, and Denmark over the years. 

8. Fidan 

What better way to showcase your love of Finland than to choose a name beginning with “F”. In some parts of the world, Fidan is a female name which means “sapling”. However, in Finland, this male name translates to mean “one who makes sacrifices”. 

9. Harald

A great example from our list of old Finnish names, Harald is a very popular name throughout the Nordic countries. However, it originates from German and used to be written as Hariwald. Harald means the “ruler of an army.”

10. Jaakko

Another Finnish name with a memorable double “a” spelling, Jaakko is common in both Finland and Estonia. This highly Nordic name is a variant of the English name Jack, or Jacob, and it’s sometimes linked to James too. It means “supplanter”. 

11. Jussi

A super fun Finnish name for someone in search of something a little different, Jussi is the Finnish alternative to Johannes or John. Sometimes, Finnish people use the name Jussi as a shortened version of Juho or Juhani. It means “Gift from God”. 

12. Kai

Kai is an exotic name that’s quickly spreading in popularity around the world. It’s common to spell this name either “Kai” or “Kaj” in Finland, and it means “warrior”.

Interestingly, in Sweden, Kai has a quite different meaning, although it’s still a male name. Kai in Sweden means “rejoice”. 

13. Leevi

A Finnish variant of a slightly better-known Hebrew name, Levi, Leevi is a common choice for boys in Finland. Since Leo is one of the most popular names in Finland, Leevi offers an interesting alternative for those who want to avoid the crowds. It means “attached”. 

14. Lael

If you’re looking for a Finnish male name with some extra music to it, Lael is a good choice. This popular title, pronounced Laa-ehl, means “of God”. It’s another common name in Finland with has origins in Hebrew. 

15. Levo

A somewhat more unique version of the common name “Leo” in Finland, Levo is a title with a little more bite to it. This name means “Lion”, just like Leo, and it can also mean to “elevate” or lift something up. 

16. Niko

Niko is a fun and adorable name we think sounds great. As you might have guessed, it’s the Finnish variant of the English name “Nicholas”, and it means “Victory of the People”. This might be a good name choice if you’re raising a little leader. 

17. Sami

Sami is a cute Finnish version of the name Samuel or Sam. Sami has some Arabic roots to it, but it’s extremely popular in Finland too. Meaning “sublime” or “elevated”, this is a wonderful Finnish name to give to your bundle of joy.

18. Torben

Torben is one of the most interesting names we’ve seen from Finland, and definitely one worth considering if you like Old Norse legends. Torben means “Thunder Bear”, which is something no-one is going to forget any time soon. 

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Finnish girl names: Common Finnish names for girls

Don’t worry, we’re not going to let the boys have all the fun. There are plenty of great Finnish male names out there, but it’s worth checking out some of the amazing Finnish girl names too. From Ada to Marja, Finland is packed full of little girls with meaningful and beautiful names. 

Here are just some of the most appealing ones we think you should know…

1. Ada

Ada is one of the old Finnish names that still appears regularly around the country today. The title is a shortened version of Adeline or Adelaide, but you can also use it on its own. Ada means “nobility” or “noble” and it can also translate to “first daughter”. 

2. Rebekka

Rebekka is a fun Nordic name common throughout Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. In Denmark and Sweden, it’s more common to see the spelling “Rebecca”. A version of Rebekah, the name means to “bind”.

3. Jasmin

Jasmin is a popular girls’ name in Finland and comes from Jasmine flower. Flowery and nature-inspired names are common in many places around the world, but especially in the beautiful Nordic landscape. The same name can also be spelled as Jasmine, Jasmina, or Jasmiina.

4. Tuuli

Continuing with the nature-inspired names, Tuuli is a common name, and it means “wind”. It has a light and whimsical air to it. There are multiple weather-related names in Finland.

5. Kaisa

We love the name Kaisa for its unique sound. Kaisa is one of the more common Finnish names used for girls today, and it also appears regularly in Estonia. Kaisu is a potential alternative. The moniker means “pure”. 

6. Kirsi

This beautiful Finnish name has an adorable lilt to it that’s hard to forget. It’s similar to the name “Kirsti” in the western world, but it’s actually a short form of Kristiina. Used as the short form of Kristiina, Kirsi usually means “frost”. 

Alternatively, when it’s taken from the name “Kirsikka”, Kirsi can also mean “cherry”.

7. Milja

Milja is a popular Finnish name with Nordic roots. According to some resources, Milja is usually the feminine form of “Emil”, coming from the name “Emilia”. Historically it can be traced back to Saint Ludmila.

8. Fiia

This name sounds like it was plucked straight from a fairy tale. With a delightful sound and short, simple spelling, Fiia is a lovely title for any little girl. Typically, the name in Finland means “a flickering fire”. 

9. Noora

You’ve probably seen the name “Nora”, or heard it mentioned frequently across the United States and Europe. “Noora” is the Finnish version of the name, short for Eleonoora. This name usually means “light”, but it’s also connected to the name “Aldenor” which means “old north”. 

10. Satu

Finland is a beautiful place full of storybook-style scenes and incredible people. One name that conveys the whimsical background of Finland perfectly is Satu, which is a very popular female name in Finland. This title means “fairy tale”. 

11. Taimi

When exploring some of the most common Finnish names, we found a lot of connections to nature in these monikers. Taimi is no exception. The Finish name means “young tree” or “sapling”. The Estonian version of the name just means “plant”. 

12. Tiia

Another delightful Nordic name, Tiia is a Finnish and Estonian spelling of the name Tia. It has roots in Greek with the name Dorotea, which means “a gift from God”.

13. Heta

There just aren’t enough female names in most parts of the world beginning with the letter “H”. Heta is a Finnish form of Helene, and it’s connected to Hendrika too. Sometimes spelled “Hetta”, Heta means “love” or “battle”, it sometimes translates to “herald” (messenger) too. 

14. Jaana

Jaana is a religious Finnish girl name pronounced with a soft j, so it sounds like “Yana”. Jaana means “beloved” and “god’s gift”, making it a good moniker choice for a special little girl.

15. Lahja

Truly a fitting name for any child that has been long hoped for, Lahja means “a gift” in Finnish. Like with other names that contain the letter “j”, it is pronounced softly as if the English “-ya”.

16. Noomi

The name Noomi puts a fun Nordic spin on the name “Naomi” in the Western world. Originating in Finland, and sometimes spelled “Noomi”, the name means gentle, or graceful. Throughout the Nordic region, some people translate Noomi to mean “pleasant” or “delightful”. 

17. Riina

Shortened from Katariina, the Finnish equivalent of Catherine, Riina is believed to represent purity. It also has a few alternative spellings, such as Rina.

18. Ulla

Pronounced “Oo-la”, Ulla is a fun name with a delightful melody to it. This Nordic title appears all over Scandinavia, showing up regularly in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The name means “determination” or “willpower”. 

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Traditional Finnish names

Let’s finish off with a quick selection of some more traditional Finnish names with plenty of background in the country. The following names come from Old Norse, fairy tales and epic stories throughout Finnish history. 

1. Aino

Aino is a female Finnish name that’s common in Estonia too. The moniker means “the only one”, making it a special title. Originally, the name was created by Elias Lönnrot who composed the famous Kalevala epic poem. 

In the poem, Aino drowns herself to avoid marrying an old man.

2. Aatami

Aatami is a Finnish boy’s name which connects to one of the oldest names we have, “Adam”. Aatami simply means “man”, but it also has a lot of religious connections for some families. Aatami is a fun twist on an otherwise well-known title. 

3. Ansa

Ansa is an interesting Finnish name because it has some contradictory meanings. This pet form of the moniker “Anna”, and a shortened version of “Annalisa” means “virtue” in most parts of Finland. However, Ansa can also mean “trap”. 

4. Odin

Odin’s a male Nordic name that you’ll see quite frequently in many parts of Scandinavia and Finland. Growing increasingly popular lately thanks to the marvel movies, Odin is the name of the leading Norse god of wisdom, culture, and art. 

5. Ilona

Ilona is a Finnish and Hungarian female name. The traditional Finnish name refers to the queen of the fairies in Folklore, and it’s something that Finnish families usually associate with “joy”. Ilona literally means “as a joy (to someone)”.

6. Santeri

There’s something special about the boy’s name “Santeri” that makes it feel like it belongs in an ancient story book. This is the shortened version of a much longer Finnish title: Aleksanteri, and it means “defender of mankind”. That’s pretty impressive if you ask us. 

7. Yrsa

A common Swedish girls’ name which is also used in Finland, that doesn’t appear as often in other parts of the world, Yrsa comes from ancient Norse. This powerful moniker usually means “little she bear” and it can also come from the longer name, Ursula.

8. Taavetti

Taavetti is probably a male name you haven’t seen much in the Western parts of the world, but it’s common in the Scandinavian region. It might seem like a complicated moniker at first, but the meaning is simple (and beautiful). It means beloved. 

9. Ilda

Ilda is a name of both Germaniac and Finnish origin. The female title derives from an old Norse moniker “Hildr”, which comes from “Hildiz”, meaning “fight or battle”. Commonly, Finnish people use this name to mean heroine of the battle. However, in some parts of Finland, it may also mean “calm and quiet”. 

10. Ukko

Ukko was the name of the head god in old Finnish and Karelian mythology, and he controlled the weather, crops, and thunder. Similar to Scandinavian Odin, he is most commonly linked to thunderstorms. The name “Ukko” is also used in Finnish to refer to “a man”, making this a great name for a boy with masculine and powerful features.

Have these Finnish first names inspired you?

Remember to check out some of our other lists for more insights into popular Finnish names, and names from all over Scandinavia. 

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavian.

Now read these:
Guide to Finnish last names
Popular Finnish female names
Popular Finnish boy names
Scandinavian names and their meanings
Viking and Norse names, and their origin
Your guide to Scandinavian people traits
Popular Scandinavian female names
Popular Scandinavian men’s names

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