Are you looking for a unique baby name to honor your Finnish ancestry? Or perhaps you are simply fascinated by all things Finnish and want to learn more about the local language and customs? Whichever the case, you have come to the right place!
With its complex grammar and idiosyncratic vocabulary, Finnish is often ranked as one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to master. The good news? Many Finnish boy names are just as unique as the language itself. If you're looking for a name that stands out, exploring Finnish boy names can be a great place to start.
The most common Finnish boy names each have their own name day. These are listed in the official Finnish almanac - a great resource for anyone interested in Finnish names. As the years turn, some names might fall out of favor while others may see a huge spike in popularity. To reflect these changes, the almanac is updated every five years.
This guide will introduce you to the most popular and most commonly used Finnish boy names. We will look at traditional names as well as explore some modern Finnish boy names. You will also learn about local traditions and history as we explore the meaning behind each name. Enjoy!
When it comes to the most popular Finnish boy names, traditions are definitely having a moment. For the past couple of decades, classic Finnish boy names which have been in use for over a century have been very popular among parents.
Besides these distinctly Finnish names, many of the most popular Finnish boy names are influenced by international trends. During recent years, names like Leo, Oliver and Noel have consistently been among the most popular Finnish boy names. Here is a look at popular Finnish boy names that are unmistakably Finnish.1 Eino
Eino is a traditional Finnish boy name which has found new popularity in recent decades. The name can be traced back to the German name Enewald which loosely means “one who rules with a sword”.
Besides being one of the most common Finnish boy names today, this classic Finnish boy name was also very popular in the early 1900s.2 Onni
It is easy to see why so many parents choose to name their newborn Onni as this beautiful Finnish boy name means “happiness”.
This is a traditional Finnish boy name which has been in use since the 1830s. Unlike many names which fall in and out of favor, the name Onni has maintained its popularity throughout the decades.3 Eeli
Eeli is one of the few modern Finnish boy names which have ranked among the most popular names in recent years.
Though the name has been in use since the 1800s, it didn't become popular in a big way until the early 2000s. The name was added to the Finnish almanac in 2005.4 Väinö
Like many of the most popular Finnish boy names, Väinö is a very traditional name and has been in the Finnish almanac since 1908.
This is a shorter take on the name Väinämöinen, the hero of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. Väinö is one of the few popular names today to feature the Finnish umlaut Ä and Ö.5 Toivo
The name Toivo comes with traditions and meaning. The name has been in use since the 1840s and means “hope” in Finnish.
This beautiful Finnish boy name was very popular during the first two decades of the 20th century. While it never became a rare name as such, it has really found new popularity in the new millennium.6 Aatos
The name Aatos has a poetic feel to it. Aatos is an old-fashioned and a rather poetic Finnish word meaning “thought” or “idea”.
The name can also be considered a take on names like Aadolf and Aatami (the Finnish version of the name Adam). The name Aatos has been in use for more than a century. It has been one of the most popular Finnish boy names for the past decade or so.7 Leevi
Leevi is a Finnish take on the more internationally recognizable name Levi. The name features the Finnish double vowel "ee" which also affects the pronunciation of the name.
Originally, this is a Biblical name and in Hebrew, the name means “faithful”. Leevi is a good example of an old Finnish boy name that has found new popularity during recent decades.
Many of the most traditional Finnish boy names have remained popular throughout the years. These classic Finnish boy names often have their roots in either Biblical or other European traditions.
Many traditional Finnish boy names have been prominently featured in classic Finnish literature. Names like Juhani, Timo and Lauri were famously featured in the novel Seitsemän veljestä by Aleksis Kivi, while names like Ilmari, Jouko and Sampo can be traced back to the Finnish national epic Kalevala.8 Matti
When it comes to names, it doesn't get much more Finnish than Matti. This typical Finnish boy name has been in use since the Middle Ages and has its roots in the Hebrew name Mattitjahu meaning God's gift.
As an example of just how ubiquitous the name is, the moniker Matti Meikäläinen is the Finnish equivalent of John Doe.9 Juhani
The name Juhani is as traditional as it is popular. Juhani is one of the main characters in Seitsemän veljestä, an iconic Finnish novel written by Aleksis Kivi which was first published in 1870.
The name Juhani has consistently been one of the most common Finnish boy names since the 1940s.10 Ilmari
The name Ilmari can be traced back to the Finnish period of romantic nationalism which took place in the late 1800s. The name is a shorter version of the name Ilmarinen, one of the main characters of Kalevala.
Although this classic Finnish boy name was most popular during the 1940s and 1950s, it has remained a common name since the 1800s.11 Kalle
Kalle has traditionally been one of the most common Finnish boy names. Originally, this was a nickname for the Swedish name Karl and its popularity in Finland reflects the close ties between the two countries.
In Finland, the name Kalle has been in use for more than a century and the name has remained popular throughout the decades.12 Antti
Antti is a traditional Finnish boy name which has its roots in the Greek name Andreas, meaning masculine or manly. The name also refers to Andrew the Apostle (known as Andreas in Greek).
The name Antti has proven to have considerable staying power as it has remained one of the most common Finnish boy names for more than a century.13 Heikki
The name Heikki is a Finnish take on the more internationally recognizable Henrik, a Germanic name which means "ruler of the home".
Since the early 1900s, almost 90 000 Finnish children have been given the name Heikki. The name was particularly popular in the years between 1920 and 1980.
Many traditional Finnish boy names have proved their staying power. From decade to decade, classic Finnish boy names like Juhani and Antti continue to be hugely popular among parents.
That being said, new names are also introduced to the lexicon on a regular basis as parents look for new and unique names for their little ones. Here are a few examples of modern Finnish boy names which have arrived on the scene in recent years.14 Sisu
The name Sisu used to be a very rare Finnish boy name: until the year 2000, less than 50 children had been given this name. In the new millennium however, almost 3 000 boys have been named Sisu.
The term sisu is a distinctly Finnish concept, one that means grit, stoic determination, and resilience in the face of adversity.15 Jaajo
Jaajo is an unusual Finnish boy name: less than 200 people in total have this name. The roots of the name are easy to trace, as Jaajo Linnonmaa is currently one of the most famous TV personalities in Finland. Funnily, Jaajo is actually his nickname. His real name Jari is shared by some 46 000 Finns.16 Eppu
Eppu is a relatively modern Finnish boy name as it has only been in use since the 1960s. So far, the name has only been given to some 650 boys in total. More than a few of the parents who have chosen this name for their little one have likely been inspired by Eppu Normaali, one of the most famous bands in Finnish rock history.17 Peetu
The name Peetu is a unique take on the name Pietari - the Finnish version of the Biblical name Peter. This modern Finnish boy name has been in use since the 1960s, but has only become popular in the past two decades. Since the year 2000, about 2 500 boys have been given the name Peetu.
While there are many classic Finnish boy names which appeal to parents year after year, some parents prefer to give their baby a more unique name. When it comes to rare Finnish boy names, there are two key trends at play.
Some unusual Finnish boy names were originally used only as nicknames but are now being used as official names. Other rare names are simply evocative Finnish words which parents have chosen to use to name their child. Here you'll find a few examples of both trends.18 Eikka
While Eikka is still a pretty rare Finnish boy name, it has long been a common nickname for mainstream names like Eino.
Overall, nicknames turning into official first names is somewhat trendy in Finland: Samppa is short for Samuli and Aksu is a condensed take on the name Akseli. The name Eikka has been in use since the 1920s but remains rare to this day.19 Kaamos
This unusual Finnish boy name is quintessentially Nordic. Kaamos is the Finnish word for “polar night”, the dark period north of the Arctic Circle when the sun doesn't rise above the horizon during the winter months.
Having only been used as a name since the 1980s, this nature related Finnish boy name remains exceedingly rare.20 Repo
The name Repo will appeal to nature lovers looking for something a bit unusual. Repo is an old-fashioned Finnish word for “fox” - the type of word you're most likely to encounter in old fairy tales.
Only a handful of children have been given this unique Finnish boy name so if you're looking for a rare Finnish boy name related to nature, this could be the perfect choice.21 Nikke
The name Nikke is another example of a nickname turned official name. This unusual Finnish boy name is a shorter version of traditional and far more commonly used names like Niilo. Since the early 1900s, only around 350 people in Finland have been given the name Nikke.22 Voima
Voima is a modern Finnish boy name which means “power” or “strength” in Finnish.
With its potent meaning, the name resembles more traditional Finnish boy names like Voitto (victory) and Taisto (battle). In the 1900s, only a handful of people were given this name. Since the year 2000, around 60 children have been named Voima.Conclusion
Finnish boy names range from internationally recognizable classics like Leo and Noel to unique local monikers like Vilho and Toivo. If you are looking for a boy name that is distinctly Finnish, it's best to look at traditional local names (e.g., Juhani or Heikki) or more modern names, many of which are inspired by nature (Kaamos or Repo for example).
More and more parents in Finland are wanting to give their child a name that is as unique as their little bundle of joy. This means that some old Finnish boy names which had fallen out of favor are now enjoying a new lease of life.
Other parents are simply choosing a Finnish word with an appealing meaning and using that to name their child. Voima (power), Pyry (snowfall) and Myrsky (storm) are just a few examples of this ongoing trend.
We hope this guide has given you a deeper understanding of Finnish boy names, as well as introduced you to some new aspects of the local culture and language. To dive deeper into the subject, check out our guide to Finnish girl names .