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Finnish first names

Perhaps you are looking for Finnish boys’ or girls’ names for your baby, or you want to know more about old family names? Unlike the rest of the Scandinavian countries, the first names borne by the Finns are most often of Finno-Ugric origin. This non-Indo-European language is very different from those of the countries surrounding it, whether Old Norse or Slavic derived languages.

Archaic first names

Here is the list of the ten most common male and female first names in Finland at the end of the 19th century:

Men:

Juho
Johannes
Matti
Kalle
Johan
Emil
Antti
Väinö
Heikki
Karl

Women:

Maria
Sofia
Hilma
Johanna
Hilda
Matilda
Ida
Iida
Amanda

Among the most common first names in Finland today, Maria is the most common first name among women. Among women, there are many variations of the first name Anne (Anne, Anna, Anneli, Hannele, Annikki), and Finnish first names such as Tuullikki (from Tuulli, the wind), or Päivi (the day). For men, Olavi, the first name most given to newborns in 2022, is also the second most common first name among the male population. There are also many diminutives that have become real first names, often coming from biblical or Christian first names like Juha, Timo, Matti or Mikko.

Original first names

Finnish is a language unlike any other, and the first names used in Finland will therefore be very appealing to parents who are looking for original first names for their babies, boys or girls.
Too original? Finns who don’t like their first name can change it once in their life, simply by declaring it. They can also add first names to those they already have, up to three first names. Few countries allow you to change your identity so easily!

Swedish and Sámi first names

Although the vast majority of Finns are of Finnish origin, the country also has several minorities. Some of the inhabitants are in fact of Swedish origin, and generally give their children Swedish first names. The Sámi, who are found not only in Finland, but also in Sweden and Russia too, speak a language from the same family as Finnish. Every year, Finland publishes three lists of the most popular baby names: a list of Finnish names, a list of Swedish names, and a list of other names. These three lists partly overlap.

Popular first names

Every year, the Digi- ja väestötietovirasto (Digital and Population Data Services Agency) publishes the list of the most popular baby names in Finland. In Finland, 90% of newborns have several first names, so the country publishes not only the list of the most common first names, but also a list of other first names, and a list which brings together all these first names. Thanks to our first name search feature, you will be able to know their origin, their popularity through the ages, and their geographical distribution! A similar page exists for surnames.

Finnish girls’ names

Here is the list of the 50 Finnish girls’ names most given to babies, with all names combined, in 2022. Click on each of these popular names to learn more:

Aurora
Maria
Sofia
Olivia
Emilia
Aino
Matilda
Ilona
Linnea

Ellen
Helmi
Amanda
Lilja
Helena
Aada
Aava
Isla
Kerttu
Viola
Aleksandra
Eevi
Alina
Kaarina
Amalia
Elli
Inkeri
Eveliina
Kristiina
Emma
Elsa
Hilla
Ella
Alexandra
Venla
Lyydia
Johanna
Elisabet
Anna
Elina
Livia
Alisa
Pihla
Elisabeth
Hilda
Alma
Orvokki
Isabella
Enni
Elviira
Lumi

Certain first names come from Finnish culture, such as Aino, very popular in Estonia as well: this first name, which means the Unique, is that of a young girl whose story is told in the Kalevala, a collection of epic poetry from the 19th century very important in the history of Finland. Other names are very popular in Sweden, such as Linnea, a first name derived from the name of the scientist Carl von Linnaeus. Among the most popular first names, we also find many first names of Latin origin (Aurora, Emilia, Amalia), Greek (Sofia, Aleksandra, Helena), biblical (Elisabeth, Johanna, Anna), first names evoking nature (Orvokki means violet, Lilja the lily, Lumi the snow, Pihla, the mountain ash) or even diminutives of different origins (Elsa, short for Elisabeth).

Finnish boys’ names

The first name that tops the list of the 50 most popular boy names in 2022 is not originally a Finnish name, but an Old Norse one: it is Olavi, the Finnish version of Olaf. There are also biblical or Christian first names (Juhani, Johannes, Mikael, Elias, Matias), Latin (Anton, Julius), first names which recall nature (Ilmari, from Ilma, air), diminutives which have become first names (Eino), even if the fashion of giving a diminutive as a first name is a bit outdated, or first names that bring luck (Onni means luck, Toivo means hope and confidence).

Here is the list of the 50 most popular Finnish boys’ names for babies, all names combined, in 2022:

Olavi
Juhani
Johannes
Mikael
Oliver

Ilmari
Onni
Eino
Elias
Leo
Toivo
Väinö
Matias
Emil
Viljami
Antero
Tapio
Tapani
Armas
Eemil
Aatos
Alvar
Benjamin
Veikko
Eemeli
Oskari
Kristian
Vilho
Sakari
Eeli
Samuel
Kalevi
Anton
Noel
Henrik
Valtteri
Oiva
Hugo
Daniel
Leevi
Alexander
Eliel
Matti
Julius
Aleksi
Edvin
Joel
Sulo
Niilo
Otso

What were the first names of your ancestors?

To obtain the list of first names mentioned in your family tree at Geneanet, click on the menu of your online tree then on “genealogical statistics”. The “first names” page will give you the complete list of your ancestors’ first names and the number of people with each of these first names in your ancestry. Geneanet Premium members also have access to illustrated statistics, including a donut diagram displaying the 10 most common first names in their family tree.

This statistics chart is from an online family tree at Geneanet.
This statistics chart is from an online family tree at Geneanet.

Start discovering first names on Geneanet now!