Ilma, Ilmatar, Ilmi


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “air; sky.”
Ilma comes directly from the Finnish word for air or sky. In Finnish mythology, Ilmatar was the name of a female air spirit who mothered Väinämöinen. She was said to have both male and female attributes but she was most often portrayed as a female. In Finnish, the suffix of -tar denotes a feminine spirit. She was also known as Luonotar (female nature spirit). Ilmatar was often the subject of the Finnish National Epic, Kalevala, which chronicles Finnish myths and legends.
As of 2010, Ilma was the 27th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina. In this case it may be a borrowing from the Italian form of Hilma..
A Finnish masculine form is Ilmari.
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2 thoughts on “Ilma, Ilmatar, Ilmi

  1. It's always interesting to read your accounts of Finnish names. Ilma, Ilmi and Ilmatar are all pretty rare names here, the male form Ilmari being much more common. I think there's something beautiful about the ilma names though, since they have a very… well, airy feel to them. 🙂

    Coming to think of it, the names denoting wind – Tuuli, Tuula, Tuulia, Tuulikki – are much more common than those denoting air in general. It's a curious difference.

  2. Thanks Deniselle. I've been following the Finnish name day calender, so that is why I posted it. Thanks for bringing up Ilmari. I'll have to add him on.

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