Meaning: “only; the one.”
The name is found in the national Finnish epic, the Kalevala, as the name of the “only sister” of Joukahainen.
Joukahainen promised his sister’s hand marriage to the very old Väinämöinen, after losing a singing contest.
When Aino finds out she must marry the old man, she drowns herself, and returns as a sort of water spirit, appearing in the form of a salmon to haunt the grieving Väinämöinen.
It is believed by many Finnish linguist that Aino was not actually her name because in the Kalevala she is referred to as ainoa tytär, (only daughter), and it is believed that this designation was confused for her actual name.
At the end of the 19th-century, the name was introduced by Fennoman activists.
The first to bear the name was Aino Järnefelt Sibelius (1871-1969), the first wife of famous Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. It was also borne by Aino Krohn Kallas (1878-1956), and Estonian-Finnish author.
As of 2011, Aino was the 5th most popular female name in Finland.
Other forms of the name include:
- Aija (Finnish)
- Aina (Finnish/Scandinavian)
- Ainamo (Finnish)
- Aini (Finnish)
- Ainikki (Finnish)
- Áidná (Sami)
- Áidnu (Sami)
The designated name-days are:
May 10 (Estonia/Finland) and June 13 (Sweden).