Väinö

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish/Estonian
Meaning: “wide”

The name is most likely a contraction of Väinämöinen, which is most likely derived from the name of a river, which in itself is derived from a Finnic element, väinä, meaning, “wide”.

In Finnish and Estonian mythology, Väinämöinen, (or Vanemuine in Estonian), was a god-like figure who possessed a magical voice and loved to play on his Finnish harp.

He plays a central and integral part in the Kalevala and in the Estonian epic, the Kalevipoeg.

In both Finland and Estonia, Väinämöinen and Vanemuine are rarely used as given names, but its abbreviated forms are fairly common .

As of 2011, Väinö was the 23rd most popular male name in Finland.

Another Finnish form is Väinämö, its diminutive forms are: Väiski, Väiskä, Vänni, Vänski, Väntti/Väntty, Vänttä, Vänä and Väpä.

Other forms include:

  • Väino (Estonian)
  • Väinu (Estonian)
  • Veaidnu (Sami)
  • Vejne (Swedish)

The designated name-day in both Finland and Estonia is February 17.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/va12ina12mo12inen
  2. http://www.nordicnames.de/wiki/Väinämöinen
  3. Turunen, Aimo (1981). Kalevalan sanat ja niiden taustat. Karjalaisen kulttuurin edistämissäätiö
  4. Toim. Maarti Kaimio, Paavo Castren, Jorma Kaimio: Antiikin myytit ja uskonnot (2007)
  5. Martti Haavio: Väinämöinen (1950)
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Aino

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish/Estonian
Meaning: “only; the one.”
(I-no)

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).

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/lists/fin.php
  2. http://www.nordicnames.de/wiki/Finnish_Name_Days#May
  3. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Aino

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.

Tapio

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: uncertain

In Finnish mythology, Tapio is the name of a forest and hunting god. He is the husband of Mielikki and the father of Nyrikki, Annikki, Tellervo and Tulikki.

In the Kalevala, Tapio plays a prominent role.

Other forms of the name include, Tapi, Tapikka, Tapsa, Tapsi and Tapso.

The designated name-day is June 18.

Sources

Pellervo

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “acre; field.”
(PELL-air-vo)

The name is derived from the Finnish, pelto, meaning, “acre; field.”

In the Kalevala, it appears as the by-name for Sampsa Pellervoinen who was a field hand.

The designated name-day is April 2.

Sources

  1. http://www.nordicnames.de/wiki/Pellervo
  2. Lempiäinen, Pentti: Suuri etunimikirja. WSOY. (1997).

Terhi

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “mist.”
(TARE-hee)

The name is derived from Terhenetär which was the name of an ancient Finnish goddess who appears in the epic, the Kalevala.

In the Kalevala, Terhenetär is described as a sort of sprite associated with mist and forests. Both names are derived from the Finnish, terhen, meaning, “mist.”

Terhenetär means, “mist lady” or “lady of the mist.”

Another form is Terhikki.

The designated name-day is February 6.

Nyyrikki

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: unknown

The name is of ancient origins but its meaning seems to have been lost. In Finnish mythology, it is borne by the god of the hunt, the son of Tapio.

He appears in the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala.

The designated name-day is January 10.

The name is not very common in Finland.

Kyllikki, Kylli

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “woman.”
Pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/search/Kyllikki/

The name is derived from an old Finnish word for woman and was popularized through the Finnish national epic the Kalevala, in which there is a prominent female character of the same name (featured left). It is considered a “revived” name from the National Romantic Movement in Finland, and was officially placed in the Finnish national calender in 1905, before that, she was found in the Finnish Public Awareness Society’s calender as early as 1882.

JR Apselin was the first known person in contemporary times to bestow the name upon his daughter, Aino Aura Kyllikki, the same year the name appeared in the official calender. Thereafter, Kyllikki spiked in popularity and peaked between the 1920s and 1930s as the most popular feminine name in Finland. The name was the inspiration of a Sibelius song of the same name.

There are Estonian forms, which are: Külli, Küllike and Külliki.

Their designated name-day is December 8, and currently, approximately 67 363 women in Finland bear the name Kyllikki (2008).

Kullervo

335px-Gallen_Kallela_Kullervos_CurseGender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “gold”
(KOO-lare-vo)

The name is derived from the Finnish kulta meaning “gold.” In Finnish Mythology, the name is borne by the son of Kalervo, a tragic character whose story is illustrated in the Finnish epic the Kalevala. According to the story, Kallervo was a magician who turns out badly due to an abusive child abuse, his death poem of Kullervo has inspired many literary works, the most significant being J.R.R Tolkien’s the Silmarillon. The Tale of Túrin Turambar is said to have been directly inspired by Kullervo’s discourse between his sword. Some Finnish scholars have claimed that Kullervo’s struggle is a bitter metaphor for Finland’s struggle for independence in the last century. The story has inspired the 1892 choral symphony of the same name written by Jean Sibelius. Its designated name-day is September 25. To hear how the name is pronounced, go here: http://www.forvo.com/word/kullervo/