Finnish girl names: the best girls’ names from Finland!

Looking for an unusual name for your newborn? Why not check out some Finnish baby girls’ names?

Finnish female names often derive from nature
Toca Boca (CC)

Finnish women have a reputation for being strong, fit, healthy and independent, and – to some English speakers, at least – Finnish girls’ names sound interesting and exotic.

Not only that, but many Finnish female names tend to have origins in the natural world, a sporty connotation or suggest a love of the outdoors – all great attributes for your newborn baby girl to grow into!

So, we’ve looked into the some of the most popular Finnish girls’ names and their meanings, to give you some inspiration for a pretty and unusual name for your newborn.

Finnish names for girls 
The top Finnish girl names in 2022
Classic Finnish women’s names
Finnish girl names and their meaning
The cultural significant of Finnish girls’ names
How to pronounce Finnish girls’ names
120 Finnish girls’ names (A-Z)

Finnish names for girls

Like many other countries, the Finns have a set of guidelines about what you can and can’t call your child, which is laid out in the Finland Names Act.

For example, you can’t name them anything weird or unusual that might cause them stress as a child – so, we’re guessing Frank Zappa’s daughter Moon Unit and Elon’s Musk’s son X Æ A-12 would be no-nos in Finland!

Finnish names are popular for baby girls
Girls dancing at the Helsinki carnival / JIP (CC)

Traditionally, children can be given up to three names, and the Finns have tended to choose a shorter (one or two syllable) first name, followed by a longer (two or three syllable) second name as this sounds better in Finnish.

However, recent changes to the act have relaxed some of the rules about names, allowing up to four forenames to be given and compound surnames are now allowed.

The top Finnish girl names in 2022

If you want some idea of what Finns are calling their daughters today, we need to look at the most popular newborn names in 2022.

So, here are the top ten most popular baby girls’ names in Finland, followed the number of girls given that name in 2022.

Girls’ nameNumber of children given each name in 2022
Aurora1100
Maria1073
Sofia984
Olivia940
Emilia705
Aino619
Matilda548
Ilona512
Linea496
Ellen496

Classic Finnish women’s names

And if you’re interested in more traditional and classic Finnish names, it’s worth looking at the overall number of women in Finland that are called each name.

So, here are are the top ten most popular Finnish girls names overall, followed by the numbers of women called that name in Finland in 2023.

NameOverall number of women in Finland with that name
Maria199,303
Helena121,010
Anneli117,704
Johanna111,953
Kaarina93,772
Hannele85,752
Marjatta82,438
Kristiina75,195
Emilia70,184
Elina63,957

Finnish girls’ names and their meanings

So, you the sound of some of these names, but do you know what they mean? We’ve looked into the derivations of some of the most popular Finnish girls’ names and included some classic names too.

Read on to find out the origins of some of the most popular and classic Finnish girls’ names (in alphabetical order) and check out the meanings behind them.

Aada

A variation of Ada, this is one of the most popular Finnish names for girls and means “noble-natured” or “noble person”. Not only does it sound pretty, but it’s got a lovely meaning too! 

Aino

A popular Finnish name to call your baby girl, Aino means “the only one” or “unique”. One of the best-known Finnish Viking names, it comes from Finnish folk mythology, and was the name of the heroine in the famous folk poem Kalevala. 

Anneli

This popular Finnish name is a contraction of the name Annalise, which itself is a combination of Anna and Liese. The name means “grace” or “favour”.

Famous Finnish Annelis include the country’s first female prime minister, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, the Olympic swimmer Anneli Haaranen, and the singer and actor Anneli Saaristo.

Aurora

Currently having a moment in Finland as the most common name given to a baby girl in 2022, Aurora means “dawn”. It’s of Latin origin and was the name of the Roman goddess of the morning.

The aurora borealis is the scientific name for the northern lights, which can be seen in many parts of Finland in winter.

The best-known Aurora is probably the Norwegian electro-pop singer/songwriter, whose cover of Oasis’ Half a world away became an international hit after being used for the UK’s John Lewis Christmas ad.

Eevi

The appealing Finnish variant of Eve or Evie, this name comes from Latin and means “living”. It has biblical origins too, of course, from Eve, the first mother.

Ellen

Ellen is a medieval English variation of the name Helen, which itself has Greek origins that mean “bright”, “shining light” or “torch” (see also Helena, below).

Emilia

Emilia is the Finnish female version of the male name Emil and means “to excel” or “strive”, so a good aspirational name for a baby girl!

The name has Latin roots originally, and is popular throughout Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. 

Hannele

Hannele is a Finnish variant of the Hebrew name Hannah, which means “favoured by God”. Emminent Hanneles include the first female governor of Lapland, Hannele Pokka, and the Finnish writer Hannele Huovi. 

Helena

The name Helena (or Helen) is of Greek origins and mean “bright light”, “shining” or “torch”. The most famous Helena was Helen of Troy, who was widely considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

Ilona

The name Ilona is of Finnish origin and means “as a joy”. It’s though to derive from the Finnish word ilo, meaning “joy or happiness”, though other sources suggest it could be a corruption of the Hungarian name meaning “light”.

Either way, it’s unsurprising that Finns have embraced the name and it’s entered the top ten most popular names to call a girl daughter in 2022. 

Isla

Isla is a pretty name of Scottish heritage, derived from the island of Islay, whose name comes from the Gaelic meaning “rocky place”. It’s popular in all the Celtic countries and in Spain, where Isla means “island”.

Johanna

Johanna is the Scandinavian version of the Hebrew name Joanna, which means “God is gracious”.

Johanna Larson playing doubles at Roland Garros / Carine06

This might be a good name if you want your daughter to be sporty, as the two best-known Johannas are both successful tennis players – Sweden’s Johanna Larsson and the UK’s Johanna Konta. 

Kaarina

Kaarina is the Finnish version of the name Katherine, which has Greek origins and means “pure”.

Kristiina

Kristiina is the Finnish and Estonian version of the name Christine, which has Latin/Ancient Greek origins and means “follower of Christ”.

Famous Finnish Kristiinas include the pop singer Kristiina Brask and the athlete Kristiina Mäkelä.

Liisa

Liisa is the Finnish and Estonian version of Lisa, and means “consecrated to God”. It comes from Hebrew origins and is a diminutive form of the name Elisabeth.

Liisa is a popular Finnish girls' name
Two of Finland’s Olympic skiers are called Liisa / Zsolt Halmágyi (CC)

If you’re into skiing this might be a good name to consider, since two Finnish Olympic skiers have the name Liisa, Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi and Riitta-Liisa Roponen.

Lilja

Lilja is the Finnish, Swedish and Iceland version of the name Lily, which is derived from the flower.

The best known Lilja is the Icelandic crime writer, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, though other arty sources of inspiration may include the singer Lily Allen, the comedian Lily Tomlin and the actress Lily James.

Linea 

Of Scandinavian origin, the pretty name Linea is though to derive from the Swedish word lind, meaning a linden or lime tree.

It could also mean “flower” and derive from the Swedish word for a delicate twinflower, linnaea.

Maria

Maria is the most popular Finnish name for girls. It’s of Latin origins, but has been widely adopted across the rest of Scandinavia, and appears in several Norse sagas.

It has more than one meaning, including “bitter”, “wished-for child” and “rebellion”, though other sources suggest it derives from the Hebrew meaning “of the sea”. The choice is yours!

Marjatta

Marjatta is a Finnish girls’ name that means “pearl”, “obstinacy” and “rebelliousness”.

In the traditional Finnish epic Kalevala, Marjatta is a young virgin who becomes pregnant by eating a lingonberry and is cast out of her home. She gives birth to a son, who later becomes king of Karelia.

Matilda

Matilda is a name of Germanic origin and means “mighty in battle”. 

It’s a version of the Germanic name Mahthildis, and is particularly fitting for the feisty heroine of Roald Dahl’s classic Matilda book.

Olivia

From Latin roots, Olivia is a popular baby’s name in Finland as well as across the rest of the world. It’s a variation of the word “olive” and signifies peace and fertility.

Finnish girls' names suggest a healthy, sporty life
Finnish girls’ names suggest a healthy, sporty life / Juha Makkonen (CC)

Sofia

The popular Finnish girls’ name Sofia comes from Greek roots, and means “wisdom” – and who wouldn’t wish this for a baby girl?

The best-known Sofia in Finland is Sophia Jansson, niece of the Finnish author Tove Jansson, who wrote the iconic Moomintroll series of books. Sophia is the model for the granddaughter in Tove Jansson’s beautiful Summer Book.

The cultural significant of Finnish girls names

Classic names within a country often have a cultural significance that may not be realised elsewhere. Since Finland is such a rural country, many classic Finnish have their origins in nature and significance in Finnish mythology.

The classic name Pihla, for example, pronounced  pee-lah, Pilha is a true Finnish name, that derives from the natural world. 

It comes from the word pihlaja, which means “rowan tree” which is considered a sacred tree in Finnish mythology. The rowan tree was thought to bring good luck to farmers in Finland and the Sami believed that it provided protection.

Helmi is another name with natural origins and cultural significance to a nation of seafarers. It means “gem of the sea” or “pearl” and comes from the Baltic/Finnish word helmes which means “amber”.

How to pronounce Finnish girls’ names

OK, so you may like the meanings and origins of some of the names above, but do you know what they sound like and how to pronounce them?

Finnish names can sound very different to how they are spelled – at least to an English-speakers ear!

Vowel sounds tend to be much longer than in English, for example: the name Aada is pronounced  arder, with a long aa sound.

To give you some help, here’s a video of how to pronounce some of the most popular Finnish girls’ names (plus boys’ names and surnames too).

120 Finnish girl names (A-Z)

And if you’re still looking for inspiration, here’s a list of 120 Finnish girls’ names in alphabetical order. We’re sure you’ll find something that appeals in this list!

Aesa Alfhild Alruna
Alva Arna Asa
Asdis Ashild Astrid
Audhild Audna Bara
Bergdis Bergthora Birgitta
Bjorg Bjorna Bodil
Bothild Botilda Brina
Brynhild Dagny Disa
Drifa Edda Edny
Eerika Eira Elfa
Embla Eyfura Eylif
Eydis Freydis Frida
Gerd Gisela Grethe
Groa Guđrid Gunnhild
Gyda Halla Hege
Helga Hervor Hilda
Hilde Hildur Hjordis
Hrefna Ida Idunn
Inga Ingibjorg Ingigerd
Ingirid Ingrid Irpa
Isgerd Jorunn Jorunna
Kadlin Kaira Kari
Karina Katla Ketiley
Lagertha Lilja Liv
Lova Magnhild Oddny
Olga Osk Ragna
Ragnhild Ranveig Reydis
Rigmor Ronja Sigfrid
Sigrid Sigrun Silja
Skadi Solveig Svanhild
Sylvi Thora Thyra
Tora Tove Unn
Urda Valdis Valgerd
Vigdis Ylva Yngvild

See also:
10 cool places to stay in Finland
The weather in Finland and when to visit
33 cheap and free things to do in Helsinki

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