Finnish Boy Names: a comprehensive guide

With its complex grammar and distinctive vocabulary, Finnish often ranks among the most difficult languages for English speakers to master. The good news? Many Finnish names are just as unique as the language itself. So if you are looking for a name that stands out, exploring Finnish names can be a great place to start.

The most common Finnish names each have their own name day. These are listed in the official Finnish almanac – an excellent resource for anyone interested in Finnish names. As the years go by, some might fall out of favor while others may see a massive spike in popularity. To reflect these changes, the almanac is updated every five years.

Popular Finnish boy names

When it comes to the most popular Finnish boy names, traditions are definitely having a moment. For the past couple of decades, classic names which have been in use for over a century have been very popular among Finnish parents.

Besides these distinctly Finnish names, many of the most popular names are influenced by international trends. In recent years, names like Leo, Oliver, and Noel have been quite popular in Finland. Here are some popular boy names that are unmistakably Finnish:


Eino is a traditional Finnish name that has found new popularity in recent decades. The name can be traced back to the German name Enewald which loosely means “one who rules with a sword”.

Besides being one of the most common names in Finland today, this classic boy name was also very popular in the early 1900s.


It is easy to see why so many parents choose to name their son Onni as this beautiful name means “happiness” in Finnish.

This traditional Finnish name has been in use since the 1830s. Unlike many names that fall in and out of favor, the name Onni has maintained its popularity throughout the decades.


Eeli is one of the few modern Finnish boy names that have ranked among the most common names in recent years.

Although the name has been in use for over a century, it was only in the early 2000s that it started to gain significant popularity. In recognition of its growing popularity, the name was added to the Finnish almanac in 2005.


Like many of the most popular Finnish boy names, Väinö is a very traditional name and it has been in the Finnish almanac since 1908.

This is a shorter take on the name Väinämöinen, the hero of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. Väinö is one of the few popular names today to feature the Finnish umlaut Ä and Ö.


The name Toivo comes with traditions and meaning. The name has been in use since the 1840s and means “hope” in Finnish.

This beautiful Finnish name was very popular during the first two decades of the 20th century. While it never became a rare name as such, it has really found a new popularity in the new millennium.


The name Aatos has a poetic feel to it. Aatos is an old-fashioned and rather poetic Finnish word meaning “thought” or “idea”.

The name can also be considered a take on names like Aadolf and Aatami (the Finnish version of the name Adam). The name Aatos has been in use for more than a century. It has been one of the most popular Finnish names for boys during the past decade or so.


Leevi is a Finnish take on the more internationally recognizable name Levi. The name features the Finnish double vowel "ee" which also affects the pronunciation of the name.

Originally, this is a Biblical name and in Hebrew, the name means “faithful”. Leevi is a good example of an old Finnish boy name that has found new popularity in recent decades.

Traditional Finnish names

Many traditional Finnish male names have been prominently featured in classic Finnish literature. For example, names like Juhani, Timo, and Lauri were famously featured in the novel Seitsemän veljestä by Aleksis Kivi, while names like Ilmari, Jouko, and Sampo can be traced back to the Finnish national epic Kalevala.


When it comes to names, it doesn't get much more Finnish than Matti. This typical Finnish male name has been in use since the Middle Ages and has its roots in the Hebrew name Mattitjahu meaning God's gift.

As an example of just how ubiquitous the name is, the moniker Matti Meikäläinen is the Finnish equivalent of John Doe.


The name Juhani is as traditional as it is popular. Juhani is one of the main characters in Seitsemän veljestä, an iconic Finnish novel written by Aleksis Kivi which was first published in 1870.

The name Juhani has consistently been one of the most common Finnish names for boys since the 1940s.


The name Ilmari can be traced back to the Finnish period of romantic nationalism which took place in the late 1800s. The name is a shorter version of the name Ilmarinen, one of the main characters of Kalevala.

Although this classic Finnish name was most popular during the 1940s and 1950s, it has remained a common name since the 1800s.


Kalle has traditionally been one of the most common boy names in Finland. Initially, this was a nickname for the Swedish name Karl and its popularity in Finland reflects the close ties between the two countries.

In Finland, the name Kalle has been used for more than a century and has remained popular throughout the decades.


Antti is a traditional Finnish name that has its roots in the Greek name Andreas, meaning “masculine” or “manly”. The name also refers to Andrew the Apostle (known as Andreas in Greek).

The name Antti has proven to have considerable staying power as it has remained one of the most common names in Finland for more than a century.


The name Heikki is a Finnish take on the more internationally recognizable Henrik, a Germanic name that means "ruler of the home".

Since the early 1900s, almost 90,000 Finnish children have been given the name Heikki. The name was particularly in vogue between 1920 and 1980.


The name Tapio originates from Finnish mythology, where Tapio was revered as the god of the forest. The Finnish people regarded the forest as a sanctuary of peace and calmness, making the name Tapio synonymous with tranquility and serenity.

Modern Finnish names

Many traditional Finnish names have proved their staying power. From decade to decade, classic Finnish names like Juhani and Antti continue to be hugely popular among parents.

But new names are also regularly introduced into the lexicon as parents look for new and unique names for their little ones. Here are a few examples of modern Finnish boy names that have arrived on the scene in recent years:


The name Sisu used to be a very rare Finnish boy name: until the year 2000, less than 50 children had been given this name. In the new millennium, however, almost 3,000 boys have been named Sisu.

The term sisu is a distinctly Finnish concept, one that means grit, stoic determination, and resilience in the face of adversity.


Jaajo is an unusual Finnish name: less than 200 people in total have this name. The roots of the name are easy to trace, as Jaajo Linnonmaa is currently one of the most famous TV personalities in Finland. Interestingly, Jaajo is actually his nickname. His real name, Jari is shared by some 46 000 Finns.


Eppu is a relatively modern Finnish name as it has only been in use since the 1960s. So far, the name has only been given to some 650 boys in total. More than a few of the parents who have chosen this name for their little one have likely been inspired by Eppu Normaali, one of the most famous bands in Finnish rock history.


The name Peetu is a unique take on the name Pietari - the Finnish version of the Biblical name Peter. This modern Finnish name has been in use since the 1960s but has only become popular in the past two decades. Since the year 2000, about 2,500 boys have been given the name Peetu.

Rare Finnish names

While there are many classic Finnish names that appeal to parents year after year, some parents prefer names that are more unique.

When it comes to rare Finnish boy names, there are two key trends at play. Some unusual Finnish names were originally used only as nicknames but are now being used as official names. Other rare names are simply evocative Finnish words that parents have chosen to use as names.

Here you'll find a few examples of both trends.


While Eikka is still a pretty rare name, it has long been a common nickname for mainstream names like Eino.

Turning nicknames into official first names is somewhat trendy in Finland: Samppa is short for Samuli and Aksu is a condensed take on the name Akseli. The name Eikka has been in use since the 1920s but remains rare to this day.


This unusual Finnish name is quintessentially Nordic. Kaamos is the Finnish word for “polar night”, the dark period north of the Arctic Circle when the sun doesn't rise above the horizon during the winter months.

Having only been used as a name since the 1980s, this nature-related Finnish name remains very rare.


The name Repo will appeal to nature lovers looking for something a bit unusual. Repo is an old-fashioned Finnish word for “fox” - the type of word you're most likely to encounter in old fairy tales.

Only a handful of children have been given this unique Finnish name so if you're looking for a rare Finnish name related to nature, this could be a perfect choice.


Nikke is another example of a nickname turned into an official name. This unusual Finnish name is a shorter version of traditional and far more commonly used boy names like Niilo. Since the early 1900s, only around 350 people in Finland have been given the name Nikke.


Voima is a modern boy's name which means “power” or “strength” in Finnish.

With its potent meaning, the name resembles more traditional Finnish male names like Voitto (victory) and Taisto (battle). In the 1900s, only a handful of people were given this name. Since the year 2000, around 60 children have been named Voima.


Finnish boy names range from internationally recognizable classics like Leo and Noel to unique local monikers like Vilho and Toivo. If you are looking for a boy name that is distinctly Finnish, it is best to look at traditional local names (such as Juhani or Heikki) or more modern names, many of which are inspired by nature (Kaamos or Repo for example).

More and more parents in Finland want to give their children a name that is as unique as their little bundle of joy. Therefore, some old Finnish names that had fallen out of favor are now enjoying a new lease on life.

Other parents simply choose a Finnish word with an appealing meaning and use that to name their child. Voima (power), Pyry (snowfall), and Myrsky (storm) are just a few examples of this ongoing trend.

We hope this guide has given you a deeper understanding of Finnish names and introduced you to some new aspects of the local culture and language. To dive deeper into the subject, check out our guide to Finnish girl names.