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What are the most beautiful Finnish words? 50 words that inspire you

Many people are fascinated by the Finnish language. People from all over the world find some of the words beautiful. Still, even when it comes to Finns, what sounds beautiful is a very personal thing.

To find the most beautiful Finnish words, I went through some of the polls published by magazines and newspapers on how Finns have voted on the most beautiful and happiest Finnish words, to name a few examples.

Hopefully, this list can grow with your suggestions in the comments. Is there a favorite word that always makes you happy or a word that touches your heart?

Wildlife in Finland

27 most beautiful Finnish words

Let’s dive right in and look at the words that have been voted into the top 10 by Finns in some of the biggest polls. The following words come from articles by Suomen Kuvalehti, Yle, and Me Naiset. These polls were run on different years and had from a few experts to 21500 participants.

Why are there 27 words here if all the polls aim to find the top 10? The answer is easy: only one of the words in the polls matched, and it got first place in most of the polls I looked at.

The decision on the most beautiful Finnish words might be challenging, but here are the 27 that made it to the lists. I’ll save the top one as the last!

kastehelmi = dewdrop

rakkaus = love

hiljaisuus = silence

rakas = dear

lounatuuli = southwest wind

kiitos = thank you

halla = frost

lumi = snow

aamunkoi = dawn

kaunis = beautiful

solina = babble (of a brook)

kulta = darling (also gold)

kesäheinä = summer hay

usva = mist

löyly = steam or heat of the sauna

aamu = morning

unelma = dream

koti = home

aalto = wave

kuulas = clear

taival = journey

kehtolaulu = lullaby

maailma = world

lauha = tempered

metsäpirtti = a cabin in the woods

nuttu = a piece of clothing

lauantai = Saturday

Finnish winter

And finally, what was the one word that topped most of the polls? It is the same one that tops some of the polls for the most beautiful word in the English language: äiti (mother). 

So a word is not only beautiful to us because of the way it sounds but also because of its meaning. Would we get a different list if we only asked foreigners who don’t speak the language?  

The Finnish MTV News ran a small test for a video where German tourists liked the sound of the Finnish word “mummi” for grandmother. As far as I could find, bigger polls have not really been run this way.

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Words from the Finnish nature

When I recently wrote about 100+ unique Finnish names, I talked about how words from nature have become popular as first names. These words also reach the “most beautiful words” lists. The number of them might be one reason why the lists differ so much.

Forest in Finland

Some of the nature-themed words that have been suggested often as the most beautiful words in the Finnish language include:

aava = open sea
kielo = lily of the valley

höyhen = feather

lähde = spring

vanamo = twinflower

kesäyö = summer night

hilla = cloudberry

meri = sea

Happiest Finnish words

Since Finland has been voted the happiest country in the world, I thought another fun poll to look at would be the happiest words in the Finnish language. They were found by polling 70000 people. The poll was organized by the language app Duolingo and the Very Finnish problems website.

Happiest country

What is your guess? Is there a lot of overlap with the most beautiful words, or are happy words a completely different thing? Let’s find out. Here are the top 10:

söpö = cute

pupu = bunny

lumi = snow

mökki = cottage

lämpimämpi = warmer

pumpuli = cotton wool

äiti = mother

jompikumpi = one or the other

jäätelötötterö = ice cream cone

järvi = lake

Northern Lights in Finland

Many of these words might bring a smile to your face, at least if you try to pronounce them. Or watch the video of Lauri Markkanen’s teammates from Chicago Bulls giving the word Jäätelötötterö a go.

That’s a quick look at some of the most beautiful and happiest Finnish words selected by Finns.

What are my favorites you might ask… Here they are:

lintu = bird

suvanto = pool, quiet waters

sielu = soul

tyyni = peaceful, calm

What are some of your favorites? Let me know what you think in the comments.

You might also like to read these articles on the Finnish language and names:

20 Cute Finnish Nicknames for Your Loved One

100+ Unique Finnish names and their meanings

7 Hilarious Finnish Language Memes that Embrace Its Uniqueness

50 Funny Finnish Phrases & Words in English that Describe the Finnish Mindset


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About Varpu
I’m the founder of Her Finland. I love cultural tidbits, aha moments, Finnish folklore, and cinnamon buns. My newest interest is learning bird songs. Read more about me..

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Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

Heips Varpu! Suurkiitos ihanasta blogista. Päädyin tänne, kun meille oli tulossa amerikkalaisia ystäviä ensimmäistä kertaa Suomeen. Olen lähettänyt linkkejä heille ja olen ihan koukussa teksteihisi!

(for those who don't read Finnish too well)

Hi Varpu! ("Twig") Thank you so much for a wonderful blog. I ended up here when we were waiting for our American friends to visit us for the first time ever in Finland. I've sent links to them and am myself hooked up to these articles.


Thursday 22nd of December 2022

Hello Varpu, great article! I have a question for you, if you don't mind helping me. I am searching for a name for my Scandinavian style cottage in a north region of Quebec. As the cottage is surrounded by the forest and near the base of well known mountain, I am looking for a word in Finnish that would describe a peaceful place, serenity, where you connect with the nature. Any suggestions? Many thanks and Merry Christmas to you!


Friday 30th of December 2022

Hei Denis! I'm so happy to hear you liked this post. Wow, I'm so honored to suggest some names. Rauha means peace in Finnish and it's also a woman's name. Lintukoto (literally bird home) is a mythical place far away where birds would migrate for the winter, and possibly our souls would migrate there too. Salo means a deep forest in Finnish. Hope these suggestions help or lead you to find the name that captures your cabin's location!


Saturday 19th of November 2022

Aiti ne minula atta opati.

Sauna (not a sawna!) Kalja Kalastus Koira Kropsua Lunta/Lumi Moottorikelkka Makkara Metsastys Mummu Raha! Sieppaaminen Vetta

Paljon huvi!

From Northeastern Minnesota


Friday 9th of December 2022

Such a great practical list, Jimmy! Kiitos paljon!

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