Skip to content

Interesting words

A collection of Finnish words that don’t have a 1:1 English translation and often require an explanation.

Table for the list of interesting words.
FinnishEnglish
Aasinsilta
A barely related and sometimes awkward transition from one topic to another that often has very little to do with the current topic or argument.
Avanto
A hole in the ice where someone can swim or dip into. Sometimes done between sauna sessions in winter.
Eräjorma
A person who loves the outdoors, is knowledgeable about nature and is typically skilled in survival.
Juoksentelisinkohan
To wonder if you should run around aimlessly.
Kaamos
The phenomenon where the night lasts for 24 hours within the northernmost part of Finland that is within the arctic circle, also known as polar night.
Kalsarikännit
The act of of getting drunk at home alone, typically in underpants, with no intention of going out.
Kissanristiäiset
A party or event that you feel is unnecessary but you are somewhat forced to attend.
Kyykkyviini
Wines that are often the cheapest or least of quality that are located on the lowest shelf and require crouching to acquire.
Landespede
A person who was born or raised in the country side; a person not from the city.
Löyly
The act of throwing water on sauna’s stove and the heat, humidity and temperature in the sauna as a result of the steam.
Motti
Military slang for a totally encircled enemy unit. The tactic of encircling is Motitus.
Myötähäpeä
Second-hand shame or compassion for someone making a fool of themselves.
Riuku
Usually a tree branch used to lean on or against for support while relieving one’s self.
Routa
The frozen top layer of earth or soil caused by cold weather during winter with ruotavaurio occasionally being used for roads or paths that have been damaged by such conditions.
Ruoto
Ruoto, or kalanruoto, is the term for the small bones of a fish commonly known as fishbone.
Ruska
The process of leaves turning from green changing to various colours in autumn.
Ruuhkavuodet
How a parent with young children may feel while trying to juggle responsibilities along with their career and hobbies.
Sisu
Stoic determination, perserverance, bravery, resilience or hardiness.