The reason I created this page was mainly because at the time there didn't seem to exist a simple, comprehensive site about Finnish names on the web. So, I decided to make one. Being a part of writers' recource site, the main idea for this page is to be a name archive for all of you writers out there who for some reason need to know what Finnish names are like. 
This is not to urge all of you to use Finnish characters in your fiction, only to offer information on the subject. The thing is, Finnish names can be little tricky. Many times using Finnish names, writers have gotten it all wrong. Either they have used some really strange sounding Finnish name, a name that sounds right but isn't Finnish, used girl's name for a boy or vice versa. This page is made to prevent those kind of funny little mishaps.
The first names on this page are names commonly used in Finland nowadays. The list is not meant to be complete in any way. There are much more names in the current Finnish name calendar than listed here, but I have left some of the most old-fashioned ones out, as well as some names that clearly are not of Finnish origin. This is only to make the use of this list safer for all of you, who don't have up-to-date information about current Finnish names.
Many international databases include Finnish first names too. Only problem with those are that one can find rather strange-sounding "Finnish names" there. I really don't know the reason for this, but my guess is that some of names submitted to there are from descendants of Finnish emigrants. In other words, if you want to be absolutely sure not to choose name that makes your Finnish reader shake his head in disbelief, this list is a rather safe bet.
Constructing a Finnish name works just like in most western languages. First choose a first name of right gender and then a last name. Usually people have also one or two second names in Finland, but they are seldom used. In some cases, when one doesn't like the first given name he or she can use one of the second names. Or, when wanting to sound eccentric, use all of one's given names or initials as part of their name. In many cases these people are writers or other public figures. Normally one's everyday name consists of one first and one last name.
Like modern names nowadays at least in western countries, most Finnish first names don't have a spesific meaning. Some however do. In many cases the phrase itself can be little outdated and archaic, meaning people don't necesseary use those words in every day language, but still understand their meaning. That is why I have made a separate list for those names. The list also mentions if name has some culture or language based 'double meaning' which only Finns get and which you might want to know before using it. 
For some reason there really is an incredible amount of Finnish last names, at least over 75 000 of them. Because of that I have left out tons and tons of names, partly because there's not enough room here for all of them, but mainly because I have gathered this list by myself and I do have other things in my life than this, you know. The idea of this page is not to be a scientifically valid listing of all Finnish first and last names in existence, only is to give you a basic feeling what they sound like.
That is also the reason why there's not a separate page for Finnish last names and their meanings. Unlike with first names, most Finnish last names do have a meaning. In many cases those meanings are still quite recognizable and listing all of them here would have just been too enourmous task. Like with first names, the Finnish last names listed here are pretty standard ones and it's quite safe for you to pick any of them without having to worry whether that particular last name has some weird history.
Oh, and one last thing. If those nordic characters, 'ä' and 'ö', give you trouble, I suggest you don't use names that include them. Don't substitute them with a and o, since that's not the way it works. The letters ä and ö really are different characters than a and o, they sound different and in some cases if, you mix them, the whole meaning of the word might change. The result may be, well, embarrassing at least.
Those of you who want to know more about Finnish, about the language or the names, can check out the link list on the main page. Or, if your Finnish is good enough, read Pirjo Mikkonen's and Sirkka Pakkala's book Sukunimet ('last names'). It tells you everything there is to know about Finnish last names and their history. If you have questions, comments or corrections concerning the information on these pages, please send them directly to me 
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