The country of Finland is located in Northern Europe and shares land borders with Russia, Sweden and Norway.
Most of the people in Finland speak Finnish (86.5%), but the rest of the population speaks either Swedish (5.2%), Sami (0.04%), or some other language (8.3%) such as Russian, Estonian, or Arabic.
Last year, Finland welcomed over 51,000 babies. At the time the country released its baby name data, 50,547 of these babies — 24,764 girls and 25,783 boys — had been named.
And what were the most popular names overall? Olivia and Leo.
Finland’s baby name data is broken down by language group, so lets start with the Finnish speakers…
Of the 41,478 (named) babies born to Finnish speakers in Finland last year, 20,301 were girls and 21,177 were boys.
Here are the top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:
Olivia, 312 baby girls
Venla, 254 (3-way tie)
Aino, 254 (3-way tie)
Isla, 254 (3-way tie)
Linnea, 214 (tie)
Ellen, 214 (tie)
Ilona, 140 (tie)
Mila, 140 (tie)
Amanda, 134 (tie)
Alisa, 134 (tie)
Elsi, 132 (tie)
Alina, 132 (tie)
Hertta, 119 (tie)
Lumi, 119 (tie)
Saimi, 107 (tie)
Selma, 107 (tie)
Viivi, 105 (tie)
Iida, 105 (tie)
Leo, 397 baby boys
Aatos, 230 – a Finnish term meaning “thought”
Oiva, 178 – means “splendid” in Finnish
Otso, 157 – means “bear” in Finnish
Eelis, 139 (tie)
Matias, 139 (tie)
Veikko, 138 (tie)
Aaron, 138 (tie)
Jasper, 127 (3-way tie)
Samuel, 127 (3-way tie)
Rasmus, 127 (3-way tie)
Eemeli, 126 (3-way tie)
Milo, 126 (3-way tie)
Niklas, 126 (3-way tie)
Iivo, 120 (3-way tie)
Veeti, 120 (3-way tie)
Max, 120 (3-way tie)
Minna Saarelma-Paukkala, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, had this to say about Finland’s unique baby names:
Many of them are nature-related, such as Havu (Sprig), Vadelma (Raspberry), Skysy (Autumn) or Tyrsky (Wave). Many new names are also created on the basis of older names, such as snow (Lumi) related ones like Lumia, Lumiina and Lumitähti.
She also noted that names trendy in Finland in the 1940s — particularly those beginning with the letter r, such as Ritva and Raimo — could be coming back. “Reino, for example, has already risen into the top 100.” (Reino is the Finnish form of Reynold.)
Of the 3,458 (named) babies born to Swedish speakers in Finland last year, 1,698 were girls and 1,760 were boys. Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names:
Interestingly, Alice and Noah — the top names in Sweden — weren’t as popular among the Swedes of Finland. Alice didn’t even make the top 50. (Noah ranked 50th exactly.)
Of the 5,611 (named) babies born in Finland last year to parents who speak something other than Finnish or Swedish, 2,765 were girls and 2,846 were boys. Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names:
According to Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in the country last year were Nora and Noah — both of which happen to be quite similar to the name of the country itself (Norge, pronounced nor-geh).
Here are Norway’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:
Nora/Norah, 409 baby girls
Noah/Noa, 402 baby boys
Aksel/Axel, 346 (3-way tie)
Emil, 346 (3-way tie)
Filip/Philip/Fillip/Phillip, 346 (3-way tie)
In the girls’ top 10, Frida replaced Emilie.
In the boys’ top 10, Isak and Aksel replaced Liam and Henrik.
Names that saw notable increases in usage include…
Girl names: Ada (9th), Alma (12th), Iben (19th), Ellie (32nd), Hedvig (38th), Mie (42nd), Mille (46th), Hermine (48th), Klara, and Noelle
Boy names: Oskar (2nd), Isak (5th), Aksel (6th), Ludvig (19th), Gustav (25th), Falk, Harald, Joel, and Luca
In the capital city, Oslo, the top names last year were Sofia and Oskar.
And the year before, in 2020, the top names in Norway were Nora and Jakob.
Back when sea voyages were the only way to reach distant lands, many babies ended up being born aboard ships. And many of these ship-born babies were given names that reflected the circumstances of their birth. A good portion of them, for instance, were named after the ships upon which they were born.
I’ve gathered hundreds of these ship-inspired baby names over the years, and I think it’s finally time to post what I’ve found…
Emma Abergeldie Walsh, born in 1884
Eva Abernyte Congdon, born in 1875
Herbert Bealie Abington Tait, born in 1884
Abyssinia Louise Juhansen, born in 1870
Abyssinia Elfkin, born in 1872
Louise Abyssinia Bellanger, born in 1874
John Achilles Denchey, born in 1871
U. Actoea Jones, born in 1868
John Adriatic Gateley Collins, born in 1879
Adriatic O’Loghlin Gould, born in 1880
Agnes Adriatic Cook, born in 1880
Frederick Agamemnon Dingly, born in 1876
Mary Alaska Magee, born in 1884
Gertrude Alcester Dart, born in 1884
Mary Duncan Alcinosa Greenwood, born in 1887
Aldergrove Andrew Fullarton Feathers, born in 1875
He in turn gave his name to Medford, Minnesota, in the 1850s. His father, Englishman William K. Colling, was an early Minnesota settler who “said that he had a son who was born on board the ship Medford, and was named Medford, in honor of the ship, and proposed that the town should be named Medford in honor of the boy.”
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reader looking for lists of old-fashioned double names. She was aiming for names like Thelma Dean, Eula Mae, and Gaynell — names that would have sounded trendy in the early 1900s. She also mentioned that she’d started a list of her own.
So I began scouring the interwebs. I tracked down lists of old-fashioned names, and lists of double names…but I couldn’t find a decent list of double names that were also old-fashioned.
I loved the idea of such a list, though, so I suggested that we work together to create one. She generously sent me the pairings she’d collected so far, and I used several different records databases to find many more.
I restricted my search to names given to girls born in the U.S. from 1890 to 1930. I also stuck to double names that I found written as single names, because it’s very likely that these pairings were used together in real life (i.e., that they were true double names and not merely first-middle pairings).
Pairings that seemed too timeless, like Maria Mae and Julia Rose, were omitted. I also took out many of the pairings that feature now-trendy names — think Ella, Emma, and Lucy — because they just don’t sound old-fashioned anymore (though they would have a few decades ago).
The result isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a decent sampling of real-life, old-fashioned double names. I’ve organized them by second name, and I also added links to popularity graphs for names that were in the SSA data during the correct time period (early 1900s).