Finnish for busy people

Animal Compound Words

In this article, you can find some fun animal compound words. These words are more of the “nice to know” category. These are definitely not vital to learning to speak proper Finnish, but it’s kind of fun to know some animal themed compound words.

I found the basic list of words in the book Suomen kieli kuntoon 2, which I recommend if you’re looking into investing in a book to learn phrases around B1.1 level. I supplemented it with words I thought up myself, as well as some from this conversation I found online.

Finnish English
aasinsilta segue from topic to another; “donkey’s bridge”
baarikärpänen person who hangs around in bars; “bar fly”
elohiiri myokymia, spasm in muscle around eye; “life mouse”
etanaposti conventional paper mail, post; “snail mail”
haukankatse penetrating, scary, sharp look; “hawk’s gaze”
harakanvarpaat unclear, messy writing, scrawl; “magpie’s toes”
harakkamylly certain type of mill, smock mill; “magpie mill”
hevosvoima unit of power of engine; “horsepower”
hevosenleikki rough, raw, inappropriate play or joke; “horse’s play”
hiirenhiljaa really quiet, quiet as a mouse; “mouse’s quiet”
hiirenkorvat a new spring leaf about to unfold; “mouse’s ear”
hiirikäsi repetitive strain injury in wrist; “mouse hand”
hiirimatto under computer mouse, mousepad; “mouse carpet”
härkäpää stubborn person, mule; “bull head”
härkäviikko week with no public holidays; “bull week”
häränsilmä center of target, bullseye; “bull’s eye”
häränsilmä also: sunny-side up egg; “bull’s eye”
joulupukki Santa Claus; “Christmas goat”
joutsenlaulu artist’s final product, performance; “swan song”
katinkulta mineral that looks like gold, fool’s gold “cat’s gold”
kirpputori second hand store; “flea market”
kissanpäivät carefree, pleasant, luxurious life; “cat’s days”
kissanristiäiset trivial, unimportant party; “cat’s christening”
kissansilmä round rear reflector on a bicycle; “cat’s eye”
koekaniini living experimental subject, guinea pig; “test rabbit”
koiranelämä miserable life, dog’s life; “dog’s life”
koiranilma awful weather; “dog’s weather”
koirankorva worn-out corner of page of book; “dog’s ear”
koiranleuka person making mischievous jokes, joker; “dog’s jaw”
koiranuinti way of swimming, dog paddle; “dog’s swimming”
koirauni light of feigned sleep; “dog’s sleep”
koiranvirka unpleasant post or position; “dog job”
korttihai professional card game cheater; “card shark”
korvamato tune that’s stuck in your head; “ear worm”
kukonaskel short distance or interval; “cock’s step”
käkikello type of wall clock; “cuckoo clock”
kännikala drunk, drunkard; “drunk fish”
käärmekeitto something that strengthens figuratively; “snake soup”
laiskamato lazy person; “lazy worm”
lehmäkauppa counter-trade barter; “cow trade”
lehmänkäännös a large, clumsy turn of car at intersection; “cow turn”
leijonanosa the majority of something, lion’s share; “lion’s part”
lepakkotuoli steel tube fabric chair, butterfly chair; “bat chair”
linnuntie straight line distance; “bird’s road”
lintukoto place like paradise; “home of birds”
lintuperspektiivi as seen from high above; “bird’s eye view”
lukutoukka avid book reader, bookworm; “reading larva”
madonluku worst possible result; “worm’s number”
mursunviikset thick, bushy, droopy moustache; “walrus’ moustache”
myyräntyö secret malicious undermining activity; “mole job”
nostokurki crane to lift things; “lifting crane”
nälkäkurki tall, skinny person; “hunger crane”
onnenmyyrä lucky duck, happy camper; “happy/lucky mole”
oravanpyörä rat race, treadmill; “squirrel wheel”
outolintu weird person, nutcase; “strange bird”
pahanilmanlintu bringer of bad news or bad luck; “bad weather bird”
pajunkissat the furry catkins on a willow tree; “willow’s cat”
perhosuinti style of swimming; “butterfly swimming”
poninhäntä hairstyle; “ponytail”
poropeukalo incompetent, ham-fisted person; “reindeer thumb”
porsaanreikä loophole in document, agreement; “piglet’s hole”
possumunkki Finnish donut with jam inside; “piglet donut”
pukinparta goatee; “buck’s beard”
pyryharakka young, mischievous girl; “snowfall magpie”
rantaleijona guy who shows off at beach; “beach lion”
rauhankyyhky symbol of peace; “peace dove”
sahapukki frame for sawing firewood, sawhorse; “saw buck”
sammakkomies diver in scuba gear; “frogman”
siansorkka certain type of nautical knot, clove hitch; “pig’s hoof”
siilipuolustus certain type of defence; “hedgehog defence”
siilitukka hair that stands up, crew cut; “hedgehog hair”
simpukkapuhelin type of phone, flip phone; “clamshell phone”
sudenkuoppa potential problem or danger, pitfall; “wolf’s pit”
sudennälkä ravenous hunger; “wolf’s hunger”
susipari degrading term for unmarried couple; “wolf pair”
sähköjänis mechanical hare in dog racing; “electric rabbit”
teerenpeli eye game, flirting; “black grouse game”
teerenpilkku freckle; “black grouse comma”
tiikerikakku dry vanilla-chocolate cake, marble cake; “tiger cake”
tikkataulu dartboard; “woodpecker board”
työmyyrä hard worker, workhorse; “work mole”
uutisankka false or misleading report or story, canard “news duck”
vilukissa someone who easily feels cold; “cold cat”

That’s it for animal themed compound words! Are there other types of compound words you’d like to see an article on? Let me know in the comments!

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