Finnish for busy people

Family members – Perhe ja sukulaiset

This article gives you the most basic vocabulary you should know related to family members. You could also check out our articles all about pregnancy and giving birth, about babies, and about age and aging!

Finnish English
Perussanoja Basic words
perhe family
veli brother
sisko / sisar sister
vanhemmat parents
äiti mother
isä father
vanhempi parent
lapsi child
tyttö / tytär daughter
poika son
vaimo wife
mies husband
pikkusisko little sister
isosisko older sister
pikkuveli little brother
isoveli older brother
isovanhemmat grandparents
isoäiti grandmother
isoisä grandfather
lastenlapset grandchildren
täti aunt
setä uncle (father’s side)
eno uncle (mother’s side)
serkku cousin
käly sister-in-law
lanko brother-in-law
anoppi mother-in-law
appi father-in-law
miniä daughter-in-law
vävy son-in-law
Finnish English
Hieman vaikeampia sanoja Somewhat more difficult words
sisarukset siblings
perheenjäsenet family members
sukulaiset extended family
sukulainen relative
sisarenpoika nephew (sister’s son)
veljenpoika nephew (brother’s son)
sisarentytär niece (sister’s daughter)
veljentytär niece (brother’s daughter)
pojantytär granddaughter (son’s daughter)
tyttärentytär granddaughter (daughter’s daughter)
pojanpoika grandson (son’s son)
tyttärenpoika grandson (daughter’s son)
pikkuserkku second cousin
isoisänisä great-grandfather
lapsenlapsen lapsi great-grandchild
kummivanhemmat godparents
kummisetä godfather
kummitäti godmother
kummipoika godson
kummitytär / kummityttö goddaughter
Hiukan puhekieltä A little spoken language
mummo, mummi,
mummu, muori
pappa, ukki, ukko, vaari grandpa
isi, iskä, faija dad, daddy
Finnish English
naimisissa married
mennä naimisiin to get married
avioliitto marriage
aviomies husband in marriage
aviovaimo wife in marriage
avoliitto cohabitation
avomies common-law husband
avovaimo common-law wife
parisuhde relationship
parisuhteessa in a relationship
kihloissa engaged
mennä kihloihin to get engaged
naimaton unmarried
eronnut divorced
leski widow / widower
kumppani partner
puoliso spouse
Finnish English
isäpuoli stepfather
äitipuoli stepmother
sisarpuoli stepsister
velipuoli stepbrother
tytärpuoli stepdaughter
poikapuoli stepson
huoltaja caregiver, guardian
holhooja guardian
orpo orphan
sijaisperhe foster family
adoptio adoption
adoptoitu adopted
adoptoida to adopt
adoptioäiti adoptive mother
biologinen äiti biological mother
yksinhuoltaja single parent
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I was wondering, when Finnish people talk about their spouses in casual conversation, do they tend to say “mun vaimo/mies”, or do they rather say “Mun puoliso” ?
Are younger and older people different in this respect ?
And I had the same question about “mun tyttöystäva/poikaystävä” versus “mun kumpanni”.
Thank you again !


If you use ”puoliso” about a long-term partner or ”kumppani” about a partner that is perhaps not so established yet, those terms hide the gender of him/her. So they are used especially when you don’t want to reveal that he/she is the same gender than you.
But also many heteros use them, too.


Is it necessary to read all the sub-articles as well, (for example pregnancy and giving birth, about babies, and about age and aging are also discussed in other articles ) , to cover the content of A1?

Inge (admin)

No! You CAN look through them and pick some vocabulary that you find important for YOUR life in particular, but there is a lot of vocabulary you can leave until later.

My website is FULL of links, so you will always run into other related topics.


I wouldn’t say isoisänisä but rather isoisoisä or isopappa. Same way isoisovanhemmat.
Tyttöystävä/poikaystävä = tyttökaveri/poikakaveri. Those can mean on the other hand a partner or just a female or male friend.
If they sound too young terms for middle-agers or older, you can also say naisystävä/miesystävä. These about the partners only.
Ex-vaimo or ex-mies in the spoken language = exä. A new, current parter in the spoken language = nyxä.


Sorry for talking about the English translation, but
“Caretaker” I think refers to someone being paid to care, but “caregiver” or “carer” would better translate to “huoltaja” in this context


ps. I love your content! Really good vocab lists that I’ve also hinted to my non-Finnish students 🙂

Inge (admin)

I always appreciate feedback on the English translations as well! I changed it to “caregiver” but also added “guardian” since it’s often a legal thing as well.


Very Helpful article! Kiitos