Finnish for busy people

Finnish Insults – Haukkumasanat

This article deals with Finnish insults (haukkumasana) for people. This is a tricky subject for multiple reasons. My main goal with making this article is to present you with a list of words that you can get acquainted with.

I’ve had students request a list of insults – not for the purpose of starting to use them themselves – but to be aware of what words can be used. That way, they stand more of a chance of interpreting situations where they are the victim of verbal assault correctly. This is a very good reason for making this article.

I myself don’t swear at all. My introvert nature also means I rarely come in contact with people who swear. As such, my knowledge of Finnish insults is fairly limited. I’m presenting you with Finnish insults that appear in kielitoimiston sanakirja. I’ve had help with weeding out insults that are no longer in use via our Discord server. Thank you TikuOrava, ClearSkies and pschobabble25 for your input!

Table of Contents
  1. The Intensity of Insults
  2. Changes in Insults
  3. Jonne
  4. Groups of Finnish Insults
    1. Insults related to intelligence
    2. Insults related to looks
    3. Insults related to behavior
    4. Related to beliefs
    5. Related to minorities or race
    6. Insults related to sex or excretion
    7. Insults related to professions
    8. Insults related to animals
    9. Insults related to age

1. The Intensity of Insults

Not all insults are equally insulting. The level of offensiveness of an insult can differ depending on several variables:

  • Inherent intensity: calling someone nörtti “nerd” is much less offensive than huora “whore”. This is fairly universal and unlikely to undergo any shifts.
  • Regional intensity: Insults can be typical to a certain area and not appear out of that region. They also might have a different meaning or intensity depending on the area.
  • Personal intensity: Insults can be used in a joking manner and lose their offensiveness in the speech of some people that lovingly refer to their loved ones with a word that is otherwise considered offensive.
  • Added intensity: The way a word is used can influence its offensiveness. For example, “vitun äpärä” (fucking bastard) is more insulting than just plain äpärä (bastard). Finnish uses “vitun” and “saatanan” for this (e.g. vitun idiootti, saatanan huora).

2. Changes in Insults

  • Lack of need: When a bigger percentage of the population were farmers, there were a lot of insulting names for the profession. Finnish still has the word maajussi, but other words are slowly dying out.
  • Reclaiming words: The people towards whom a certain word is used as an insult can sometimes reclaim the word as “their own”. In these cases, the word can lose its negative meaning (e.g.”ginger”).
  • Erosion of meaning: The intensity of insults changes. Words that were very offensive at some point can lose some of their strength over time. This can cause confusion as to which words are general terms and which are insults (e.g. nigger or negro).
  • Insults give identity: There will always be a tendency for younger generations to try to set themselves apart through the vocabulary they use. This also includes insults, which are born and die out as the generations renew. Within close-knit groups, certain insults can gain popularity quickly.

3. One Insult: Jonne

The word jonne has been around for a couple of years right now. It’s interesting because its meaning is so specific. A jonne is a teenage boy (9-15 year old) who behaves in a childish or awkward manner. It’s thought to describe a typical high school student who like playing video games and drinking energy drinks. It’s also used to refer to the whole generation of kids born in the 1990s.

4. Groups of Finnish Insults

Below, you can find Finnish insults listed by their meaning. This means they are not organized by how offensive they are: you will find very offensive and fairly casual insults mixed in the table below.

4.1. Insults Related to Intelligence

Insult Translation
blondi blonde, stupid woman
dorka dork
hölmö stupid (also: silly)
höntti simpleton
hönö simpleton
idiootti idiot
imbesilli imbecile
juntti yokel, hick
mäntti git, idiot
nuija idiot ‘mallet, gavel’
pöljä dumb person
seniili senile person
taukki dumb person
tollo moron, dumbass
tomppeli dolt, clod
torvi fool
tyhmyri loggerhead
typerys fool
urpo moron
uuno moron
vajakki retard
älykääpiö cretin ‘intelligence dwarf’
ääliö moron
jästipää dumbhead ‘yeast head’
luupää bonehead
läskipää idiot ‘fathead’
pölkkypää blockhead ‘log head’
taliaivo blockhead ‘tallow brain’

4.2. Insults Related to Looks

It hasn’t been easy to find insults that only refer to sombody’s looks.

Insult Translation
läski fatso
luuviulu skeleton, ‘bone violin’
roikale tall, sleazy, disgusting man
hamppari dirty hobo, unkempt man

4.3. Insults Related to Behavior

Insult Translation
heittiö scoundrel, cast-out, no honor, no morals
lurjus scoundrel, villain, cast-out, no honor, no morals
kelmi rascal, rogue, cast-out, no honor, no morals
hunsvotti scoundrel, rascal, cast-out, no honor, no morals
retale scoundrel, wretch, cast-out, no honor, no morals
sosiaalipummi living off social security, lazy and unemployed
retku bum, doesn’t work, bothers others, often drunk
renttu bum, doesn’t work, bothers others, often drunk
moukka boor, oaf, uncivilized person
juoruakka gossier, babbler, ‘gossip hag’
juoruämmä gossier, babbler, ‘gossip hag’
hanttapuli unreliable, untrustworthy, irresponsible male
nynny wimp, sissy
nössö wimp, sissy
hullu crazy person
sekopää nutcase, loon, kook
pelle clown
spede annoying, arrogant person
mammanpoika mama’s boy
perseennuolija ass-licker
luuseri loser
nörtti nerd
friikki freak
tylsimys boring person
akka hag, witch
ämmä hag, bitch
muija woman

4.4. Insults Related to Beliefs

Insult Translation
kukkahattutäti patronizing person with puritan moral sensibilities
sovinistisika chauvinist pig
femakko feminist
hihhuli Jesus freak, religious person, zealot
jutku Jew, kike
jutsku Jew, kike

4.5. Related to Minorities or Race

Insult Translation
manne Finnish Romani
ryssä Russian person
iivana Russian person
slobo Rusky, Slav
neekeri nigger, negro
nekru nigger
vinosilmä Asian person ‘slant eye’
hurri Swede, Finnish-Swede
rättipää Muslim, Arab ‘rag head’

4.6. Insults Related to Sex or Excretion

Insult Translation
äpärä bastard
mulkku dick
runkkari wanker
runkku wanker
kyrpänaama dickface
huora whore
narttu bitch
lutka slut
lunttu tart
pervo perv
homo homo
lesbo lesbo
hintti fagot
hinttari fagot
transu tranny
paskiainen son of a bitch
paskapää shithead
kusipää pisshead

4.7. Related to Professions

Insult Translation
kyttä cop
paskalakki cop ‘shit hat’
smurffi cop ‘smurf’
maajussi farmer

4.8. Related to Animals

Insult Translation
sika pig
aasi donkey, stupid person
lehmä cow, ugly woman, heifer
kana hen, stupid woman
typerä hanhi stupid goose

4.9. Insults Related to Age

Insult Translation
räkänenä snot-nosed youngster
räkänokka snot-nosed youngster
penska brat
jolppi young, immature boy
nulikka badly behaving boy
nulkki badly behaving boy
jonne stereotypical teenage boy
maitoparta adolescent male ‘milk beard’
juippi punk, juvenile trouble-maker
kääkkä old crank, ill-tempered crone
kalkkis old fogy, fossil
kanttura old, frail person
pissis superficial teen girl
eukko old woman
haaska ugly (old) woman
harppu old/ugly woman
kääkkä old crank, crone

Read More Elsewhere

That’s it for Finnish insults!

4 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Markku Maja

No kyllä nyt löytyi hyvä valikoima: on mistä valita. Ei valittamista.

Inge (admin)

Hehe xD Onko vielä lisättävää?