Finnish for busy people

Negative Emotions – Kielteiset Tunteet

In this article, you can find adjectives, nouns and verbs related to negative emotions. There are plenty of positive emotions too though! This article has some overlapping with other articles. I will link to those in the related sections.

I have chosen to present these words related to feelings by wordtype. However, you will notice that verbs, nouns and adjectives can look very similar. For example, the verb pettyä (to get disappointed) is related to the noun pettymys (disappointment) and the adjective pettynyt (disappointed).

Table of Contents
  1. Nouns
  2. Adjectives
  3. Verbs
    1. Partitive verbs which express negative emotions
    2. Verbs which express the onset of an emotion
    3. Verbs which express causing negative emotions
    4. Other feeling verbs – Tunnekausatiiviverbejä
  4. Adverbs
  5. Sayings related to negative emotions

1. Nouns – Substantiiveja

Finnish English
aggressio aggression
ahdistus anxiety
ahneus greed
alakuloisuus dejection
apatia apathy
epätoivo despair
epävarmuus uncertainty
halveksunta contempt
huoli worry
häpeä shame
kateellisuus envy
katkeruus bitterness
katumus regret
kauhu horror
kiukku crossness
kärsimättömyys impatience
kärttyisyys testiness
levottomuus restlessness
loukkaus insult
Finnish English
masennus depression
mustasukkaisuus jealousy
nolous embarrassment
nöyryytys humiliation
paheksunta resentment
paniikki panic
pelko fear
pettymys disappointment
suru grief
surullisuus sadness
suuttumus indignation
synkkyys melancholy
syyllisyys guilt
tyytymättömyys dissatisfaction
yksinäisyys loneliness
viha hate
ärsytys irritation

2. Adjectives – Adjektiiveja

If you want to express your emotions using an adjective, this can be done with a simple complement sentence: Olen ahdistunut ja masentunut (I’m anxious and depressed).

A more complicated alternative way of phrasing this would be to use the phrase “tuntea olonsa -ksi“. For example, “Hän tunsi olonsa kiusaantuneeksi” means “He/she felt embarrassed”. Finnish doesn’t have a straight-forward way to say “I feel sad/angry/annoyed”. You will either say “I am sad/angry/annoyed”, or use this more complicated expression: “Tunnen oloni surulliseksi/vihaiseksi/ärsyyntyneeksi“. It’s hard to translate it literally, but maybe “I feel my condition as sad” is an okay literal translation.

Finnish English
aggressiivinen aggressive
ahdistunut anxious
ahne greedy
alakuloinen dejected
apea glum
epäluuloinen distrustful
epätoivoinen desperate
epävarma uncertain
halveksiva contemptuous
harmistunut annoyed, upset
huolestunut worried
hämmentynyt bewildered
ikävystynyt bored
kateellinen envious
katkera bitter
katuvainen regretful
kauhuissaan horrified
kiukkuinen peeved
kyllästynyt bored
kyyninen cynical
kärsimätön impatient
kärsivä suffering
kärttyinen bad-tempered
Finnish English
levoton restless
loukkaantunut offended
masentunut depressed
mustasukkainen jealous
nolostunut embarrassed
nöyryytetty humiliated
paheksuva resentful
pelästynyt frightened
pettynyt disappointed
surullinen sad
suuttunut angry, indignant
synkkä melancholic
turhautunut frustrated
tyrmistynyt baffled
tyytymätön dissatisfied
yksinäinen lonely
vihainen angry
ärsyyntynyt displeased
ärtynyt cross, vexed
ärtyisä irritable

3. Verbs

3.1. Partitive verbs which express negative emotions

You can read more about partitive verbs in general here.

Finnish English Example English
halveksia to despise Minä halveksin kaikkia. I despise everyone.
inhota to detest, loathe Minä inhoan naapuriani. I detest my neighbor.
ikävöidä to long for Minä ikävöin isääni. I miss my father.
kadehtia to envy Minä kadehdin teitä. I envy you (plural).
kaivata to miss Minä kaipaan sukulaisiani. I miss my relatives.
katua to regret Minä kaduin päätöstäni. I regretted my decision.
murehtia to grieve, worry Minä murehdin kohtaloani. I fretted over my fate.
paheksua to disapprove Minä paheksun tilannetta. I disapprove of the situation.
pelätä to fear Minä pelkään koiria. I’m afraid of dogs.
vihata to hate Minä vihaan valehtelijoita. I hate liars.

3.2. Verbs which express the onset of an emotion

The verbs in the following table express the onset of an emotion; you’re starting to feel a certain way. For example, the verb pelästyä is related to pelätä “to be afraid”, but it expresses the beginning of the emotion: you startle, ie. start being afraid.

I strongly recommend you also take a look at the article that explains emotive causative verbs.

Finnish English Example English
hermostua to get nervous Minä hermostun herkästi. I get nervous easily.
huolestua to start worrying Minä huolestuin terveydestäni. I got worried about my health.
hämmentyä to get confused Hämmennyin kysymyksestä. I got confused by the question.
katkeroitua to become bitter Katkeroiduin ja syytin häntä. I became bitter and blamed him.
kiusaantua to get embarrassed Minä kiusaannun huomiosta. I get embarrassed by the attention.
kyynistyä to become jaded Kyynistyin vuosien mittaan. I became jaded over the years.
lamaantua to be paralyzed Minä lamaannuin pelosta. I got paralyzed by fear.
loukkaantua to get offended Minä loukkaannuin sanoistasi. I got offended by your words.
nolostua to get embarrassed Minä nolostuin paljastuksesta. I was embarrassed by the revelation.
pelästyä to become startled Minä pelästyn helposti. I’m easily startled.
raivostua to lose temper Minä raivostuin hänelle. I lost my temper with him.
stressaantua to become stressed Minä stressaannun työni takia. I get stressed because of my work.
suuttua to get mad Minä suutuin hänelle. I got mad at him.
turhautua to get frustrated Minä turhauduin byrokratiaan. I got frustrated with the bureaucracy.
vihastua to become angry Minä vihastuin poikiin. I got angry at the boys.
ärsyyntyä to become irritated Minä ärsyynnyn helposti. I get irritated easily.

3.3. Verbs which express causing negative emotions

There are also many verbs that express a person or thing causing the negative emotion. For example, someone can make you afraid (pelästyttää) or embarrass you (nolata).

Finnish English Example English
hämmentää to bewilder Se hämmentää häntä yhä. It still confuses him.
kiusata to bully Hän kiusasi luokkakaveriaan. He bullied his classmate.
loukata to wound Hän loukkasi tunteitani. He hurt my feelings.
loukata to insult Hän loukkasi minua. He insulted me.
pelästyttää to frighten Hän pelästytti minut. He frightened me.
pettää to let down Hän petti äitinsä odotukset. He disappointed his mother.
provosoida to provoke Hän yrittää aina provosoida minua. He’s always trying to provoke me.
nolata to embarrass Hän nolasi minut. He embarrassed me.
nöyryyttää to humiliate Hän nöyryyttää lastaan. He humiliates his child.
ahdistella to harass Hän ahdistelee naisia. He harasses women.
syyttää to blame Hän aina syyttää minua. He always blames me.
kohdella to treat Hän kohtelee lapsiaan huonosti. He treats his children badly.
pilkata to mock Hän pilkkaa asioita, joita rakastan. He mocks the things I love.
härnätä to taunt Hän härnää vastustajaansa. He taunts his opponent.

3.4. Other feeling verbs – Tunnekausatiiviverbejä

A big group of verbs which express feelings are called tunnekausatiiviverbi in Finnish. I have an extensive article about those behind that link. The table below only contains the verbs without a context.

Finnish English
Minua ahdistaa. I feel anxious.
Minua harmittaa. I feel upset.
Minua hermostuttaa. I feel nervous.
Minua hirvittää. I feel dread.
Minua huolestuttaa. I’m worried.
Minua hävettää myöntää se. I’m ashamed to admit it.
Minua inhottaa sade. I detest rain.
Minua itkettää. I feel like crying.
Minua jännittää. I feel excited.
Minua kaduttaa. I feel regret.
Minua kammottaa. I feel appalled.
Minua kauhistuttaa. I feel horrified.
Minua kyllästyttää. I feel fed up.
Minua masentaa. I feel depressed.
Minua nolottaa. I feel embarrassed.
Minua surettaa. I feel saddened.
Minua suututtaa. I feel angry.
Minua pelottaa. I feel afraid.
Minua raivostuttaa. I feel infuriated.
Minua vituttaa. I feel pissed off.
Minua ärsyttää. I feel annoyed.

4. Adverbs – Adverbeja

The next table lists a small selection of adverbs that express negative feelings. Note how all of them end in -ssa and a possessive suffix.

Finnish English
Olen raivoissani. I’m furious.
Olin murheissani. I felt troubled.
Olen huolissani. I’m worried.
Olen harmissani. I’m annoyed, upset.
Olen kauhuissani. I’m terrified.

5. Sayings related to negative emotions

  • “Hänellä on jotain hampaankolossa.”
    Literally: She has something in the hole in a tooth.
    Meaning: She’s annoyed with something.
  • “Maija on kuin kissa pistoksissa.”
    Literally: Maija is like a cat in a shot.
    Meaning: Maija is really restless.
  • “Mieheni on käärmeissään lapseni käytöksestä.”
    Literally: My husband is in his snakes about the behavior of my child.
    Meaning: My husband is angry about the behavior of my child.
  • “Älä heitä kirvestä kaivoon!”
    Literally: Don’t throw the ax into the well!
    Meaning: Don’t give up yet!

4 Comments

  • This is such a useful article, especially for improving expression of opinions, so thank you! Just to fill in my understanding, why is humiliated “nöyryyttänyt” (literally having humiliated) and not “nöyryytetty” (having been humiliated)? Or is it just how it is. Thank you in advance, and sorry for being pedantic, I just learn things more easily when I understand them thoroughly (not great at “accepting and memorising”).

    • Hey Joshua! I just took a fresh look at this article and realized that it’s not as useful as I intended. The idea was originally just to list as many words as possible related to negative feelings.

      However, for many of the verbs in particular, not having a context or a full sentences makes their meaning and/or usage a little ambiguous. I’ve included both transitive and intransitive verbs, which makes it kind of hard to tell which ones refer to CAUSING an emotion and which ones are about FEELING the emotion.

      This is less the case with the adjectives I listed, but nöyryyttänyt is one of the words where transitivity makes this word ambiguous when translated. You’re completely right in your assessment: nöyryytetty would be how you FEEL when someone “nöyryyttää” you. The word nöyryyttänyt expresses CAUSING the emotion.

      A long reply, but I think you deserve it 🙂 I will be fixing this article today/tomorrow and I suggest you take another look at it once I’m done! Thank you so much for your comment! I don’t know if you’re aware of the point system, but I’m giving you three points for your contribution.

  • When I saw mustasukkainen, I thought of the Swedish word svartsjuk, which also means jealous but literally it can be translated as black sick. So I wondered if one is a calque of the other. However, according to wiktionary mustasukkainen actually means literally blacksocked and is a mistranslation of svartsjuka (plural adjective or noun jealousy). The Swedish word for sock is socka or strumpa so I wonder if sjuka and socka sound similar to Finns and hence that mistranslation? Moreover, there is also a Finnish word mustankipeä, which is an accurate calque.

    • You have such an interesting perspective on Finnish vocabulary 🙂

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