diminutive (personal names)

< Previous | Next >

Encolpius

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello, I do not speak Finnish, only know some basics, but I am interested in foreign languages, mostly in diminutives. I wonder how common it is in Finnish to use diminutives with personal names. I am not sure if you know other languages but I personally classify languages where diminutives in that specific case are rare (English, German, French), common (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish) or very common (Slavic languages, Hungarian). I have the feeling it is rare in Finnish. Could you say some examples? Thanks.
 
  • Ansku89

    Member
    Finnish
    It's definitely not common. Can't give any examples because this really isn't done at all... Of course it would be grammatically possible to make such a version of someone's name but it would be just a theoretical exercise.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Wow, what an interesting answer. I did not expect "not at all". There is at least something like Elisabeth - Betty etc in English, but nothing in Finnish. I wonder if there is another similar language. :confused:
    Is it linguistically possible at all? And any reason? Or something in older Finnish?
    But you use diminutives in general, right?
     

    Spongiformi

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    Diminutives are rather common in the Finnish language in general and they certainly exist in family names. One of the most common family names in Finland is "Virtanen", which is a -nen diminutive of "virta", which means a stream/current.

    However, if you are asking if Finns regularly twist a person's given name into a diminutive to create a sense of intimacy or for some other purpose, then I'd hesitate to answer yes. Maybe the name of a very small child might be altered by the parents when calling the kid. Perhaps with a -(u)kka ending. Such as "Jussi" -> "Jussukka". Might be a form of infant directed speech. -kka as such is one of the Finnish diminutive endings.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    However, if you are asking if Finns regularly twist a person's given name into a diminutive to create a sense of intimacy or for some other purpose, then I'd hesitate to answer yes.
    Yes, that's what I wanted to know.

    Maybe the name of a very small child might be altered by the parents when calling the kid. Perhaps with a -(u)kka ending. Such as "Jussi" -> "Jussukka". Might be a form of infant directed speech. -kka as such is one of the Finnish diminutive endings.
    How could I forget. Yes, children. You write: "might be altered" so it is uncommon as well. Just like in German. Now I am getting unsure about English.
     

    Armas

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    Familiar forms are commonly used. Some examples of male names:
    Markus -> Make
    Tomi, Tommi -> Tomppa
    Patrik -> Pate
    Lauri -> Late
    Henri -> Henkka
    Simo -> Sipe
    Juhani -> Jussi (Jussi is considered a name of its own though)
    Pertti -> Pera, Pertsa
    Pentti -> Pena
    Martti -> Mara
    Matti -> Masa, Matu, Matukka
    Tapani, Tapio -> Tapsa
    Sakari -> Sakke
     

    Marko55

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    The diminutive suffix -nen:
    -nen - Wiktionary

    This suffix is sometimes used in given names as well. In the same way as:
    kulta (gold) kultanen kultaseni (my darling) [-ni = possessive suffix]

    Examples:
    1) Leena → Leenaseni
    Mainiota Leenaseni!
    2) Matti → Mattiseni
    Maailma muuttuu Mattiseni
    Maailma muuttuu Mattiseni
    3) Erkki → Erkkiseni
    Maailma muuttuu, Erkkiseni
    Lukijalta: Valmiuslain käyttö ja velanhoito eri asioita
    4) Tiina → Tiinaseni
    Kiitos Tiinaseni!
    Joulukuusen koristeet - Sisustusvalmentaja Riitta Bergman
     

    Marko55

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    Marko, very inteersting, thank you very much. But do you agree it is uncommon?
    It is more common in the written language. It is very easy to find many more examples on the Internet:
    Katjaseni (Katja), Minnaseni (Minna), Markkuseni (Markku), Sepposeni (Seppo), Irjaseni (Irja), ...

    A common quotation from Nummisuutarit written by Aleksis Kivi says:
    Maailma muuttuu, Eskoseni (The world is changing, my dear Esko).
    Nummisuutarit: Heath Cobblers - Wikipedia

    It is not common in the spoken language. For example this sentence sounds strange:
    Huomenta, Leenaseni! (Good morning, my dear Leena!).
    You have to know the person very well, if you use these forms in the spoken language.
     
    Last edited:

    Spongiformi

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    If you ask me, that only sounds condescending, at least if the preceding sentence is more or less anything but a greeting.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    Diminutives are rather common in the Finnish language in general and they certainly exist in family names. One of the most common family names in Finland is "Virtanen", which is a -nen diminutive of "virta", which means a stream/current.
    It's a very common misunderstanding about the family names ending -nen, as there is also a diminutive form ending -nen. In fact, the family name Virtanen means a person or a family living near a river.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top