Finnish companies and their names

Many Finnish companies have “international” sounding names, and even some sensible Finnish names have been changed to some silly neologisms, such as Itella, Sonera, Destia, Nordea etc. There are still some Finnish companies and brands with a proper Finnish name. Here are some explanations what these names do mean.

Fazer is a company known for its chocolate (Fazerin sininen) and it’s named after its founder Karl Fazer.

Fiskars is named after the town of Fiskars (“A fishing place” in Swedish). Fiskars is an owner of some famous Finnish design brands such as Iittala, Arabia and Hackman.

Hesburger , “Hese“, is a mcdonaldian hamburger chain and it’s name comes from its founder Heikki Salmela.

Ilmarinen is a Finnish pension and insurance company. Like many others, this comes also from Kalevala, and he’s a powerful smith and a demigod. He’s famous for forging the Sampo.

Kone : an engineering company Kone is owned by the Herlin family (the richest family in Finland) and it means “machine” or “device”.

Lemminkäinen : another name from Kalevala. Lemminkäinen is a hero who loves fighting and women. The company Lemminkäinen is the largest construction company in Finland.

Marimekko: mekko means a skirt in Finnish and it was founded by Viljo and Armi “Mari” Ratia.

Metsä group is an international forest industry group. The name itself means simply “forest”.

Neste is an oil refining company, and the name means “liquid“.

Nokia used to be the Finland’s pride until Microsoft munched it up. Before mobilephones, the company manufactured for example rubber boots. It’s named after the city of Nokia near Tampere.

Olvi is the largest Finnish-owned brewery. “Olvi” is an old word for beer.

Outokumpu is a mining company named after the city of Outokumpu. Literally it means a “strange hill”.

Sampo is a magical artifact built by Ilmarinen (see above), a mill which spilled out flour, salt, and gold. The company Sampo is an insurance group. Previously there was also a bank called “Sampo pankki”, but now it’s a part of Danske bank.

Sanoma is the largest media company in Finland and publishes for example the newspaper Helsingin sanomat. Sanoma means “message”.

Tieto means “knowledge” and “tietokone” is “computer” in Finnish. Tieto (currently TietoEnator) is an IT company.

Valmet is a heavy machinery developer, known for its tractors. The name comes from Valtion Metallitehtaat (“National Metal factories”).

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