The results of a poll conducted by Finnish language magazine Me Naiset revealed that a majority of Finns believe “äiti” (mother) is the most beautiful word in the Finnish language.
The magazine provided readers with a list of 75 “beautiful” words to choose from, requesting them to consider how the words sound as well as what they mean when selecting their top pick. Around 21,500 people participated in the poll.
The word “äiti” was declared the unanimous winner, snapping up 11.6 per cent of the votes. “Kastehelmi,” a term used to describe the dew drops that form on a plant’s surface overnight, took second place with 5.5 per cent of the votes. “Kastehelmi” is also a common female first name in Finland.
“Hiljaisuus,” or silence, followed, with 4.6 per cent of respondents voting it the most beautiful word in the Finnish language. The top ten also included the words “lounatuuli” (Southwest wind), “halla” (frost), “aamunkoi” (dawn), “solina” (murmur), “kesäheinä” (summer hay), “löyly” (steam, especially from a sauna) and “unelma” (dream).
According to Me Naiset, nature-related terms such as “usva” (mist or fog), “aava” (vast, open) and “lumi” (snow) are especially popular, with many readers offering similar words and phrases when suggesting their own favourites.