Järvimaisema
A landscape from Lake Vuohijärvi in Valkeala. Photo: Toni Suutari 2005.

The birth of place names - talking about places

By using place names, people manage their surroundings in an immaterial way. Names have been given and are given to places important to the people using them. Names help people remember places and tell other people about them. The oldest Finnish place names may be up to three thousand years old, and new names are born every day.

The vocabulary related to a name may be indicative of the original language and culture of the person who has given the name. People having come to the region later on have often borrowed and adopted the original names and accommodated them for their own purposes; but they may also have given names by themselves. In fact, one place may have multiple names.


Vanhaa Vantaata
A view of Kuninkaantie road in the city of Vantaa. © Vantaan kaupunki