10 Unique Finnish Idioms You Should Know

The Finnish winter / Public domain / Pixabay
The Finnish winter / Public domain / Pixabay
Jessica Wood

We’ve talked before about Finnish words which don’t make a lot of sense when translated into English due to cultural differences. But there are also just as many idioms and phrases which make sense to Finns but are strange and nonsensical to English speakers. These are a few of the best which you can try out for yourself.

Loved by over 40s

Simply a way of referring to putting a lot of effort into achieving something which is impossible, or making a simple task more difficult than it needs to be.

It’s a little unclear how this phrase came to be in Finland, which is rather far away from the Sahara Desert, but it is a funny one none the less.

This one makes a lot more sense due Finland’s famously cold winters. It is similar to the English phrase ‘to dip your toe in the water’.

Finland’s national animal inspired this comical idiom, which obviously refers to someone who is angry.

The Finnish equivalent of the phrase ‘a finger in every pie’. When you think about it, the Finnish version is a lot more hygienic.

Naantali is the most popular vacation spot in Finland and known for its summer sunshine and beaches. Hence, this idiom refers to someone who has it all, similar to ‘the cat who got the cream’.

A way of saying ‘there isn’t much going on upstairs’, or rather ‘you’re an idiot’.

A fyke is a large fishing net used for trapping fish. So ‘to be caught in the fyke’ is the same as ‘being caught with your hand in the till’.

A highly confusing idiom, but it really just means the same as ‘a square peg in a round hole’ or two things that don’t go together.

It’s easy to see how this phrase, which simply means to get something mixed up, entered the Finnish language.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider

Hanna

women sitting on iceberg

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?

2 years.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.

WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?

I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.