On Names

Posted On August 30, 2012

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I thought I’d make an entry explaining a bit about why I use the terms I do. There is a glossary of course, but some terms and grammar patterns may not be clear to people. I chose to use “Suomenusko” instead of Finnish paganism, because I noticed that people that follow reconstructed religions in general do not enjoy the term “pagan” much. I don’t like using the word much either, and I feel that it is more fitting to use a Finnish word. On the front page of this blog, it does say “Learning about Finnish Paganism”, but that is because someone who knows nothing about the Finnish word yet will not understand what the blog is about when they first click on it.

Then there are the words I use for people that are involved in Suomenusko. The singular of someone who practices Suomenusko, is in Finnish, “Suomenuskoinen”. If you want to talk about more than one person who practices the religion, then that is “Suomenuskoiset”. There is no need to add an “s” at the end, because “t” designates that a word is plural in Finnish. It would sound really strange if you said, “Suomenuskoinens” or “Suomenuskoisets”. I always got a kick out of people in the Asatru community who would write “Asatruars”, when “Asatruar” as it is already means plural. So remember: if you use “s” you will sound super silly to Finnish speakers (yay alliteration!).

One more thing that I have debated about doing on here is whether to capitalize the name of the religion and names of the holidays. In Finnish, you would not capitalize any of that. You may notice that on some entries I wrote Suomenusko in capital letters and other times in lower case letters. That was because I couldn’t make up my mind about what I should do. I’ve officially decided now that I will capitalize that and the names of the holidays, since that is naturally done in English and it doesn’t change the word or make it sound silly as in the above example with the plural.

If there’s any terms that you’re not clear on, then feel free to ask me.