The creator of Lexicon of Early Indo-European Loanwords Preserved in Finnish has done a splendid job. Mind you, I don’t know enough to judge the accuracy of the etymologies, but they’re very well presented, and the approach inspires confidence:

The data on the site is based on etymologies published in scientific sources for the scrutiny of the research community. This is not one of those sites where anything goes, whatever the author feels is plausible. Of course it is still part of this discipline that a certain percentage of the etymologies would be uncertain, and occasionally I use a question mark to show this. The way of presenting the etymologies is one of my own design and despite the strict selection of etymologies I would discourage you from using this site as a primary source for scientific works. … I also have no place to record the author of each etymology separately (special recognition is due to the Finnish scholar Jorma Koivulehto, due to whom the number of irreproachable loan etymologies has been greatly increased in the last decades). For a more precise presentation I encourage you to consult the literature below. Any possible etymology which has not been published in a scientific context will be marked accordingly.

The lexicon is far from complete. The number of possible etymologies is far greater, especially with respect to the last millennium BC, corresponding to Early Proto-Germanic as well as Proto-Baltic. For the purpose of economy a time-line has been drawn (see below on this page) to exclude more recent etymologies. This lexicon also, for the purpose of popular legibility, generally excludes words, which do not have any cognates in English and Finnish. Many words have become obsolete in Finnish despite their existence in Saami, Estonian, Mordvinic, Cheremis (=Mari), Votyak (=Udmurt) or Zyryan (=Komi). Others are not represented at all in English. For those with an interest in these words I refer to the literature below. Without this criterion the number of etymologies would be considerably larger.

Jouppe (which apparently is the creator’s name) says “One target group might be foreigners learning Finnish or Estonian that wonders where a lot of Finnish vocabulary comes from. Another target group is indeed Indo-Europeanists who lack access to the literature on Finnic etymology, largely published in German, Finnish and other less accessible languages.” I fall into the latter category (well, I do read German, but am too lazy to), and I much appreciate the effort lavished on the site. Thanks for the link, Kári!


  1. I love the way he obfuscates his email address: jouppe_[h2ed]welho[dhudo]com

  2. As a native Finnish speaker, I’d guess Jouppe is a nickname formed from some variant of John, Johan, Johannes, etc. It has that sort of an informal feel.

  3. I love the way he obfuscates his email address
    Yes, I meant to mention that—it warmed my heart!

  4. well, I do read German, but am too lazy to
    I feel the same way about French…

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