Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Finland has voted! According to Ilta-Sanomat, these are the three cutest teen idols. Usually the word söpö is used when referring to babies, toddlers, animals and teen idols.

  • söpö - cute
  • söpömpi - cuter
  • söpöin - the cutest

If you see something cute happening (like these dancing bears), you can just say Söpöä! - How cute! In this case, you could also use the plural partitive Söpöjä!


Anonymous said...

Could söpö also have the sense of "adorably romantic," like in English? Could you talk about "a cute couple," or someone doing something "cute" for their significant other?

What about inanimate objects? How would you describe a cute (maybe small, round, colorful) table or coffee cup in Finnish?

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

That's a good question. Yes, it can also be adorably romantic, but I'd say that at least the American ladies' magazines use the word "cute" more than I would use "söpö". My use of "söpö" is usually limited to kids and animals, but then again I'm 35 and what do I know how the younger people talk like.. I'll ask around! (Actually, I just wrote the work "söpö" on a Google pictures, and found a few fashion blogs where they use the word similarly as in English. So yes, the usage is broadening.)

In general, I'd advice to use a more neutral adjective (kiva, hieno) for inanimate objects, unless they are really, really.. cute.

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

I'll take that back! Now I feel really lame for not encouraging people to use the word "söpö". Maybe I should start using it more. :)

Anonymous said...

Haha. Thanks for elaborating!

Reofive said...

Question: what is the difference between "söpö" and "suloinen"?

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

This is what Kielitoimiston sanakirja says about suloinen:

suloinen = viehättävä, ihastuttava, viehkeä, soma, herttainen, rakastettava; sulokas.
Suloinen vauva / tyttö / koiranpentu.
Suloiset kasvot.
Suloinen näky.
Suloinen lämpö /tuoksu.
Suloisen pehmeä.

Kosto on suloinen. = Revenge is sweet.
suloisen tietämätön = sweetly ignorant