Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fighting in Finnish

Fighting is Finnish is almost as risky as having sex in Finnish, but you have to start from somewhere! Here are couple of fun structures with which you can surprise your friend who has chosen to nag about something pointless in Finnish.

Housuissas on

Housuissas on literally translates to In your pants there is/are and it is most commonly used to refer to the noun(s) mentioned in the comment, accusation or a complaint. There is no way to beat a good Housuissas on, or to carry the conversation in any civilized direction, so if you manage to say these magic words at the right time, you're the winner!

  • Se oli huono idea. (It was a bad idea.)
  • Housuissas on!

Isäs oli

Another one is Isäs oli, which translates to Your father was and is a short version of a quite vulgar Isäs oli kun sua teki = That's what your father was (like) when he made you. Like Housuissas on, it is not very constructive at all. Other versions are Äitis/Mutsis oli, and I've even heard Mummos oli. 

  • Miten sä olet aina myöhässä? (How come you're always late?)
  • Isäs oli!

  • Sä olet nyt tosi sekava. (You're very confusing now.)
  • Äitis oli!

Notice the interesting use of the remains of the possessive suffix si that is normally not used so much in the spoken language. For some reason, it is often used with close family members like Onko äitis jo eläkkeellä? - Is your mother already retired and Mitäs se sun veljes tekikään? - Tell me again, what did you brother do? 

Fighting verbs

  • tapella - to fight, often with fists but not necessarily (A frequentative form of tappaa!)
  • riidellä - to argue with words
  • kinastella - to argue a little bit, this is what siblings to all the time
  • väitellä - to have a debate

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About the author of this blog:

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti, and I am a native Finn who gives private lessons via Skype and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please leave a comment, if you have something to ask about Finnish or novels in easy Finnish. 

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Elina said...


Last week in Prisma here in Tampere I saw an advertisement of Tampere underwear ( It was saying "Housuissas on Tampere!", which is of course true in this case... :) Unfortunately I don't have a picture to include, but maybe I'll make another trip to Prisma with my camera.

Hanna said...

Oliko ne nämä?

Elina said...

Joo! :) Kiitos, säästit minut pyöräretkeltä Prismaan!

Nick O. said...

Well I must admit that this is my favorite post so far. The vulgar seems to be the most creative part of any language to me. I'm happy to see more of it in Finnish, than the plane Perkele and the V word that even the parrot in Joensuu knows! (
And it's tupla interesting also because we have almost the same structure as isäs oli in Farsi.
Kiitoksia vaaaaan :)