Fruit = Hedelmä = Hedropá = Χεδροπά

The remains of peas and fava beans have been found in Finland dating from 500 BC. Legumes bear fruits, known as pulses in English, which we typically label as vegetables.

The Finnish word Hedelmä (fruit) has been considered to be a loan from a Baltic language, with a comparison to Lithuanian žíedas (blossom, flower) made. However, I propose that there is a Greek word which demonstrates better phonetic and semantic parallels: Χεδροπά.

Χεδροπα/Hedropá (pulse, leguminous fruit) is interestingly considered to be of Pre-Greek origin, meaning that the word has not been etymologically traced back to Proto-Indo-European. However, there is a folk etymology for the word: Χείρ+δρέπω/Hand+pluck. Although it is unsure given their PIE and Proto-Uralic etymologies, I like to compare Finnish Käsi with Greek Héri (Χέρι; compare the Doric variant Hérs/Χέρς).

I’ve previously discussed the similarities of Finnish marja (berry) and Greek moréa/μορέα (mulberry) as it pertains to berries (although I will later be making a more in-depth post) – as well as mustikka with múrtila/μύρτιλα (bilberry) – but historically, sweet fruits in Finland were not common (lingonberries and cloudberries come to mind). Meanwhile, pea soup is a Finnish staple; and according to this article, it’s traditional to eat it on Thursdays.

While most modern Greeks might not recognize the word χεδροπά from a glance – and while Finns probably wouldn’t associate the taste of peas with a sweet hedelmä, it is nonetheless a fascinating term for constructing the Finngreek language.
Fruit, Legume = Hedelmä = Hedropá/Hedrepá, Hedabaa (simplified) = Χεδροπά, Δρέπω
Bear fruit = Kana Hedropaa/Heđabá

Sakaripurahedabaa morjaa = The berry is a sweet, red fruit
Den itseram atta hedropaaontae! = I didn’t know that this is a fruit!
Hamaathae poljohedrepaa aksvaa = From the ground, many fruits grow
Ruhumehe puulubuutara heđabákana = After the rain, the tree-garden bears fruit

Sleep = Uni < *Une = Uvne = Ύπνε

Sleep = Uni < *Une = UvneUvni = Ύπνε, Ύπνοι

Sleepy = Unelias = UvneilosUvneljosYvnelias, etc. = Υπναλέος, Υπνηλός, Υπνηλίας

Hypnic (Sleep-inducing), Poppy = Unikko = Uvnikoo = Υπνικός


As is regular in many word proposals from Hellenic into Proto-Uralic/Proto-Finno-Permic/Proto-Finno-Ugric, etc., the final *-e relates to Greek vocative case. However, because nominative plural is also often a source, I include Greek húpnoi > ípni, as the pronunciation of Greek οι in the modern language is /i/, as in uni – so there are two forms: Uvne and Uvni. Additionally, a third form is available through the artificial hypervowel ei/ej: Uvnei/Uvnej.

This term for ‘sleepy’ is complicated by the sheer variety of derived adjectives from ύπνε which could theoretically follow phonological shifts from Hellenic into Finnic. Because of this, there are various ways to describe being ‘sleepy, drowsy’, etc., such as: Uvneilos/Uvnejlas, Uvneleas, Uvneljos, etc. Additionally, there is a very close phonetic match to unelias, which is hupnelias>ipnilias (υπνηλίας, ‘of drowsiness’), or Finngreek Yvnelias/Uvnilias, etc. I don’t believe this would be the exact word Finnish unelias came from, as it may have only been in use since Koine Greek. However, its phonetic parallels with Greek υπνηλίας make it a great word “Hypæklæssæđe” (for the Finngreek language).

The Finngreek term Uvnikoo is a new favorite of mine. I often demonstrate the vowel stress in Greek being after geminate consonants in Finnish, thus -kko<-koo(-κό). To me, this term helps to illustrate the state of medicine in the “Finngreek era”, with poppy being used as a hypnic (sleep-inducing) substance. Its analgesic properties were probably welcome for anyone who could afford it or grow it (poppies may have originated in the Mediterranean) in Finland, since the lifestyle of living on gruel and working in the harsh fields – or gathering mushrooms and berries all day; stripping bark from trees, and so on – probably wasn’t very kind to the body.


Some related Finngreek words, which aren’t clear proposals, but fall into the category of “sleep”:

Dream, Paradise = Onni (happiness, luck), Onnela = Onela/Onera, One/Oni/Onei = Όνειρα

Happy, Idyllic, Fantastic = Onnellinen = Onerimen = Ονειρεμένος

This comparison is due to the Komi (Permic) and Erzya (Mordvinic) shared term for “dream”: On/Oн.

I believe these terms, due to their similarities in phonetics and semantics, may not be from a reconstruction like Proto-Finno-Ugric *adema, but actually from ónar/óneira (όναρ/όνειρα), or a similar variant.


One question arises for me amid these proposals: The origin of Finnish unelma (dream) and unelmoida (to daydream). I looked for comparable terms in Greek. The noun suffix ‘-ma’ is common in both Finnish and Greek; and there is a Greek term for ‘daydream’, oneiropoolejma (ονειροπόλημα; from ονειροπολέω, ‘to daydream/deal with dreams’). However, this term is quite long – and given that Finnish unelma matches more closely with ύπνε, I am inclined to believe that ‘unelma’ descends from a word that was lost (or that I can’t find) somewhere between Late Proto-Hellenic (or Mycenaean) and Homeric Greek. Were unelma<oneiropoolejma, it would require the exchange of *une/*uni in place of oneiro, as well as loss of -πό-.

While this is an obscure mystery (amara mysteejri), we can take away from this post new words to describe sleeping, dreaming – and even a flower!



Uvneeme nytaethae hameraze = We sleep from night to morning

Uvneilossae? Uvneljomae = Are you sleepy? I’m sleepy

Uvnikoon uvnikluklo = The poppy is a sleep-flower

Toto uvnikoo tehdomae uvnelias = This hypnic (medicine) makes me sleepy

Uvnemuse oneon = In my sleep (there) is a dream

Oneraa kaonii thesiija = Paradise is a beautiful place

Onerimenom ezoemuse kode tehto hypaeduuli = I’m happy in my life when doing good work