American Names · International · Modern names

Name Profile: Lumi

Lumi pronounced "lou + me" Means "snow" in Finnish.

Does a name ever get stuck in your mind? Like, you hear it for the first time and then you can’t stop thinking about it? That’s been me for the past week and a half since I joined Instagram (P.S., my handle is @wellinformednamer). I’m seeing the name Lumi everywhere and it’s imprinted! Pronounced like “Lou + me”, Lumi is a Finnish name meaning “snow.” As my neighborhood sees its first snow of the year, this name feels apropos of the weather. 

Although I’ve been seeing Lumi all over Instagram, the sightings are almost always discussion from other name enthusiasts or Finnish posts about the weather. Only 57 American baby girls were named Lumi in 2021, which means it’s still pretty rare here. It’s a lot more popular than it was 5 or 10 years ago though; from its U.S. data debut in 2008 until 2017, fewer than 20 babies a year were named Lumi. It spiked in 2018 and 2019, peaking at 68 girls with the name in the latter year. I’m not 100% sure what caused the jump, considering Americans aren’t usually too familiar with Finnish names. Lumi is popular in Finland, though, where it’s now a Top 50 baby name for girls.

So why name a baby Lumi? Lumi hits a sweet spot for baby names in 2022 and 2023 because it’s short, unique, international, and nature-adjacent. If you’re having a baby during snow, winter, or the December Holidays, it makes for a great seasonal option. There aren’t many nickname choices, it’s easy-to-spell, and vowel-heavy (even the consonants it does use are popular ones). If you do want a longer name, you can make it short for Lumina (another name on the rise). Chances are, a baby Lumi isn’t going to meet another Lumi in the classroom. And according to this post from Nancy’s Baby Names about Finnish names, it changed gender associations over time in its original country, which means it probably started off as a men’s name before it became popular for women (just like so many unisex and gender-neutral names in the U.S). So while Americans almost exclusively name daughters Lumi, I think it could work for any gender.

Lumi is fun to consider for middle name combinations. Some of the best middle name options for Lumi either have only one syllable (like Rose, James, or John) or at least three (Evergreen, Anastasia, Jonathan). Nature combos are great too (Ocean, Azalea, Storm). I’d avoid combos like Lumi Marie that are challenging to say quickly, and while I think Lumi Louise works (you can shorten to Lulu!), “Lumi Louis” rhymes a little too much if the ‘s’ in Louis is silent. Unless it sounds amazing to you, try to stay away from middle names that would repeat the “ee” sound at the end of Lumi; likewise, names starting with “Mi” don’t work great in the middle name spot (Lumi Minerva) but shine when reversed (Minerva Lumi). Lumi and Luna probably shouldn’t be in the same name either. For good measure, here are some great potential middle names for Lumi:

  • Lumi Anastasia
  • Lumi Evergreen
  • Lumi Fritz
  • Lumi Sophronia
  • Lumi Jasper
  • Lumi James
  • Lumi Cecilia
  • Lumi Rosalie
  • Lumi Emmanuel / Lumi Emmanuelle This combination is great specifically for Christmas babies.
  • Lumi Evangeline
  • Lumi Elizabeth
  • Lumi Azalea
  • Lumi Kit
  • Lumi Christopher
  • Lumi Ocean
  • Lumi Storm
  • Lumi Kehlani
  • Lumi Frost

What do you think of Lumi? Would you use it? What other middle names would you try with it? Let me know!

Sources: Social Security Administration data and (linked twice above) Nancy’s Baby Names.

3 thoughts on “Name Profile: Lumi

  1. I love everything about Lumi! I love the Finnish language overall so I’m into Finnish names generally, I love the sound and meaning of Lumi and since it also sounds like Lumina/Luminosa etc. it makes me think both of sno and of light which I think is a lovely combination. I actually like the idea of Lumina nn Lumi almost as much as Lumi as a standalone. Didn’t think of Lumi as a masculine name before but I kind of like the idea, actually.
    Some more combo ideas off the top of my head: Lumi Sofia, Lumi Helena, Lumi Veronica, Lumi Elisa, Lumi Annika, Lumi Elodie, Lumi Noelle, Lumi Nyx, or, for a baby born during a really snowy time, Lumi Gwyneira (since Gwyneira means white snow in Welsh).

    Flora Lumi, Matilda Lumi, Eleonora Lumi, Evelina Lumi, Safira Lumi, Alexandra Lumi, Ophelia Lumi, Maija Lumi.

    Liked by 1 person

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