Finnish units of measurement

Finnish units of measurement

In Finland, approximate units of measure were derived from natural actions or objects such body parts, later standardised for the purpose of commerce. Some Swedish and, later, Russian, units were also used.

The measurements were first standardized by law in 1665 and were revised in 1735. Before this, measurements often varied between towns. The units used in town of Porvoo, for example, were unusually large; the proverb "mitata Porvoon mitalla" (to measure in Porvoo units) means to measure in excess or generously.

Certain units were standardized to the metric system in 1861, and Finland fully converted to metric in 1880.


Liquid measure



* "askel" (pace) – Roughly one meter for an adult male - a rough but convenient way to measure distances while walking.
* "kivenheitto" (Throw of a rock) – 100 "kyynärä" (approx 50 m). Today to describe something to be very near.
* "poronkusema" – (approximately 7.5 km). A Lappish measurement of distance; the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to stop to urinate. Today used to describe something that is at a very obscure distance away.
* "Poronkusemaa kuukaudessa" – similar to furlongs per fortnight
* "tusina" – 12
* "toltti" – 12 (lumber)
* "tiu" – 20 (eggs)
* "puntti" – 20 (matchboxes)
* "kerpo" – 31 (lampreys; 30 as a bunch and one for tying)
* "krossi" – 144 (pencils)
* "kiihtelys" – 40 (squirrel pelts)
* "riisi" – 500 (paper sheets)
* "tonni" – 1000 (usually refers to 1000 kg, but can refer also anything of 1000, especially money)
* "motti" – 1 m³ (firewood or waste paper)
* "valovuosi" (light-year) – to describe something which is extremely distant or unaccessible

See also

* Weights and measures
* Historical weights and measures
* SI

External links

* [ Scandinavian units]

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