Sauna Building Vocabulary from the Finns

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What Finnish words are used when building a sauna?

Sauna Building Vocabulary from the Finns

Traditional sauna bathing originated with the Finns, and therefore the Finnish people have left their enduring mark on sauna use with their vocabulary. Knowing what some of these words mean can help when building a sauna, as many traditional guides will use the Finnish sauna vocabulary when talking about different building aspects.

• Sauna (sow-na) – the word sauna now used in American vocabulary came from the Finns
• Kiuas (ke-wus) – the stove or heater in the sauna
• Loyly (lou-lu) – the vapor that comes off the sauna's hot rocks
• Vihta (veh-ta)- broad-leafed twigs, used for flagellation



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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.