Once the undisputed leader in mobile telephony, Nokia is now a secondary player in smartphones. What is less known, however, is the origin and meaning of its name.
Do you remember the days when Nokia dominated the mobile phone world? It was the era of the 3210 and 3310. Suffice to say that it was an eternity ago – and it was not the fact of coming out with one with the support of 4G that allowed the group to return to center stage for a long time. Nokia is a minor player in the smartphone market today, far behind Apple or Samsung.
While Nokia’s recent history is mostly tied to the world of telecoms, its roots lie in the pulp industry. Indeed, it was in 1865 that the Finnish engineer Fredrik Idestam set up his first factory in the south of Finland. It was on this date that Nokia was officially founded, although it did not yet have that name at the time.
We will have to wait for the opening of a second factory, " shortly after According to the company, near the Nokianvirta River, which flows between Lake Pyhäjärvi and Lake Kulovesi, located a little further north, for inspiration to seize Fredrik Idestam. His company will be called Nokia. It is also near this waterway that the city of Nokia is located, which has a population of nearly 34,000.
The archaic meaning of the word Nokia, a mystery
What is less obvious, however, is the deeper meaning behind the name Nokia. Based on work in Finnish (Larry Huldén: Oliko soopeli karjalainen turkiseläin? Viipurin läänin historia II. Jyväskylä 2004), as well as on pages written in the same language, the Wikipedia encyclopedia reports several hypotheses explaining the origin of the term, based on modern Finnish and its more archaic version.
Thus, in modern Finnish, "noki" means "soot" and "nokia" is its inflected plural, although it is pointed out that this form of the word is rarely, if ever, used. But in archaic Finnish, a commonly accepted theory indicates that the word "nois" (plural "nokia") or "nokinäätä" ("soot marten") means "sable", in reference to this small mammal with a rather dark coat.
Except that later research suggests the sable never inhabited Finland – today it mostly lives in Russia, Mongolia, the far north of Japan, and a few places between the Korean Peninsula and China. Therefore, some suggest that "nois" does not mean sable, but actually "beaver". A species found abundantly in Scandinavia.
Historically, the oldest written reference to the word Nokia dates back to 1505.
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