SISU - A Fabulous Thing & A Fabulous Word


I’m a massive lover of words. A good thing, seeing as I’m a writer. I stumbled across one recently that I find just sublime. Here it is;


It’s Finnish and a noun. It means, “extraordinary endurance in the face of adversity * persistence, determination, guts * full of courage, tenacity, resolve, willpower, and an indomitable spirit.

I know, WOW. I first saw it when my Finnish Aunt Annie (hi Annie! Love you!) posted it on Facebook.

I don’t think there is an equivalent word in English, do you? There’s grit, resolve, tenacity, but somehow these don’t stretch quite as far as SISU.

I don’t aim in life to have perfect hair (lost cause - seriously - dire hair situation over here at the moment) or the right shoes (never have, never will, except Birks of course). However, from my discovery of SISU onwards to eternity I aim to have lots of that.

A few of my friends have Finnish roots or Finnish family and they tell me that the Finnish people are the living definition of SISU.

I know for me, tenacity has been the main reason why have managed to finish many things in life - my law degree at Oxford, my citizenship application for France (nightmare), and every single thing I have ever written.

SISU is worth being cultivated and put to use, so let’s get out there and SISU hard.