I have a Finland parish death record that shows someone who died 30 Mar 1880 of kitumat. I cannot find a translation or abbreviation for this word as being either Finnish or Swedish or Latin. When I did a search in Hiski database giving only "Ki" as the cause of death it came up with "halsfluss" as being equal to it. Can anyone tell me what the word kitumat. might be short for or mean?

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    Seeing part of the record (if available) would help determining if it is an abbreviation. Halsfluss (swedish) seems to be Tonsillitis which in turn is called nielurisatulehdus (finnish). I cannot imagine a Latin word starting with a k.
    – nebulon42
    Apr 30, 2020 at 21:29
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    I also would expect a Finnish word to be longer as the language uses Agglutination, which also manifests itself in "nielurisatulehdus" (I think, no expert).
    – nebulon42
    Apr 30, 2020 at 21:37
  • Hi Linda, are you looking at the primary record, or a transcription?
    – shoover
    May 1, 2020 at 17:12
  • Looking in the HisKi database, I have found transcriptions of pre-1809 records (when Finland was under Swedish rule) with cause of death kijkhosta/kikhosta, which appears to be Swedish for whooping cough (pertussis). But those are pre-1809, and yours is 1880.
    – shoover
    May 1, 2020 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


This (Finnish) word is an abbreviation for the word "kitumatauti". This is a word that is not used anymore but it is still easy for a Finnish speaker to understand the rough meaning. The last part - "tauti" - means just illness or disease. The first part "kituma" comes from the verb "kitua" which refers to a longtime suffering. It is also probably related to the word "kidutus" (torture). So "kitumatauti" could be any disease that makes a person very weak and takes a long time and then finally causes death. The causes of death in the 1800s were not very precise or scientific...

Hiski contains many variations that likely have the same meaning: kitumus, kituma, kitu, kitum:, kitui, kituus, kitunut, kituva, kitutauti, kituminen, kituvatauti,

  • Thanks to all who responded. Regards, Linda Jun 1, 2020 at 23:33

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