Rome wasn't built in one day, but Nokia's decision on "Lumia" sure was

It was back in 2011 when Nokia and Microsoft formed a partnership to have the Finish manufacturer focus solely on Windows Phone. But did you know that the decision to use "Lumia" as the branding for its family of Windows Phones was made in just one day? 

"Why wait until tomorrow or next week?," Elop explained to Reuters, describing a meeting held in August, 2011. "We could make the decision today. And we did." It was a humorous choice back then as reports came in that the word Lumia means prostitute in Spanish. Doesn't quite ring the same bell, does it?

But Lumia it was and we've now got to a stage where the brand is recognised in multiple markets, tied to the Windows Phone OS.

via: The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Could've been worse. Lumos Wingardium Leviosarrr or something lol
  • Jerk, I almost dropped my 920 in laughter! Haha
  • Just use that spell it won't hit the floor lol
  • Hey, he's not a wizard!
  • stupid muggles ;)
  • Haha, see this is what "first" comments are for, lol... If I were a wizard it might have saved me a couple broken screens though :/
  • Nice name
  • So, i have been using a prostitute every day...
  • Lumia refers to "art created by light". Illumia, illumination, luminate...
  • I was like " what the hell" you had me thinking for a bit lol damn u feel stupid lol.
  • Elop is a damn genius if you ask me.
  • +1....and a sterling Gent too
  • My girl calls it
  • Lot of folks seem to call it Lumina. I am surprised whenever that happens.
  • Someone seen my phone the other day and said it proper and then some..."is that a Lumia...the windows phone"!!! Looks like they're both moving up in the world! NOKIA FTW!
  • That's because the spell check likes to change lumia into lumina. When it launched it happened all the time to me. It doesn't happen much anymore.
  • Guy at phone case kiosk said it like that, looked at my wife and told her my phone was made by Chevy.
  • That may work on an aluminum chassis ;)
  • Thot its a Nigerian thing...girls mostly!
  • I see that a lot. Not really sure why.
  • Easy to do, considering this brand predates the Lumia...
  • *Finnish
  • +1
  • My phone is a prostitute...i ain't even mad
  • I love it even more, lol.
  • lol my mang +925
  • Well Il be careful when I go to Spain and take my prosti... err Lumia phone there.
  • The word "Lumia" in Spain doesn't ring any bell, cause it's kind of a lost word, Spanish or latin-Americans don't really know it, never heard of it.That association Lumia=prostitute was just some invented crap to talk trash about Nokia and Microsoft at the beginning of their relationship.
  • Spanish is my first language and this is the FIRST time I hear Lumia means Prostitute. Lumia doesn't sound like any common spanish word. We just asumed it was Latin or something. Someone must have made that up.
  • +1, never heard of it before, live in Costa Rica, and didn't know what that word meant until now... Don't think a lot people associate the word Lumia with prostitutes
  • I learn some spanish and Italian from Assassin Creed.. Nbody says "Lumia" means prostitute in the 13th Century.. Game geeks.. HAHA
  • I speak Spanish as well and never heard of this meaning. But then again there are several different dialects for Spanish and each have their own way of saying things. I am from Mexican descent and I had a Puerto Rican that was new to the area ask me what "pinche" means here since he heard it a couple of times. To him it meant nothing bad (hairclip, clip, etc), to me it was not a good thing lol.
  • Just asked my coworker (he's from Valladolid, Spain) and he says Lumia does mean prostitute, but they also say Lumi (without the a) as well.
  • Actually nobody uses this word, I speak spanish,... then, you can say Lumia when you want.
  • Will do... Yeah didn't recognize it either. Neither did my mom or any of my Spanish speaking family lol.
  • Agreed.
    I speak spanish and "lumia" is not used for any kind of prostitue or prostitution related activity.
    Actually, "lumia" is a finnish word, and it means "snow".
  • "Lumi" is "snow" in Finnish, not "Lumia".
  • "Lumia" means lumia, no translate in any Spanish dialect in any country which speak Spanish, I'm from the country which more dialects has, Spanish my first language!
  • Lumia simply means "best phone ever" ;)
  • My girlfriend is latin american and she confirmes me Lumia does not means anything but the awesome Nokia phones for her :).
    She does not know what windows phone is, but she knows Lumia :)
  • Considering how my she sucked off all my money that makes sense
  • FTW
  • If your funds are insufficient for Lumia then try Asha 501 Grey :-D
  • I see what you did there.....and it's NSFW
  • Bahaha!
  • As a Spanish speaker, I've never heard the word Lumia for anything other than the smartphone. It might mean prostitute in some local slang, reportedly in Spain. However, ask the Spanish-speaking populous and 99% will tell you that Lumia isn't synonymous with prostitute. Ask me, and I say I paid a lot of money for a pleasurable experience, my Lumia 920. lol!
  • Same here. First time I heard the word it was in my windows phone.
  • Username checks out.
  • I've heard "Lumi", not Lumia, refering to a prostitute, but I have to say that its not used at all...
  • Where did you hear that from? Lumi is snow in Finnish, lol.
  • Same here never heard of it...
  • Maybe they should have slept on it for at least one night...
  • Face palm.
  • LOL :D
  • Lumia means to bright up, to illuminate. Comes from the Latin. I don't know who came up with the prostitute thing but whomever did it was surely on drugs lol
  • Maybe it illuminated someone's day?
  • Now articles coming out just to kill time and fill in the blanks.
  • Website is "WP Central"'s not "we can't talk about Windows Phones unless it has something "news" related. I found it a pretty good article and fits the brief of "WP Central" very well.
  • well it's not exactly September, is it? ;)
  • They called it Lumia, because they knew their phone would be on every corner. ;)
  • LOL epic xD
  • Ha ha ha!
  • Hahahaha
  • +920 lolz :D
  • Nice!
  • That actually isn't bad..
  • Much better branding than Ativ.
  • Yeah, ATIV always sounded to me like a name for a drug."He did that while he was on Ativ" :)))
  • LoL!
  • It always reminded me of a redneck's recreational vehicle.
  • Goin' to ride my ativ. :)
  • Isn't 'Ativ' VITA backwards?  But if true, I never knew what the reasoning was for doing so?  Because Sony dropped a Vita first, ruining Sammie's chance at using the word?  
  • I natively speak Spanish and I've never heard Lumia referring to a ptostitute
  • Yeah, we got it.
  • Not complaining at all Elop, I love my beautiful"Lumia/Prostitute" lol
  • I concur, as a spanish speaker ive never heard such a slang. Maybe its a local slang from somewhere in spain or latin america. But i can assure u, my phone does get a good beating everyday lol. ... Ahh so manu puns!
  • I´m from Madrid, Spain and can confirm you that the words "lumia" and "lumi" are slang from this city in particular.
    Here it´s quite common and many people know its meaning.
  • The name Lumia means Snow in Finnish. It's a Finnish name FFS. For those who don't remember Nokia is Finnish...
  • Nokia is also a place somewhere in Findland, AFAIK.
  • Yes I know, I've been there. There's still a Nokia tire plant there too.
  • Whoa. Nokia is everywhere in Finland...
  • Well if you go to Nokia there's a lot of the word used there...
  • I thought NOKIA was a river's name in Finland.
  • Nope it's a town in Finland, I've been there like I said. To be more precise my partner has family that lives there. It's not too far away from Tampere, the second largest city in Finland.
    It's here...
  • "Lumi" is "snow" in Finnish, not "Lumia".
  • I could be wrong, I'll have to check with the Finnish family, but I'm pretty sure that Lumia is the plural meaning lots of snow.
  • I'm pretty sure it's not. My Finnish vocabulary has seriously deteriorated but my mum is Finnish and I used to live in Finland and I'm pretty sure Lumia is not a word...
  • The collective noun for snow is "lunta" in Finnish.
  • Lumia is associated with Windows Phone, and while I am a fan of Windows Phone, there would be no reason why Nokia couldn't also create a different model / brand associated with Android if need be, while keeping Lumia as their Windows Phone product.
    Nokia is a business, it needs money, it needs volume.
  • Debunked!
  • @Rich Edmonds
    Umm.. This is not how I remember we got the name Lumia.. Don't you guys remember that huge list of names that Nokia posted, and had us all vote from❔.. Nokia said that Lumia was the most voted for name, so Lumia it is.. I remember voting❕.. So, was the vote a hoax❔
  • Lumia isn't even an option in that poll. Looks like a lot of people voted for Nokia Phoenix...
  • I think I remember it being in the other category, but I'm not sure.. From what I remember the name wasn't one of the original names, and it came later on... But, this is what happened, so nothing about this post makes any sense..
  • WPCentral, remember this article of yours ;) ?
  • Look up above ⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆
  • Now I feel justified in calling my phone tricks.
  • ha... I'm Peruvian and didn't know (we don't use I should say) that word... might be Spain Spanish... odd I thought it had to do with LIGHT instead... we learn something everyday...
  • I am from Venezuela (South América) ... And here we don't use the "Lumia" word to mean anything.... It's NOT a spanish word!
  • YES it is.
    Quite common in the city of Madrid, Spain.
  • May be this is why it is not selling in Spain that much? For spain they have to call it as Lumina.
  • Well, I don't know the exact figures but I'm absolutely sure Nokia will start to sell more Lumias now that carriers are begining to give it more support. At least the WP8 terminals are appearing in TV ads and in special offers. That's something never seen with WP7 (And I guess Nokia's Lumia line is the reason). And sure Nokia chose this brand due to its Finnish/Latin meanings more than our local slang at Madrid (althoug lumias can do what you need for the right price aaaand, some top class models can do more than others... At higher prices, of course... LOL)
  • As a few people have already made the mistake, I just want to clarify that "Lumi" is "snow" in Finnish, not "Lumia".
  • I feel ripped off! Last time i went to Spain it was only €80 now im on a rolling contract with a Spanish whore and im only allowed 600 mins with her a month!!
  • Lol that's funny
  • I'm not keen on the word Lumia. Sounds too long and rhymes with gloom...ier. How about Nokia Moyo (heart, spirit in Swahili).
  • Prostitute = puta...
  • The brand "Lumia" matches the phones because it's a pretty name. The Lumia phones are pretty with their colorful profiles and unique unibody characteristics.
  • For the guy who posted the RAE Diccionary link... Go to any spanish speaking country and call a woman "Lumia" and she won't know what you are saying, she will probably think you are retarded or something LOL ....
  • Prostitute 920 it is. Well then an an iPad.... Hell Samsung is Galaxy designed for humans lmao.
  • Well that explains why everyone keeps calling my "Lumio."
    Just a Lumio and everywhere I go, people know the part I'm playing... 
  • Actually la puta is something like prostitute. Fun fact, the Miyazaki movie "Castle in the Sky" underwent edits in Spanish speaking countries because that was the name of the castle. Another fun fact is that puta is a dessert in my country. At uni when we sell it during bake sale I always remember to call it something else, lest I offend someone who speaks Spanish lol
  • They already had a name, PureView. Why didn't they stick with that? Sounds sexier, too. :-) Plus, like I said in the forums, if you want to help your sales in the US, it starts with a catchy name. We live in a country that loves their name brands. That's why people pay the $100 Lacoste shirts, the $200 Nike shoe, and the $600 Dooney purses, lol. All status symbols. Wish Nokia would of kept the PureView name. Rolls good off the tongue haha. Not like Lumia, Lumina, aluminum, alimony, lol!
  • I'm Cuban and for us Lumia does not mean prostitute.  Prostitute is prostituta.
  • My girl calls my phone "lumidee" lol
  • I'm Spanish and I've never heard anybody called a prostitute a Lumia :\
  • As much as I am a windows phone fan boy, I hate the name Lumia I think it sounds weak and effeminate
  • If you are from Finland you would have a difference of opinion of course. Lumi is snow in Finnish and I believe (though have to check) that Lumia is the plural of snow (meaning lots of snow). In Finland it snows, a lot. Finnish people are very much in tune with the seasons and the winters there are what make Finnish people who they are. They have a respect for the winter and snow. It's rather interesting time of the year in Finland.
  • It's le-vi-OW-sa, not le-vi-oh-SARRR! (Insert Hermione tone somewhere. lol)
    Seriously, I like the Lumia name. :)
  • I always think of 'Lumen' from Dexter (Julia Stiles).  No, for real, not trying to make some dumb reference (cause it IS pretty dumb, I know), but I genuinely picture her face everytime I say or think 'Lumia'.... I think I might watch too much TV or something...
  • Prostitute in Spanish is "puta."  Not even close.