Finnish: from aho ‘glade’, ‘forest clearing’. Areas of woodland adjacent to farmhouses were cleared by slash-andburn techniques to produce glades which eventually became pastureland. The name is recorded in the Karelian Isthmus in eastern Finland from the 16th century. In northern Finland it was a popular ornamental name, adopted especially among people converting from Swedish surnames to Finnish in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is now a so-called ‘protected’ name in Finland, meaning that it may not be adopted except through birthright or marriage. In the U.S. it may also be an abbreviation of Ahonen.