Unknown origin. The Estonian reflex been compared with words in Samic and Mordvinic (e.g. Erzya орма (orma, “disease”)) that would, however, require h- as attested in Northern Finnic to be secondary. Contamination from Finnish huuma may be possible.
A number of direct descendants and derivatives show a meaning 'blood' or 'wound', usually used in poetic or mythical contexts (the semantically neutral term for 'blood' remains *veri in all Finnic languages), explained as being through the mythical belief in blood carrying a person's mental and spiritual power. Toivonen (1944) suggests this as the primary original meaning.
- *hurmat'ak (“to stun, charm”)
- Estonian: urm (“blood, wound”)
- Finnish: hurma, hurme (“blood”)
- → Estonian: hurm
- Ingrian: hurmahenki
- Karelian: (Northern, poetic) hurmeh (“blood”)
- Livonian: ūrma (“stream, flow”) (< 'flowing blood')
- urm in Metsmägi, Iris; Sedrik, Meeli; Soosaar, Sven-Erik (2012), Eesti etümoloogiasõnaraamat, Tallinn: Eesti Keele Instituut, →ISBN
- Itkonen, Erkki; Kulonen, Ulla-Maija, editors (1992–2000) Suomen sanojen alkuperä [The origin of Finnish words] (in Finnish), Helsinki: Institute for the Languages of Finland/Finnish Literature Society, →ISBN
- Toivonen, Y. H. 1944. Sanat puhuvat. WSOY.