A primer on Dutch names

I’ve loved Dutch names since I first saw them at 11 or 12 years old. I just knew I had to have some Dutch characters of my own, and boy, have I ever created a lot of Dutch characters! I love the double vowels (also a common feature in Estonian and Finnish names), all the Js, the nicknames, the superdiminutives, the look, the sound, the everything.

Dutch has been described as a nasally German, which seems about right. It’s also a lot easier for a native English-speaker to learn Dutch than German, since it has a simpler grammar, and more obvious cognates. One can more easily understand a simple Dutch passage, without any prior lessons, than a simple German passage. As much as I love German, I have to admit Dutch is an easier language to learn. I also must concede it’s more fun than German, and just looks cooler.

Dutch surnames:

As most people know, it’s quite common for Dutch surnames to have the prefix van. Other common prefixes include van den, van der, ter, de, der, and van de. As a proud second-generation Lucy Stoner, I was thrilled to discover Dutch women traditionally keep their birth surnames instead of being written out of existence and passively identified as Vrouw Husband’s Full Name (retch). Children can take either parent’s surname, though all children must have the same parent’s surname.

Some common Dutch names and their nickname forms:

Male:

Adam
Adriaan
Aldert
Alexander (Sander)
Alfons (Fons, Funs, Funske)
Ambroos (Broos)
Andries (Dries) (Andrew)
Anton, Antonie, Antoon (Teun, Teunis, Ton, Toon)
Arend, Arnoud (Aart) (Arnold)
Arthur (Tuur)
Augustijn (Guus, Stijn, Tijn)
Bartholomeus (Bartel, Bart, Mees, Mies)
Bernhard (Ben, Bentje)
Bonifaas (Faas)
Bram, Braam (Brammetje)
Casper, Kasper (Cas)
Christiaan
Constantijn (Stijn)
Cornelius, Cornelis, Niels (Kees, pronounced like Case)
Damiaan
Daniël (Daan)
David
Diederik, Diederick (Diede, Dirk, Dick)
Dominicus
Eduard (Ed)
Elia (Elijah)
Emerens (Rens)
Erik
Ernst
Felix
Ferdinand (Ferdi)
Filippus, Filip, Philip (Flip)
Frans (Francis)
Frederik (Freek, Freeky, Fred, Frits, Rik)
Gabriël
Gerard, Gerrit (Gerry)
Gerben
Gerhard, Geert (Gerd, Gert)
Gerlach
Gerlof, Gerolf
Gerolt (Gerald)
Gijsbert (Gijs)
Gilbert
Godfried
Govert
Gustaaf (Guus)
Hendrik (Henk, Hein, Heike, Heiko, Hennie, Henny, Rik)
Herman (Harm, Mannes)
Hubert, Hubrecht (Huub)
Ignaas
Izaäk, Sjaak (Sjaakie)
Jakob, Jacob (Jaap, Coos, Koos, Jaapje, Jaapetje, Kobe)
Jeroen, Jeronymus
Jochem (Joachim)
Joël
Johannes (Hans, Hannes, Hanne, Jan)
Jonas
Jordaan (Joord)
Jozef (Joep, Joop, Joos, Joost, Jos, Sjef, Zef)
Jozua (Joshua)
Jurgen, Joris, Jurriaan, Sjors (George)
Kai
Karel (Charles)
Koenraad (Koen, Koert)
Lambert, Lammert
Laurens (Lau, Rens) (Laurence)
Leendert (Leonard)
Leo, Leon
Leopold
Lodewijk (Lowie) (Ludwig, Louis)
Ludger
Ludolf (Ludo)
Luuk
Maikel, Michaël, Michiel (Mick)
Manfred
Marijn
Martijn, Marten, Maarten (Tijn)
Matthijs (Thijs, Ties)
Maurits (Maurice)
Maximiliaan (Max)
Meindert
Meine, Meino, Meint, Menno (Minke)
Mozes
Nicolaas, Nikolaas (Klaas, Nick, Nico, Niek)
Norbert
Olivier
Otto
Pascal
Paul
Pepijn
Pieter, Pier (Pietje, Piet)
Quinten
Quirijn (Quirino)
Rafaël (Raf)
Reinier (Rein)
Rembrandt
Robrecht (Robert)
Roeland (Roel) (Roland)
Rudolf, Roelof (Ruud, Roel)
Rutger (Roger)
Sebastiaan (Bastiaan, Bas)
Siemen, Simon (Siem)
Sieuwerd
Sjoerd
Stefan, Stephan (Stef)
Theodoor (Theo)
Thijmen, Tijmen
Thomas (Maas)
Valentijn
Vincent
Willem (Pim, Wil, Willy, Wim)
Wouter, Wolter

Female:

Adelheid (Aleida, Aleid, Alida) (Adelaide)
Agnes (Nes, Neske)
Alexandra
Alida
Amalia, Amelia
Anna (Anke, Anneke, Anika, Ans, Antje)
Anneliese, Annelies
Anselma (Elma)
Antonia (Teuna)
Ariane
Augusta (Gusta)
Beatrix (Trixie)
Brigitta
Carolien (Lien)
Cecilia (Cilla, Silke)
Charlotte (Lotte, Lotje)
Claudia
Cornelia (Cokkie, Corrie)
Debora
Dorothea (Dora)
Eleonora (Ellen, Noortje, Noor, Nora)
Elisabeth, Liesbeth, Lijsbeth (Elsje, Betje, Elise, Elly, Els, Else, Ilse, Lies, Liese, Liesje, Lisa)
Emilia
Eva
Evelien (Evelina)
Febe (Phoebe)
Filomena
Floor (Floortje) (Florence)
Franka (Frances)
Gabriëlle
Geertruida (Trudie, Trudy, Truus, Geertje, Gertie)
Gerda
Gisela
Hanna
Heleen (Heleentje)
Hendrika, Hendrijke, Hendrina (Heike, Heintje, Hennie, Henny)
Henriëtte (Jet, Jetje, Jetta, Jette)
Hilde
Irena
Janneke, Janna, Jana (Jantine, Jantje)
Johanna (Hanne, Hannie, Jennigje, Johanneke)
Jolanda
Jozifien (Josephine)
Julia, Juliana (Juli)
Katrijn, Katrien, Catharina, Katelijne, Katelijn (Trijntje, Karin, Cato, Rina, Rini, Riny, Tina, Tineke)
Laura
Lea
Leonie
Liselot (Lotte, Lotje)
Luisa
Luus (Lucia)
Machteld, Mechteld (Til) (Matilda)
Madelief (Daisy)
Madelon, Magdalena (Magda)
Margriet, Margreet, Margaretha (Greet, Greetje, Griet)
Maria (Maaike, Marijke, Marieke, Mariëtte, Marike, Mariska, Mieke, Miep, Mies, Ria)
Marina (Rina, Rini, Riny)
Marleen
Martina, Martine (Tina)
Mirjam
Nicolet, Nicoline
Paula, Paulien
Petra, Petronella, Pietronella
Rachel (Gepje)
Rebekka
Renate
Rosa, Roos (Roosje)
Sabien (Sabina)
Sara
Saskia
Sophie
Stefana
Sterre (Star)
Susanna (Sanne)
Tamara
Theresia (Tess, Thera, Trees)
Ursula (Urseltje)
Vera (Veerke, Veer)
Wilhelmina, Willemina, Willemijn (Helma, Mien, Mina, Wilma)

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One comment on “A primer on Dutch names

  1. jamieayres says:

    I’m all for simplifying things 🙂 Great list!

    Like

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