…. and all the other interesting first names I hear.
When I first came here to NL on a business trip I was introduced to a colleague name Jeroen. “What”? I asked. “How do I pronounce that?” Another colleague thought there was something wrong with me that I didn’t immediately “get” the pronunciation and had never heard of this name before. After all, it’s a very common name! Yeah, right, in the Netherlands maybe.
Dutch names are really unique. You won’t see a name like “Tsjerk” anywhere else!
How about the name “Joke”. Male or female? No, it’s no “joke”, it’s really a woman’s name, pronounced “yoke-uh”.
Or the “ieneke series”, as I call it: Tieneke, Ieneke, Lieneke, and more I’m sure. All women’s names. The e at the end is always pronounced like an “uh” sound dropped at the end.
Then the Friesland names all come to mind: Sjourd, Sjoukje, ……….. the Sj always sounds like sh.
I went through our email list here at work and wrote down the names that, to my ears, are typically Dutch and you won’t find anywhere else. You guess, male or female or either/or?
Xander begins to sound really common, doesn’t it?
Oh, and “Jeroen” is the Dutch version of Jerome, and is pronounced like Yer-oe-n. Yeah, right.