X is for “Xander”…..

…. 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?

Arjan

Ewoud

Gre

Geert

Geertje

Guido

Jaap

Jet

Jip

Jilske

Joost

Kees

Koen

Loes

Marloes

Matthijs

Menno

Pepijn

Pien

Ruud

Sujit

Sybren

Thijs

Tsjerk

Uschi

Wouter

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.

1 Comment

  1. I wandered over to your blog from Ravelry… hi. 🙂

    I am not going to guess the gender of the names, because I’m married to a Dutchman and I looked a lot of these names when we were picking baby names. A lot of the names I really liked had a J in them, like Jeroen! If we lived in the Netherlands, I totally would have used that one. Since we live in the US, I didn’t want to burden my child with a completely unpronouncable name. I have to admit, your blog is kind of making me wish we did live over there, and not for the names. Lovely photos. 🙂

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