By Linda Rosenkrantz
The list of popular Dutch baby names is certainly a fascinating mix. In addition to names that are currently well-liked around the globe, like Liam and Noah, and Emma and Ella, there are the Dutch versions of classic names (Roos for Rose and Saar for Sarah), plus a few names that wouldn’t go over well elsewhere (girl names Pip and Puck). But what distinguishes the Dutch list most of all is the preponderance of one-syllable nickname names that are unique to their nomenclature.
Here are some of the most interesting names for girls and boys that are popular in the Netherlands.
AYA—#790 in the US, 89 in Spain, multi-cultural
EVI—#11 in the Netherlands in 2015
LIV—means ‘life’, associated with Liv Tyler (named for Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann), used by Julianne Moore and Bar Rafaeli for their daughters, character in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and “iZombie’, #675 in the US, #16 in the Netherlands, 375 on NB
MARIT—means ‘pearl’, #305 in Germany
MEREL—means ‘blackbird’, a Top 100 name in the Netherlands
VEERLE–#68 in the Netherlands, Veerie is also popular
DAAN—The Number 1 boy name in the Netherlands in 2016
FLORIS—A royal boy name in the Netherlands, where it ranks at #42
JORIS—A Top 100 name in both the Netherlands and Germany
MILAN—A place name now ranked at #463 in the US, it is much further up in the Netherlands, where it’s #5. A notable bearer is Czech writer Milan Kundera, author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’, while another writer, Salman Rushdie,chose it for his son, as did singer Shakira and footballer Gerard Pique.
STIJN—another short form of longer names—Constantijn and Augustijn—ranks at #12 in the Netherlands
Anyof these Dutch names appeal to you?
Popular nicknames like Ellie and Jack are often much more common than popularity lists indicate, since they’re given on their own and also used as short forms for a wide range of proper names that are themselves very popular, from Eleanor to Elizabeth to Gabrielle, from Jackson to John to Jonathan.
But what if you use a trendy nickname for a much more unusual proper name? To some people, this may represent the worst of all worlds: Your child is known by a name shared with many others, while the “secret” proper name adds only confusion and no public distinction.
But there’s another way to look at it. You get to use an unusual proper name that you adore or that’s been passed down through your family or simply because you believe in unique names.
And then you soften whatever can be difficult about having an uncommon name — no one knows how to spell or pronounce it, other kids think it’s weird while your kid feels out of step with her contemporaries — by calling your child by a name that’s much more easily accepted and liked.
Or maybe approach it from the other direction and use a trendy short form that you love or your partner loves or that’s a family name, but you want to make it stand out from the six other Wills in the family by pairing it with a distinctive long form.
Plus, this method gives your child a choice. He or she can use either name at any time for any purpose, for a few moments or forever.
Maybe best of all, you get two very different names in one.
Here, some popular nicknames and uncommon full names that make intriguing pairs.
By Pamela Redmond Satran
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were hardly the first parents to use a boys’ name for a baby girl when they named their daughter James. But they helped popularize a trend that includes Jessica Simpson‘s daughter Maxwell, Mark Zuckerberg’s baby girl August, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’s little girl Wyatt.
Thousands of American baby girls were given boys’ names, or names closely associated with male figures, last year. We’re not talking about gender-neutral names such as Riley and Robin, Blue or North that work equally well for children of both sexes. We’re talking about the female equivalent to naming a boy Sue.
So why is it okay, even fashionable and attractive to name a girl James but not to name a boy Jane or Sue? Why indeed, say some. Where some believe that naming your daughter Ezra or Declan is a feminist act, others claim it’s actually sexist, given that it’s hardly considered cool or cute to give traditionally female names — Elizabeth, say, or Maeve — to boys.
Love the practice or hate it, boys’ names are being given in ever greater numbers every year to girls. We combed the social security lists to find male names that rank below the Top 1000 but were given to at least 20 baby girls in 2017. The statistics represent number of baby girls who received each name in 2007 compared with ten years later, showing increases of double, triple, ten times — even 89 times in the case of Jupiter — in the number of girls given these traditionally-male names.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
I never cease to be intrigued by the fact that no only do names go in and out of style, but letters do too. And especially vowels. And especially vowels at the start of names.
We’ve had a long period of names, particularly girls’ names, beginning with the letter A, which was followed by E-names for both girls and boys, and lately parents have been showing their love for names started with O.
But the letter I has had a pretty paltry presence on the SSA list. There are only 16 I-initialed girls name out of the 1000 total, and of those, four are Isabel-related, and just Iris, Ivy and Isla in the Top 150, and Ingrid and Iliana just hanging in in the Top 900s.
But there are still a number of I candidates for success—or there for the taking for those avoiding popular examples. Here are some recommended off-list possibilities: