Dutch Names: What’s new in the Netherlands

August 20, 2018 Linda Rosenkrantz

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.


ANOUKwas chosen by Ewan McGregor for his daughter, name of the lead character in ‘Chocolat’, #189 on NB

AYA#790 in the US, 89 in Spain, multi-cultural

BRITTshortened form of Birgit and Brittany

ELIF—Turkish name of novelist Elif Batuman, author of ‘The Idiot’

EVI#11 in the Netherlands in 2015

FENNA#12 in Netherlands, a short form of Fredericke, also Fenne

FLEURFrench for flower, has Harry Potter and ‘Being Human’ cred, #12 in Holland

ISAMulti-cultural, Top 20 in the Netherlands, short form of all those Isa-starting names

LIVmeans ‘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

LOTTE#9 in the Netherlands, singers Lotte Lenya and Lehmann distinguished bearers

MANON—popular in film and opera, #4 in France, 9 in Belgium, 836 on NB, used by Damian Lewis for his daughter

MARIT—means ‘pearl’, #305 in Germany

MERELmeans ‘blackbird’, a Top 100 name in the Netherlands

MILOU#32 in the Netherlands, Malou is also popular

NOA#15 in the Netherlands, 10 in Spain,728 in the US, 482 on NB, a character on ‘Code Black

ROOSthe Dutch form of Rose, #20 in the Netherlands

SAARDutch variation of Sarah, #8 in the Netherlands, and moving up

SANNE—diminutive of Susanne, pronounced sah-na, #19 in the Netherlands, Senna is also popular

SUZEanother nickname name for Susanne, Top 70 on the Dutch list

VEERLE–#68 in the Netherlands, Veerie is also popular

YARA–#22 in the Netherlands, 443 on NB, means ‘small butterfly’ in Arabic, the sister of Theon in ‘Game of Thrones’


BASdiminutive of Bastiaan and Sebastian, popular on its own, as is Baz

BJORN#953 in the US, #512 on NB, familiar via Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg, character in ‘The Hobbit’

BRAMAnother popular nickname name, now at #11 in the Netherlands, 481 on NB, made famous by Dracula creator Bram Stoker

CASPERParticularly popular in Scandinavia and Holland, character in Henry James’s ‘A Portrait of a Lady’, #194 on Nameberry, 85 in the Netherlands and 51 in Sweden

DAANThe Number 1 boy name in the Netherlands in 2016

DJONNO—A place name in Norway; as in Djuna and Django, the D is silent

DUUK—Pronounced as Duke, it’s #86 in the Netherlands, while Luuk is #7

FLORISA royal boy name in the Netherlands, where it ranks at #42

JENSDutch/Scandinavian version of John/Johannes is #37 in the Netherlands

JEROENThe Dutch version of Jerome is more popular than the English one.

JOOSTMeaning ‘just’ and pronounced, like most Dutch names, as starting with ‘y’, it’s on the popularity lists of both Holland and Germany

JORANA popular Dutch form of George (others are Joeri and Jorgen)

JORISA Top 100 name in both the Netherlands and Germany

MEESA diminutive of Bartholomeus, up at #12 in the Netherlands

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.

OLIVIERFrench version of Oliver, a character name on ‘Orphan Black’ is very popular in the Netherlands.

SANDERA common European short form of Alexander, is a standard in the Netherlands

SEM#3 in the Netherlands in 2016, Dutch form of biblical Shem; the similar Senn follows at #49

STIJN—another short form of longer names—Constantijn and Augustijn—ranks at #12 in the Netherlands

SVENSven is now more popular in the Netherlands than in its native Sweden, and it’s 775 on Nameberry.

WILLEMThe familiar form of the classic William, known elsewhere via painter de Kooning and actor Dafoe, is 51 in the Netherlands and 621 on Nameberry

XAVIA rising diminutive of Xavier, Xavi is #57 in the Netherlands

Any of these Dutch names appeal to you?


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