Popular Dutch Names We Should Borrow
Dutch baby names are a small but mighty subset of international baby names. The most popular Dutch name in the US is Skylar, a variation of the surname Schuyler. Rhett, which derived from the Dutch surname de Raedt, and Van, a Dutch preposition, also rank in the US Top 1000.
Dutch social insurance bank SVB compiled the list of the most popular names in the Netherlands. While Noah keeps the title of top boy name for another year, the previous favorite Emma has been replaced with Julia. The Top 10 girl names of 2023 are the same as 2022, but newcomers to the Top 10 boy names are Daan and Noud, replacing Finn and Milan.
These names are very familiar to American ears, but the Dutch Top 100 is chock full of interesting choices that rank outside of the US popularity charts. Names so good, we want to borrow them!
Popular Names in the Netherlands
1. Julia +1
2. Olivia +3
3. Mila =
4. Emma -3
5. Sophie -1
6. Nora +2
7. Yara -1
8. Saar -1
9. Noor +1
10. Tess -1
1. Noah =
2. Luca +1
3. Lucas +1
4. Liam -2
5. Levi +4
6. Sem +2
7. Daan +4
8. Mees -3
9. Noud +3
10. James -3
Dutch Girl Names We Should Borrow
This spunky mini-name is all feminine in the Netherlands but has an androgynous bent in the US thanks to the masculine-leaning names Bodhi, Bowen, Boden, and cousins. As these names continue to increase in popularity, might we see more little girls named Bo? Let’s take a cue from the Dutch.
Once considered a fusty grandma name in the Netherlands, Fenna has made a full resurgence, now ranking at #41 on their list. There are no such associations in the US, where it would make a fresh and lovely alternative to Emma or Hannah.
Fenne, a less American-friendly variation, ranks just outside the Dutch Top 100.
This literally floral name — it’s French for “flower” — has been hot in the Netherlands for the past decade. It’s currently on the decline, but we’d love to see it get picked up in the US, where it was only given to nine baby girls last year.
Flora entered the Top 1000 in 2019 — could Fleur eventually follow? Spelling alternative Floor also ranks in the Netherlands, but we don’t recommend it for English-speakers.
Lois still feels like an old lady name in the US, but it’s among the next wave of names set to come back into fashion. It was a Top 20 name in the 1920s, so according to the 100-Year Rule, this should be the decade Lois makes a return.
Loïs ranks at #33 in the Netherlands, but that ranking is deceiving — combine it with the Lois spelling and it’d rank even higher.
Charlie is most Americans’ nickname of choice for Charlotte, but Europeans love the Lot- names. This includes Lottie — Princess Charlotte’s nickname — and Lotte, a popular choice in the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
Lotte, which rhymes with variation Lotta, is actually more common in the Netherlands, where short names reign supreme, than fuller form Charlotte.
A Dutch contraction of Marie–Louise, Milou is 12th on the Dutch popularity list. We love it as an alternative to Mila, #14 in the United States. The similar name Philou is also a popular choice in the Netherlands — it’s derived from the Greek root philos, which means “love.”
Puck is best known as the name of Shakespearean sprite in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and more recently as a rebellious high schooler on the TV show Glee. Both characters are male, but the Dutch have fully embraced Puck as a girls’ name.
Fewer than five children — girls or boys — were given the name in the US last year, so Puck is a great choice if you want a truly unique name.
It’s a mystery why Tess isn’t more common in the US — it’s got vintage charm, femininity, and a classic literary connection. It maintained a 30-year stint in the Top 1000 — from 1983-2013 — but never reached the Top 400. It was the most popular name in the Netherlands in 2013 and remains in the Top 10 to this day.
Dutch Boy Names We Should Borrow
We wouldn’t be surprised if Boaz cracked the US Top 1000 for 2023—this unique Hebrew boys’ name features the trendy Bo sound and is a great alternative for biblical names such as Ezra and Levi. Boaz is #22 on the Dutch popularity list — the Netherlands is the only country it ranks in.
This Dutch and Irish variation of Abraham is often associated with Dracula author Bram Stoker, who used it as a nickname. We love it as a short form for names like Abraham and Bramwell, or as an independent full form, as it is mainly used in the Netherlands.
The Dutch pronunciation is closer to BRAHM, while in English we rhyme it with Graham.
Cas– names are having a moment in the US, with names like Cassius, Castiel, and Caspian making big strides in popularity. Cas — full stop — is the favored form in the Netherlands. Use it as a nickname if you wish, but Cas feels fully appropriate as a stand-alone name—a brother for names like Wes and Max.
Noah has been in the Top 10 in the US for 13 years now, and Jonah is floating just within the Top 150 now as well. If you love the soft sounds and Old Testament feel of these two names but want something more offbeat, Joah is just that.
Familiar Scandinavian name Lars is #48 in the Netherlands but has been off the US charts since the ‘80s. Ryan Gosling played titular character Lars Lindstrom in the 2007 movie Lars and the Real Girl — his fictional brother was called Gus.
Despite the popularity of Leo– names, Leonard is far from trendy. Lenn, the Dutch variation, is a modern spin, and much more unexpected than Leo. As a bonus, Lenn comes with the so-uncool-its-cool nickname Lenny.
Similar names Senn and Sem — the Netherlands’ answer to Sam — are also in the Dutch Top 100.
Thijs, which rhymes with “nice,” is derived from Matthijs, the Dutch variation of Matthew. Thijs is not quite as accessible as popular Matthew variations Mateo and Matias, but we contend that it’s usable in the US.
True to Dutch form, Thijs is more popular than its original version, Matthijs, in the Netherlands.
X is undoubtedly one of the coolest letters in the alphabet, and today's parents agree. Classic Xavier has been riding the X wave since the early '90s and is currently just within the Top 100. With an array of traveling lite names — short, two-syllable names ending in "-i" — trending currently, Xavi is a hip choice that packs a punch.