Category: Dutch baby names

Short, Simple, Chic Baby Names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

When Americans think about chic European names, they tend to imagine the exotic, the elaborate, the intriguingly complicated and foreign.

Yet when Europeans think about chic names, they often these days mean the short and simple and sometimes even the Anglo-Saxon: Tom, Emma, Lou.  Think of them as the baby name equivalents of a perfectly-cut bob or little black dress, elegant and always in style.

Short, simple names that are chic and popular in France, the Netherlands, and indeed throughout Europe include:

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We’re always adding new baby names to our database, and the latest collection all have international roots.  These additions were partially inspired by the update of our baby name popularity page to include Top 100 lists from several countries beyond the U.S.  We also thank Nameberry readers who contributed names from their home countries that were new to us.   Here, the dozen (plus) newest international baby names on Nameberry.

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posted by: waltzingmorethanmatilda View all posts by this author

By Anna Otto, Waltzing More Than Matilda

I recently released an e-book called International Baby Names for Australian Parents, to help Australian parents find names that are uncommon, but not strange. My theory was that was a name that had never ranked here, yet was on the charts in other countries, would fit the bill of being seen as both “unusual” and “normal”.

Here are some names from the book that have never ranked in English-speaking countries, but are in the Top 100 elsewhere in the world.

girls

Anouk (Top 100 in the Netherlands)

Hip and quirky while still having substance. As a short form of Anna, provides an alternative to that and related names.

Ginevra (Top 100 in Italy)

Best known from spunky redhead GinevraGinny” Weasley in the Harry Potter books. Romantic and with tons of nickname options, this could also honour a Jennifer, as it’s the Italian form of Guinevere.

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In this week’s Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel’s choices run from the royal Amalia to the unique Catchen, showing the anything-goes spirit of baby naming today.

The only rule of baby naming in 2013?

Anything goes.

From reliable classics to nouveau inventions to family heirlooms, the range of possibilities is truly infinite.

So it is no surprise that the baby name news ran the gamut this week.  On the one side are Dutch royals and a supermodel’s three sons with regal names.  On the other?  We have a few nouveau inventions and discoveries that could work nicely for a twenty-first century child.

All of this leads to my favorite piece of baby naming advice from the blogosphere this week: don’t whittle down your short list, discarding names for one reason or another.  Narrow your list UP, until you find the one that you truly adore.

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Dutch Names: The current and the classic

There are many unfamiliar but intriguing Dutch names, and today’s native-born guest blogger, Veronique, gives us an inside picture of what’s hot today in the Netherlands and Flanders–and how to pronounce them.

What makes a name Dutch? A name that is typically Dutch is one that occurs frequently in the Netherlands and/or in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. In recent years many of the names in the Top 20 have been international names like Emma and Marie for girls and Lars and Luca for boys, so my main focus won’t be on those names that originated elsewhere.

As you may know, Dutch names can be quite hard to pronounce for non-native speakers of Dutch. Actress Famke Janssen changed her last name from Beumer to Janssen because Americans pronounced it as ‘bummer.’ And when Matt Lauer and his wife welcomed their third child, a son named Thijs, they explained that the name was pronounced as ‘tice.’ Now that is not entirely true: if you ask for ‘tice’ in a Dutch speaking country, chances are you will get Thai food. The correct pronunciation lies somewhere between ‘tice’ and ‘tayes’. Because ‘eu’ or ‘ij’ are so hard to pronounce for non-native speakers of Dutch, I’m excluding names that contain those sounds from my list of typical names that might appeal outside the Dutch culture.

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