Category: popular names in Europe

Just when you start to think the whole Western World — and a good part of the non-Western one too — is one big Gap-wearing, Glee-watching, Lady Gaga-listening society,  you come across something like the complete list of Dutch baby names to make you realize how distinct seemingly similar cultures can be.

For the name nerd, there’s a lot here that’s fascinating.  But what I focused on especially were the names that are used much more widely in the Netherlands than in English-speaking countries.

It’s pretty astonishing, actually, how many names there are that are well-used there and virtually unknown here.  On just the girls’ side (we’ll bring you the boys later this week), you might consider such plums as Azra, Dewi, Jet, and Puck.  Not to mention Indy, Quinty, and Saar.

And then there are the Dutch girls’ names – this is the first category – that are familiar in the U.S. and U.K. but that are much more popular in the Netherlands now than they are here.  I’m talking about such names as Linda, Lisa, and Robin.

Then there is the group which is more exotic if not totally unknown: Anouk, Famke, Malou.  These names are ripe for use by parents who want something unusual but not completely strange.

And if you do want a name that’s a real name and yet truly unique in the U.S. and the U.K.?  Then there are dozens of intriguing choices here for you.

Familiar Names More Popular in the Netherlands than in the U.S.

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L Names to Love

The J names had their day: Jennifer, Jason, Jessica.  Then K was up, and we had lots of Kevins and Kaylas, Kaitlyns and Kyles.

What’s next?  It just might be L’s turn.

Linda wrote about the delicious La-La names, from Lola to Lila to Lily, that are newly popular.  And certainly, the most visible of the L names right now are these Double L names.

(A side note here: DELILAH and TALLULAH may not have an L in first place but are part of this same Double L trend.)

But there are lots of other L names coming up, or already arrived, in other categories.  For instance:


A pan-European trend that seems finally to be reaching the U.S., the Lou names are hugely popular in Great Britain and the Continent for girls as well as boys.  Examples:

LOU and LILOUBoth huge in France, Lou is one of the daughters of the iconic Jane Birkin and Lilou is the Occitan (a dialect of Provence) version of Lily.

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