The Ridiculousness of Dutch Names

In Sweden, we have a lot of “son” names (Most common last names: #1 – Johansson, #2 – Andersson, #3 – Karlsson*). This is obviously remnants from the patronymic days, examples of which you can still see in action in Iceland. In addition to this, I’d say (this is based on experience, I have no empirical proof of it) a lot of names are related to nature. There are all kinds of trees, streams, mountains, hills, twigs, branches (and on and on).

Just to give you a feeling, these names all start with “Birch”:

Björk (Birch)
Björkegren (Birch branch)
Björkgren (Birch branch)
Björklund (Birch grove)
Björkman (Birch man)
Björkqvist (Birch twig)
Björkström (Birch stream)

And that’s how it goes. That is my normal.
Then I moved to the Netherlands, and my normal is being challenged EVERY DAY.

While my partner, like myself, has a slightly odd – but still reasonably acceptable – last name, we have friends with names like Bloemen (Flowers), de Groot (the great/big), de Koning (the King), de Boer (the Farmer), Klein (little), van den Heuvel (from the hill) (etc.). That I could learn to live with, but then comes the ridiculousness that is Dutch last names. These are actual last names, of actual people:

Suijkerbuijk (sugar belly)
Pannenkoek (pancake)
Naaktgeboren (born naked)
Spring in t veld (jump in the field)
Vroegindeweij (early in the meadow)
Rotmensen (dreadful/degenerate people)

Discussing this at work and home, the Dutchies in my life go “what? these are normal names, I don’t understand why you think it’s weird”.
I can’t even…

* Source

There are more examples of this here and here.


3 thoughts on “The Ridiculousness of Dutch Names

  1. Here’s what I’m thinking tho, because you’re not used to names like these they conjure pictures in your head. For example, I don’t think when you hear the name Björklund you see a picture of trees in your head, it’s just a name. It’s probably the same for them, they don’t think about the literal meaning anymore it’s just a name.

    Even though I agree it’s completely weird and how do you even think of names like these??

    Bit emo tho. Like My Chemicals Romance. Or Bullet for My Valentine. In what world are these names? They’re phrases, not names. JFC.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, you’re right of course, that’s pretty much exactly how the discussion goes with Dutchie when I mention this. I say “Hans is called Flowers?”, He goes “?… oh, right, yeah”. But still… born naked?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s