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These days Dutch parents who name their newborn baby Jan, Piet, Annie or Bep are very few and far between. This is because Dutch first names are greatly influenced by current fashion. Whereas, up until the sixties, Dutch children were traditionally named after their father, mother, grandmother or grandfather, today the choice of name is far more likely to reflect the names of famous artists, athletes and even popular TV personalities. In recent decades this growing trend has resulted in an increasing number of foreign names in the Dutch Register of Births, such as Jayden, Naomi and Wesley. However, even the most fashionable names enjoy only brief popularity and the majority of Dutch parents tend to plump for a typical Dutch name, even if the spelling is sometimes given a modern twist.
The Sociale Verzekeringsbank (responsible for the distribution of child benefit in the Netherlands) conducted some research on the most popular children’s names of 2012. They recently revealed the following top 5 Dutch baby boy’s and girl’s names:
And research at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam appears to suggest that certain historical events often temporarily affect the popularity of first names. It’s therefore quite likely that we will see a proliferation of Dutch babies with the name Willem-Alexander, Princess Máxima or Beatrix this year!
In the Netherlands, proud new parents usually offer those who come to visit the baby a traditional treat known as beschuit met muisjes. To find out more about this and other typical Dutch customs, click on this link.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit to our sister blog, heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?