Thursday, October 23, 2014

Austin Ford - (Birth Announcements!)

This month's set of birth announcements started out somewhat unusual as I began building the list, and as I continued, the names got a bit more traditional.  However, they are all mixed together because of being placed alphabetically.  Once again, the middle name choices seem to be very common or old-fashioned for most of the babies below. There are a few interesting exceptions like Yaamach and Kapri.

I wonder why so many parents choose "safe" middle name options. I feel like the middle name, since it is mostly tucked away, provides the perfect opportunity to use guilty pleasure names or the highly unusual.  Instead, there are more unusual first names being used such as Alithia, Zyanya, and Kipper. What thoughts spring to your mind as you browse through the following list?:

Girls:

Adele Grace
Alithia Brooke
Aliza Bethany
Allison Marie
Amy Rose Lei
Annabelle Rose
Ara Fae
Ariauna Danielle Linn
Athena Jene Leann Irene
Aubrey Faith
Aurora Kapri
Belle Madelyn
Carissa Faith
Eleanora Yaamach
Emma Rose
Grace Catherine
Hailee Mae
Hannah Marie
Hazel Jane
Isla Rose
Katy Rae
Kaylyn Elizabeth
Kensi Jean
Kylie Adele
Laney Rose
Laryssa Joyce
Lorelei Mae
Madelyn Grace
Makenna Lynn
Marleigh Ann
McKynlee Jean Carolynn
Megan Ann
Paisley May
Presley Ann
River Rae
Roselyn Geraldine
Sydney Joy
Vivian Fae
Willow Annette
Yoselin
Zyanya Emma-Rose

Boys:
Aiden Daniel
Alexander James
Austin Ford
Brayden Alexander
Carl Andrew-Leon
Carlos Alberto
Chase Alexander
Bryce Allen
Collin Anderson
Colten Lucas
Connor John
Declan Joseph
Dominic Elijah
Eithyn Ryen
Eligh Ivan
Evan Samuel
Gerald Fred
Gunner Joseph
Jayden James
Jonathon Davidd
Joseph Brandon
Josue Saul
Kade Samuel
Kingston Parker
Kipper Hayes
Kobe Lee Lucas
Lachlan Clyde
Mason Lynn
Nehimiah Alexander
Rylan James
Shelton Wayne
Spencer Reid
Tanner Joseph
Tanner Lee
Terry Archer
Trevor Ellerson Daniel
Tyler Logan
Wyatt Steven
Zackery Allan

Which of these names do you like most? least?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Madelief

The male Dutch name that I featured this week, Diederick, is relatively rare. The female name that I'm about to share is actually ranking pretty well in the Netherlands!

Madelief is the name. It is pronounced mad-uh-LEEF and it's actually rather adorable! I think this could catch on in lieu of the more popular "Maddie" names like Madeline and Madison if more people knew about it. It would fit in well with other unusual Mad- names like Madigan and Madeleva as well as male choices like Maddox and Madden. It also goes hand in hand with botanical names that are gaining popularity today.


The best part is that this adorable name comes from the Dutch word madeliefje which means "daisy". So it's actually an obscure nature name! I say that it is obscure because, well, it is. It may rank at #126 in the Netherlands, but here in the USA, Madelief is non-existent. There have never been at least 5 girls given this name in a single year. Anyone who has this name is definitely one of a kind.

In the 1970s, children's book author Guus Kuijer wrote a beloved series of books featuring a character named Madelief. It was made into a tv series in the 1990s too! However, most of it has never been translated into English. Beyond that, Madelief seems to be a relatively new name even in the Netherlands.

If you're looking for a name that's on trend but completely unique at the same time, this is it! I'd love to see this name get some usage in the US today!

What do you think of this rare name? What middle names would you pair with it? Share your thoughts below! Here are some ideas that I came up with:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Anneke, Esmee, Fenna, Helena, Mila, Sabine, Xandra, Zoe
Brothers: Bram, Constantine, Florian,  Lucas, Oscar, Pieter, Sebastian, Tobias

Middle Name Ideas:
Madelief Anne
Madelief Joelle
Madelief Kate
Madelief Norah
Madelief Tessa

As a Middle Name:
Chloe Madelief
Eva Madelief
Faye Madelief
Noa Madelief
Sophie Madelief

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

World-Wide Wednesday: Dutch Baby Names

This month for our World-Wide Wednesday segment, we will be examining Dutch baby names. These are classified as names that are mostly found in the Netherlands as well as the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium known as Flanders.

Like many other countries, parents in  present-day Netherlands are attracted to internationally loved names like Emma and Luca: names that are a bit more anglicized and less traditionally Dutch.

While some things tend to change over time, there are still plenty of traditional names being given to Dutch babies. This article will focus on the interesting traditional choices available and how they were used in the past. However, many of these names are difficult for non-Dutch speakers to pronounce.

First, let's start with naming traditions. Like many other countries in the past, Dutch families tended to use and reuse the same few names over many generations. Patronymic names were big. According to DutchGenealogy.nl, the following naming conventions were most typically followed:
  • In the case where one of the parents was a widower or widow, the first child of the gender of the deceased spouse was named after that spouse.
  • The two eldest boys were named after the grandfathers and the two eldest girls were named after the grandmothers. In some regions only deceased grandparents were named. In most regions, the paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother were named first.
  • If the first three children are all boys, sometimes a male version of the grandmother’s name is given to the third boy. If enough children are born, grandmother may have a girl named after her as well. The same is true vice versa, if the first three children are all girls.
  • Children that had died were named. So if one son called Jan Hendrik died, the next one born would be called Jan Hendrik as well. Usually, if you see two children with the same name, the oldest one died before the youngest one was born. Be careful however, because if the two grandparents had the same first name, sometimes two children who were named after them ended up with the same first and last name!
  • If all the grandparents, previous spouses and deceased children were named, siblings of the parents were named after, especially the ones who had died already.
Knowing this information can also prove useful when tracking down ancestry lines. For our purposes today, it is mostly meant to be interesting. I enjoy learning traditions of the past since many of them are no longer popularly practiced.

Even today, birthing traditions of old are still in place. Dutch parents tend to wait to find out the baby's gender until it is born. If they happen to discover it in advance, they won't reveal it. These days, more and more mothers are choosing to give birth in a hospital but the majority still follow tradition by having a natural home birth.

Since the 17th century, it is customary for people to celebrate with a special liquor called "Hansje in the cellar". When a baby is born, the new mother is treated to plenty of food and gifts from visitors. In return, the new parents  provide a kind of biscuits to their visitors. These snacks typically had a layer of butter and sugar sprinkles called muisjes. These sprinkles only come in pink, white and blue and are used to indicate the baby's gender.  The muisjes are aniseed sprinkles that are said to represent fertility and scare away evil spirits. It is also good for the mother's milk supply.

This snack is known as "Beschuit met meisjes". Muisjes literally means "little mice" and draws its name from the fact that the aniseeds sometimes look like they have little tails when dipped into sugar. This snack is still used to celebrate the arrival of a new baby today.

Now, let's get to the actual names! Wikipedia lists a whole lot of information about Dutch names. For the sake of time and space, I'll touch on the highlights you need to know:

Dutch children are sometimes given several names but not always. Half of them only receive one name, about 30% get two names, 17% have three names and only 2.5% of children receive four names. Rarely are there more given. The first name is usually the one used in daily life and will sometimes be shortened to a diminutive form as a nickname. The naming rules for the Dutch are loose. Nearly any name is allowed as long as it isn't too similar to an existing surname, or inappropriate.

Over time, Dutch names have evolved. There are four major periods of time that saw differing naming traditions:
  1. Germanic names were highly used. (Migration Period and before until the High Middle Ages)
  2. Medieval names derived from Christian saints replaced Germanic ones. (High middle ages until the Early Modern era)
  3. Patronymic names were most common. Children were named after relatives. (Early Modern era–1945)
  4. Less emphasis on religious names and family names. Foreign names were adopted.  (1945–Present)
In the first period of naming history, the Germanic names lasted the longest. Most Germanic names are composed of two elements. The second usually indicated the gender. These elements could be drawn from two names and combined to create a new one with an appealing meaning that also honored two people. For example, a father named Hildebrant and a mother named Gertrud might name their child Gerbrant or Hiltrud.

The second period of time began around the 12th century. Christian names were huge.  Some Germanic elements still remained if they happened to also be the name of a saint. However, it was not the church that initiated this naming transition. There were no regulations in place regarding names. Religion and various current events had a big influence on naming tradition. Christian names became fashionable as larger cities began to flourish. Citizens with wealth and influence became trend-setters. It was then that the more typical Dutch names emerged such as "Kees" (Cornelis), "Jan" (Johannes) and "Piet" (Petrus).

The third period of naming history was one of stability. Some parents just picked names that they liked because they could, or they'd choose something relevant to the family's occupation. For instance, a butcher who planned on training his son to also become a butcher would probably name him Sint Joris which is the Dutch version of Saint George, the patron saint of the butchers. At the time, there was even a strong superstition that a name had a bit of a reincarnation effect  which led to many naming children after a deceased relative.

The practice of passing down familial names gained momentum. They were generally given in this pattern:
  • First-born son is named after paternal grandfather
  • First-born daughter is named after maternal grandmother
  • Second son is named after maternal grandfather
  • Second daughter is named after paternal grandmother
  • Subsequent children were often named after uncles and aunts
Once the first four were named, the pattern relaxed a bit and parents were afforded more liberties to choose any name they liked for the following children. Names were reused if one of the children were to die.

The fourth and last period of time extends to today. Once World War II ended, people found themselves a bit less tied to keeping to traditions. They grew less religious and stopped using Christian names as often. Many names became a bit more anglicized and children weren't named after relatives as much. Today, children might have a traditional official name for a middle name and a more modern choice for their first name. Boys tend to have traditional Dutch names more often than girls and are still given family names. Girls simply receive names based on the parents' taste and love for it.

If you'd like to learn more about how surnames are given, click here. I'm going to skip over that information to keep this article from growing too long.

There are many traditional names out there. I went through Behind the Name's collection of Dutch names and chose some that I liked most to share with you. If you'd like to view more, I suggest visiting their website for the extensive list. I'm going to focus on the names that are Dutch versions of names from other origins, and names that are only Dutch:

Boys:

Aart                  
Adriaan
Aldert
Ambroos
Andries
Antoon
Arie
Arnoud
Bartel
Bastiaan
Bonifaas
Boudewijn
Brecht
Broos
Cas
Cees
Christiaan
Cobus
Constantijn
Cornelis
Daan
Damiaan
Diede
Diederick
Elbert
Elian
Ewoud
Faas
Femme
Filippus
Floris              
Fons
Frits
Gerben
Gerolt
Gijsbert
Gillis
Godfried
Gustaaf
Hein
Henny
Hubrecht
Huub
Ignaas
Izaak
Jaap
Jef
Jeroen
Joep
Joord
Joost
Joris
Jozua
Jurgen
Kees
Kerneels
Kobus
Koert
Laurens
Lieven
Lodewijk        
Lowie
Ludo
Luuk
Maarten
Maas
Maikel
Mannes
Marijn
Marnix
Matthijs
Maurits
Meint
Mozes
Nicolaas
Niek
Niels
Pauwel
Pier
Pieter
Pim
Quirijn
Radboud
Raf
Reinier
Reinout
Rembrandt
Rens
Rien
Robbe
Robrecht
Roel
Rogier
Rutger
Sebastiaan
Servaas
Sieuwerd
Sjaak
Sjors
Staas
Stef
Stijn
Teunis
Theodoor
Theun
Thijs
Tiede
Tijn
Tjaard
Toon
Tygo
Wiebe
Wilbert
Wilhelmus
Willem
Wim
Wouter
Yorick
Yvo
Zef
Girls:

Aldegonda      
Aleida
Angelien
Angelique
Anneke
Annelien
Anouk
Brechtje
Carolien
Cato
Coba
Cokkie
Diantha
Drika
Elian
Elsje
Emmy
Esmee
Evelien
Feline
Femke
Fenna
Floor
Floortje
Geertje
Geertruida      
Gerarda
Gerdina
Gertruida
Godelieve
Greetje
Griet
Gusta
Hadewych
Hannie
Heintje
Heleen
Helma
Hendrina
Hennie
Hilde
Ima
Jacintha
Jacoba
Jacomina
Jenneke
Jantje
Jasmijn
Jeltsje
Jennigje
Jetta              
Johanneke
Jozefien
Katelijne
Katrien
Klasina
Leonie
Lieke
Lien
Liesbeth
Lieve
Lisanne
Liselot
Loes
Lysanne
Maaike
Madelief
Margriet
Marieke
Marijke
Marijse
Marjan
Marjolein
Marloes
Mechteld
Meintje
Mieke
Miep
Myrthe
Nicolet
Noortje
Paulien
Pietronella
Ria
Roosje
Sabien
Saskia
Stefana
Sterre
Stien
Teuna
Thera
Thirza
Tineke
Trijntje
Truus
Veerke
Willemijn
Willemina
Xandra
Can you tell what other names these are related to? Which do you like best? Let's take a look at the more modern-day top choices:

Girls                 
1. Tess
2. Sophie
3. Julie
4. Emma
5. Lisa
6. Fenna
7. Mila
8. Sara
9. Lotte
10. Zoë
11. Eva 12. Anna 13. Fleur 14. Isa 15. Lynn 16. Evi 17. Lieke 18. Saar 19. Noa 20. Sanne
Boys
1. Sem
2. Levi
3. Bram
4. Daan
5. Finn
6. Milan
7. Lucas
8. Luuk
9. Jesse
10. Jayden
11. Tim
12. Thomas
13. Thijs
14. Noah
15. Julian
16. Ruben
17. Liam
18. Lars
19. Stijn
20. Sam
Which of 2013's Top 20 names in the Netherlands are your favorites? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

[Note: I am not Dutch nor have I ever been to the Netherlands. If any of this information seems incorrect, please let me know so it can be fixed. If you have further insight, do share!]

Source | Source | Source | Source | Source | Source | Source

Monday, October 13, 2014

Diederick

The male name Diederick is the Dutch form of the Germanic name Theodoric. Both mean "ruler of the people". Theodoric is completely different than the similar sounding Greek name Theodore which means "gift of God".



There was a Theodoric the Great in the 6th-century who became the ruler of Italy. He was also called Theodoricus but the original Gothic version of the name may have been Þiudreiks which is where Diederick comes from.

Pronounced DEE-də-rik, this cool and unusual Dutch name has some equally cool counterparts in other languages like Theoderich, Derek, Derrick, Dirk, Thierry, Tiede, Dierk, Dietrich, Thilo, Tielo and Tudor.

However, as a baby name in the USA, Diederick is unexplored territory. There are zero births on record since records were first kept in 1880. Since the Social Security Administration does not report births for a name unless there was at least 5 in one year, it's possible that there have been a few boys named Diederick born in the US at some point, but they weren't recorded officially. This means that if you were to use this name, your son would nearly be one of a kind!

In the Netherlands, I could not find an official ranking for the popularity of Diederick there, but I did find out that it didn't rank within the Top 500 or so names in 2013. Today's Dutch parents highly favor short names. Diederick is rather long is it may be rather rare and unusual everywhere which makes it all the more fun, especially with a nickname like Dee, Derick, Rick or Ricky.

What do you think of the name Diederick? Is it cool that it's so rare or do you think it deserves to remain in obscurity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!  Also, what would you pair with it? Here are some ideas:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Anneke, Caroline, Fenna, Leonie, Madelief, Sanne, Thera
Brothers: Constantine, Lieven, Milan, Nicolas, Pieter, Sem, Willem

Middle Name Ideas:
Diederick Finn
Diederick Lucas
Diederick Pim
Diederick Ruben

As a Middle Name:
Bram Diederick
Jesse Diederick
Levi Diederick
Noah Diederick

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top Vintage Names for Girls from 1920

Just like last week's post about boy names from 1920, here are some wonderful vintage classics for girls as well as some names that are no longer very fashionable. It is interesting to see how many names remain popular over time and how many have returned to the limelight after a vacation from the Top 1000. Which of these do you like most?

Enduring Classics

Names that are in the Top 100 for both 1920 and 2013 and have always been within the Top 1000:

Elizabeth
#8 in 1920
#10 in 2013

Anna
#10 in 1920
#35 in 2013

Evelyn
#12 in 1920
#20 in 2013

Lillian
#18 in 1920
#26 in 2013

Ruby
#26 in 1920
#93 in 2013

Grace
#37 in 1920
#22 in 2013

Katherine
#45 in 1920
#77 in 2013

Emma
#46 in 1920
#2 in 2013

Sarah
#50 in 1920
#48 in 2013

Julia
#55 in 1920
#75 in 2013

Eva
#58 in 1920
#88 in 2013

Charlotte
#79 in 1920
#11 in 2013

Lucy
#94 in 1920
#66 in 2013

Returning Vintage Faves

Names that were within the Top 200 in 1920 but fell out of the Top 1000 over the years only to return to 2013's Top 100 again!

Violet
#77 in 1920
#69 in 2013

Stella
#82 in 1920
#70 in 2013

Ella
#88 in 1920
#15 in 2013

Sophie
#129 in 1920
#76 in 2013

Sadie
#174 in 1920
#50 in 2013

Faded Memories

Names that were in the Top 100 in 1920 but have fallen from the Top 1000 in 2013:

Mildred
Betty
Doris
Florence
Louise
Gladys
Edna
Ethel
Thelma
Jean
Pauline
Lois
Bernice
Gertrude
Marion
Rita
Agnes
Shirley
Bertha
Viola
Geraldine
Juanita
Ida
Myrtle
Norma
Lorraine
Bessie
Phyllis
Marian
Willie
Nellie
Wilma
Maxine
Minnie
Marguerite
Mattie
Jennie

So many of these scream "old fashioned!" to me. My great grandmother's name was Thelma. Most of these fit right in the "still too musty" category, but do you think any will make a comeback? I think Louise has the best chance of any of them; Viola could potentially ride Violet's coattails back up the charts too. What do you think?

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