Stuff Dutch People Like: Names that sound ridiculous in English

Joke, Freek, Sicco? You have to be careful picking a Dutch name for an international enviroment.

 If you live in the Lowlands long enough, you may eventually have to compose an email that starts with the phrase “Dear Joke” or better yet, “Hello Freek”.

We can assure you that you will have difficulty keeping a straight face when introducing your friend Floor to your friend Taco. The reality is that most Dutch names sound ridiculous in English. You may have seen the Fokkers on the silver screen but you probably didn’t know that the Netherlands is full of Fokkers!

Names like Door, Harm, and Kok are all sure to produce quizzical looks or giggles from English speaking folks.

Thinking of having a child with international prospects? We would suggest avoiding names that starts with a “J”. Jaap, Jarno, Joost and Joop, and their good friends Jurgen, Joord and Jelle aren’t going to have an easy time explaining how to pronounce their names outside of the Lowlands.

Names like these might work very well in the Lowlands, but something is definitely lost in translation. Huh? Your Dutch parents named you what?!?

All of this may be terribly amusing to non-Dutch people, but to be honest, there are many Dutch names that are equally ridiculous even in Dutch!

How else would one explain Meneer Zonderkop (Mr. Without Head) or Mevrouw Naaktgeboren (Mrs. Born Naked)?

And how about the innocent child blessed with the last name Niemandsvriend (nobody’s friend). Let’s just hope his parents didn’t name him Sicco.

This is an extract from blog and new book Stuff Dutch People Like which pokes fun at all things orange. Order your copy online.


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