The Netherlands is a small country in Europe, but it has had an impact on the world that cannot be denied. The Dutch have been colonialists and traders for centuries, which means they have left their mark on many places around the globe. In this blog post, we will explore 7 of these names that are popular among Dutch women right now. They range from common to obscure, but each one tells a story about where the Dutch have been and what they’ve done!
Anna, meaning “gracious” or “favor”. The Dutch name is taken from the Hebrew word for “graceful.” It’s a top ten favorite in the Netherlands.
Hannah, also taking her roots from Judaism and often meaning “blessed.” This name was on the list of most popular names between 1978 to 1997 (in that order). But it has been seeing an uptick in recent years.
Hollie: this form of Halle means “a hazelnut tree” as well as “cheerful hillside farmstead.” There are many spellings of this once common Dutch girl’s name including Hollye, Hollee and Halley. In 2017, this name ranked as the 265th most popular girl’s baby name in America.
Jana: a variant of Jane, and often meaning “gift from God.” This Dutch girl’s name was on top for four decades – but it has been falling off the charts since 1980 due to its popularity being low outside Holland. It gets less than 150 girls born each year now!
Laura: another variation of a common English name, but with an interesting story behind it because there are various spellings (Lara is used in Russia). The Netherlands’ spelling came about after World War II when American GIs sought out the root word laura or laurel trees during their stay here. And they found them! So nowadays these girls are called Laura.
Emma: the Dutch spelling of this name is Emmah, and it’s been at the top spot on baby naming lists for decades now! It means “the complete one” in Greek – but we think that makes sense because these little ones are just perfect with their blonde hair and blue eyes. One could say they’re emmasized!
Anna: like its English counterpart Hannah, this Dutch girl’s name comes from Hebrew origins meaning either “graceful” or “favor.” There have only ever been less than 600 annas born each year since 1980 (compared to over 30 thousand Hnahs!) so you’ll be sure to remember them when you see an Annabelle on the playground!
Eline: this name means “pledge of love” in Dutch and is pronounced like Elena. It’s one that you’ll find among other traditionally Dutch girl names such as Lotte, Merel, or Anna – but we’re not mad about it because they all have a delicate edge to them. Plus it has an unforgettable sound when spoken by your little tot!
Saskia: this beautiful gem comes from the Germanic word meaning “holy” which might seem unusual for a baby girl’s name. But lucky us, we get to see how these kids grow up with their older sisters named Merle and Pearl while getting called Sascha after their momma (or papa) when they’re having a little too much fun on the playground.
Elka: this name is also from Dutch origin and means “oak tree,” but it has some major differences to its more popular cousin Abigail! For one thing, people pronounce it like “Alykuh” instead of with an accent (the A) or as if you were saying the word elks. And second – in Holland, there are oaks everywhere so that makes sense!
Keesje: we’ll be honest – this might not stick around for long because it’s been traditionally only given to girls born on Christmas Day. But how cool would it be? You can call her Keesey or Keesie and no one will ever forget her name.
Renske: this is another Dutch girl’s name that also means “oak tree” but it seems to have a slightly different meaning! People say it with an audible “x” sound (almost like Renks or Rezs), which would be pronounced as in the word “ask.” But don’t ask us why, we’re just passing on what people are saying..
Tanja: many of you may know this popular Dutch girl’s name from tennis legend Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, whose given first name was heretofore largely unknown until she became famous for winning two Australian Open titles back to back. Now everyone knows that Arantxa’s given first name is Tanja and it means “dawn.”
Jesse: this popular Dutch girl’s name, which has been used in English for well over a century (probably more), is not often spelled as Jéśe. It can also be found with an accent on the e to distinguish between its pronunciation from that of “Jessica” or even “Jessie,” but either way they are pronounced identically today. So why have we added both pronunciations? Simple! Just because everyone spells her name differently doesn’t mean she should only get one pronunciation; after all there are two ways to spell Jessica too!
Geertrui: you may wonder how coolers it would be to be named after a woman who was the patron saint of cattle farmers and brewers. Well that’s up for debate, but what is certain is that Geertrui sounds like “Gerty” in English.
Anneke: this Dutch girl name literally means “full of grace.” Though it can sound ike an Americanized version of Anna or even Hannah, we spell her name with its original spelling because there are plenty more ways you could go wrong than right if you don’t know how to pronounce it before embarking on pronouncing it incorrectly!
Liesbeth: while many people associate this given female first name with the author Louise Lawrence (better known by her pen name Louisa May Alcott) due to her novel Little Women, it’s actually an old Dutch girl name meaning “God is my oath.”
Geertrui: as we mentioned before, this is the Dutch word for Gerty. It can also be a variation of Georgine and Geraldine. In either case, there are plenty more ways to go wrong than right when pronouncing this given female first name!
Wilhelmina: pronounced vihl uh MIN ah in English, this long time favorite has been borne by queens (Wilhelmina Henriette Louise) and princesses alike. The history behind its use dates back to medieval times with Saint Willibrordus who was sent to proselytize among the pagan population of Saxony.
Johanna: in the Bible, it’s one of two women who found Jesus talking on a mountainside and gave him food when he had been fasting for 40 days after rising from the dead. The other woman was Mary Magdalene. You can see why this Dutch girl name might be popular today!
It could also have come into use as an English interpretation of Juana which is derived from Joan or Joana meaning “God is gracious.” Another possibility is that it comes from John via Johannes meaning “Jehovah has shown grace” with feminine ending -a (or just -e). It may not seem to make much sense but I’m sure there are plenty more theories out there waiting to be explored. – Clara: in the Bible, it’s Latin for “bright, clear.” In English it means “light,” and is translated as “clear” or “unclouded”. It seems to make sense that this Dutch girl name would come from a word which refers to light. And if you’re looking for some more obscure words with similar meanings like clarus (meaning both bright and renowned), they may have also been used by families who wanted girls with strong roots in faith. It could also be derived from Klara meaning high born woman/noblewoman of German origin while other sources say its Old French origins are related to the word claire – meaning fair or beautiful. To top things off there’s