Bezige Bij (bezigebij) wrote in namingnames,
Bezige Bij
bezigebij
namingnames

Opinions and ideas, please!

Come spring we've decided to stop actively preventing pregnancy and see where nature takes us. This has, as you might expect, caused us to chat more frequently about potential kids and the choices we would like to make regarding them. Names are a part of this. :)

What complicates things a bit for us is that we have two languages to contest with (and of course two cultures with different feelings regarding names). We want a name that is easy to pronounce in both Dutch and English. It can be very obviously a Dutch name or in some circumstances an English name. However, we are a bit more hesitant about the latter because certain English names sound trashy here because people who watch a lot of soap operas wind up naming their children things like Michael, Kevin, Kimberly and Jennifer.

Also we tend to like simple names that are obviously names, though not too common. Alliteration doesn't appeal to me and the last name is Neessen (Nay-sen), so no "N" names. Also I would like to avoid names too similar to our names - Dirk Johannes and Carrie Beth (both my names are difficult for Dutch people to pronounce, especially Beth as the "th" sound doesn't exist in the language).

My inclination for a middle name is to use one of my parents names (respectively Carl and Lynn) because they are nice, simple names and I know my parents would be pleased. Johannes (my husband's middle name) and Peter (my fil's name and pronounced Pay-tare) are also contenders. I like Petra as a middle name, just not with the names we've chosen. My mil's name Gertrude (with the awful guttoral Dutch g) and variation thereof such as her nickname Truus, are NOT options. Sorry. However, I am open to other suggestions.

The names on the top of our list right now are:

Girls:
Femke
Prounounced Fem-kuh, the "ke" or "je" on the end of a name in Dutch is diminutive. The name is dervied from Femme which means "famous protecter". I like that is sounds so, well, feminine.

Maya
This is neither a Dutch or an English name, but is fairly common in both countries. I have noticed that it is increasing in popularity, and this makes me hesitant.

Boys:
Thijs

Rhymes with "nice" but the ij sound is longer. This is a fairly classic Dutch name.

Ben
This is more an English name than a Dutch name, but you hear it here as well. My hesitation regarding this name is that "ben" is also a verb meaning "am". So if you were to say "I am Ben." you would say "Ik ben Ben." However, I know about 3 Bens here one who is 50 something and two who are in there late 20's early 30's. Still, I heard so many "Carrie carry this" jokes as a kid that I just don't know.


Other names that I like but that are ruled out because they are either pronounced differently, unpronouncable or have a strange connotation in Dutch are:
Seth
Adam
David
Kate

I'm very curious what you guys think.

X-posted in baby_names.
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I can't say much for how a Dutch person would react to these names, but the more "normal" ones in English would definitely be Maya and Ben. Thijs will be a bit of a pronunciation issue, I fear, but I like it a lot. Femke would not have the pronunciation issues, and would clearly reflect Dutch-ness, which I think gives it a slight advantage over Maya. It's far less popular, as you mentioned, whichi s also a plus. I LOVE Peter prn. pay-tare, though. That would be difficult to use as a first name, as it would be pronounced two different ways in the two different languages... but it's a fabulous name.
Thanks for your feedback. :)
I agree about Peter; I really like it, but names that are prounounced differently in the two languages are ruled out as first names.

I am leaning more towards Femke than Maya, but, you know, it's always good to have a back-up. I could have twins or something. :) I knew a girl when I was younger named Maya and she was just so beautiful and lovely. This has caused me to always like the name.