In our report 'Babynames - Which name do you choose?' we give extensive information and tips on the choice of the name for your child. But what is the history of the baby name? Which trends are there? And what were the most popular names in the Middle Ages, for example? We have collected the best facts and facts for you. Just because it's fun.
In Germanic times the names Geertruida, Adelbert and Hildegond were very popular. You should not think about it anymore, but in those days these names were absolutely hip. In the Middle Ages there was a new trend, namely to name children after Biblical figures, such as Mary and John.
In the Middle Ages there was still much use to name children after ancestors, so that the older names used, were still in force. It was very common to name your children after grandfather or grandmother.
It was only after the Second World War that this tradition was broken. The name of grandfather or grandmother was still used, but rather as a second or third name. After the Second World War more foreign names were used, for example English and French names.
In 1880 the top three of boy names was formed by Johannes, Jan and Cornelis. Among the girls it was the names: Maria, Johanna and Anna.
50 years ago
Some 50 years ago the names had not changed much. Both the top three boys and girls were still identical to the previous period. The change actually takes place after 1966. The name Anna makes room for Monique and from 1968 Cornelis makes room for Robert.
The current trend consists of giving short, powerful names. Think for example of Daan, Sem, Anna or Tess. Name experts, however, expect more and more special names, which we have not heard of until now.
Sometimes the media can play an important role in the choice of a name, but this is not always demonstrable with numbers. Usually in our current society the popularity of a name is limited to only one generation, although there are certainly and will remain. The name Jan, for example, has been doing well for centuries and will undoubtedly continue to be used for a long time.
Even in our small little country, every province has its own popular names. There are definitely differences, but you certainly see a number of names that are popular in different provinces. However, you see the similarity of preference for the use of short names.
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No, not everything is allowed. There is literally in the law:
'The registrar of civil status refuses to include forenames in the birth certificate that are inappropriate or correspond to existing gender names unless these are also customary forenames.'
Well, of course you can do it in any direction. For example, Emile Ratelband has tried to name his daughter Rolls Royce and even Tsjakkalotje. The civil status has put a stop to this. On the other hand, the name Smiley is well approved.
There has also been a legal procedure concerning the name 'Miracle of Love'. The registrar of the civil registry, rejected the name. After a legal procedure the name could be used, only with connecting lines 'Miracle-of-Love.' Why this was allowed in relation to the name without dashes, is not entirely clear to us.
List of denied names
Not only Emile Ratelband could come up with a new name for his daughter, after 1970 more names were refused. For instance:
Servant of God
There are also names that were refused in the first instance, but were later approved, such as:
Before 1970 many more names were refused, names that are now quite normal for us. Think for example: Denis, Colinda, Loaraine, Joey, Glenn and Kitty. So you see that through the course of the years there is a lot of movement in the acceptance of a certain name.
Names and meaning
Most names have long since lost their meaning. If you really want to know, you have to go back to the moment of origin of that name. At that stage, the name still had a transparent relationship with the language. Some names are still recognizable. Consider, for example, Karel (looks like a guy) and Koen (we still know that word, although it is not used that often), but other names have been completely adapted and changed over time, so that the real meaning is still but it is difficult to figure out.
Besides the Germanic names there are also many first names from Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Especially the biblical names originate in this. Many derived names of these saints are still used. Consider, for example, Johannes-Jan and Petrus-Pieter.