She’s a Rich Girl

Amy recently posted a link to an interesting map about names in the Netherlands, particularly the regional differences. It’s fascinating to see the tendencies toward certain names depending on the location, but I was particularly interested in (and amused by) the naming tendencies here in Utrecht.

Red areas would seem to coincide with affluence (or at least elitism), for the first names prevalent here are associated with socio-culturally prominent groups. These names, prominent in and around Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Haarlem among other places, are often Old Testament-y (Daniel, Sarah) come from nature (Luna), or might be French (Stéphanie, Olivier).

Thank goodness my Luna will fit right in here! Poor Lola and Pippo. I hope they don’t get teased in the schoolyard!

Luna living up to her rich-girl name:
Elegance

Lola and Pippo, the buitenlanders:
Sit Anywhere

Random Filler

No, I haven’t gone anywhere for the holidays; I’m just not doing much of interest, other than playing with my new Wii and rewatching the first season of Highlander: The Series (which is so incredibly bad, but I still love the series). Highlander actually ties in with the post I’ve decided to do, though, in a roundabout way.

Recently, amy in .nl reposted this information from The Dutchables:

Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States from 1837 to 1841.

He was the first president who was not of British descent—his ancestry was Dutch. He was the first president to be born an American citizen (his predecessors were born British subjects before the American Revolution), and is also the only president not to have spoken English as a first language, having grown up speaking Dutch.

It’s interesting in and of itself, but also ties in to something I’ve been noticing more and more recently. Before moving to the Netherlands, I realize I didn’t recognize Dutch names (or at least names with a Dutch origin). Take Van Buren; it had never occurred to me that his name was Dutch. To be honest, it wasn’t something I really thought about much, either. Still, I’m now starting to notice all of the Dutch/Belgian names that seem to pop up everywhere.

This is where I tie in my viewing of Highlander. The main actress in the first season was Alexandra Vandernoot. When I saw the name, it clicked immediately that it was a Dutch kind of name. A quick Google, and I found out she’s actually a Belgian actress. A-ha! (No, no, they’re Norwegian. I just meant the exclamation, not the band.)

So yes, that’s it. My random thought for the day. You didn’t expect a post of real quality during the holidays, did you? Silly reader. 😉 So, to my fellow non-Dutch, any names or other things that you didn’t realize were Dutch until you became more aware of all things Dutch?

Fun With Names

We went to the Potdeksel last night to watch the first FC Utrecht match of the season. That was when I discovered that we have a player whose name is Ricky van Wolfswinkel. Such a fantastic last name! It basically translates to Wolf Store; I can only imagine what his ancestors must have done for a living.

He ended up scoring the winning goal last night, in the third minute, no less. FC Utrecht won the match against RKC Waalwijk 1-0, so for the moment, at least, we’re at the top of the Eredivisie (first division).