When choosing a baby name, meaning is becoming increasingly important to us these days. Because how beautiful it is to be able to tell that the first name of your child means 'miracle', for example. But where do these meanings actually come from? These go hand in hand with the history of names. In this blog we explain how this works exactly and we give you some nice examples. Who knows, you might spot your ultimate baby name!
The origin of names
The origin and meaning of names most likely date back to prehistoric times. However, our knowledge does not go back that far. We can tell you about Germanic names. Because long ago, when people found gods in nature instead of in the church, we gave our children Germanic baby names. These names were often a combination of two name tribes, which said something about the sex of the child. Examples of Germanic names are Adelbert and Gertrud.
The role of faith
From the twelfth century we see that Germanic names were replaced by names of saints. This was due to the influence of the church. The saint after whom the baby was named would protect him or her. Also, by using a holy name, the connection with the church and God was clear.
But even today we still see many influences of faith in our baby names. For example, Naomi and Seth are Hebrew names. But we also see a lot of Biblical baby names and Islamic names nowadays. Chances are you know someone named Nora, Soufian or Yara.
Baby names with a wish as meaning
Later the role of the church became less important, but giving the name was seen as the wish that you give your child. This is the moment in the history of names when the meaning of a name became more important. Examples of baby names with a beautiful wish are:
- Sophia: may this child have wisdom
- Max: may this child become the greatest
- Anna: may this child be blessed and lovely
- Milan: may this child be sweet and be glory
In the past, naming children was also a tradition and that played a major role in choosing a name. Often these were names of ancestors and other relatives. For this reason, some names were very common. For example, think of John or Mary. Over the years, smoother variations have been devised. So some names that are popular right now are essentially hundreds of years old.
After the war, naming babies after relatives became less and less popular. People came into contact with people (and therefore also names) from other countries. This ensured that more and more international baby names were used. And certainly in 2021 we use names with origins other than Dutch en masse.
In addition to the traditional Dutch names and the International names, the Frisian names also show an upward trend, and not just in Friesland! So don't be surprised if you soon come across little ones in your area who are called Duuk, Oele or Fedde (which means peace).
History of names: corruption
Naming children is not just a tradition from the history of names. We still maintain this tradition today. But we often give the name a hip twist. As a result, names have been corrupted over the years and you will be amazed at what names some of today's baby names are derived from.
Did you know that this name is derived from Maria?
Many girl names are a corruption of the beautiful Biblical name Maria. You can recognize the names by their meaning, because that often remains intact. Names derived from Mary often have a meaning similar to 'sea' or 'bitterness'.Examples of names are Mare, Marije, Maaike (yesss, it's me!) and Manon
Modern name derived from Johannes
Johannes is the source of many modern Dutch boy names. This name also has a really strong Biblical meaning, which is “God is gracious.” A super popular name derived from Johannes is Shane. But also Sean, John, Ivan and Jens are corruptions.
** Inspired by babynamen.nl **.