List of Dutch family names

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Dutch family names were not required until 1811 when emperor Napoleon had annexed the Netherlands,[1] prior to 1811, the use of patronymics was much more common.

In Dutch linguistics, many names use certain qualifying words (prepositions) which are positioned between a person's given name and their surname. Although these words, tussenvoegsels, are not strictly essential to state the person's surname, they are nevertheless a part of the surname and are almost always included for clarity. For example, someone whose family name is "De Vries" is not found at the letter "D" in the telephone directory but at "V;" the "de" is a tussenvoegsel and is not a part of the indexing process but rather is more of a stylistic qualifier. Another reason for this methodology is that it makes finding someone's name in a database relatively easy, since most Dutch prepositions start with the same letter (and thus if the prepositions led, there would be constant superfluous data entry to arrive at the desired name.) In the Netherlands, the tussenvoegsel is written with a capital letter if no name precedes it. For example:

See also the main Dutch surnames section.

Funny or silly Dutch surnames[edit]

It is a myth[2] that, since many Dutch people thought the annexation (and thus, the convention of using surnames) would only be temporary, some deliberately chose confusing or comical names. These family names were either existing patronymics or derived from professions, towns, nicknames or aliases. However, these silly names are held by a minority, much like writing "Cake" on the religion question on a census sheet.

Dutch surnameExplanationEnglish
De Keizerprobably a wordplay on emperor Napoleon when people came to register their name; Who are you? I'm the emperor.Lit. "emperor".
Rotmensenrot, adjective meaning "rotten" + mensen "people"[citation needed]Lit. "rotten people".
Poepjespoep, noun meaning "poo/feces", + jes plural diminutive

More likely; patronymic of Poppo; Poppo's son --> poppos' --> poepjes

Lit. "excrement; poopie".
Piestpiest, third-person singular form of the verb piesen meaning "to urinate/to piss"[citation needed](He/She/It) "pisses/urinates"
Naaktgeborennaakt, adjective meaning "naked", + geboren meaning "born"

More likely; from Germanic Nachgeboren, born after, equivalent of Posthumous, meaning born after the death of the father.

Lit. "born naked"
Zeldenthuiszelden, adverb meaning "seldom", + thuis meaning "at home"[citation needed]Lit. "seldom at home"

List of Dutch surnames[edit]

This list will be sorted per the above criteria, with the tussenvoegsel following the name after a comma. Meanings are provided where known. "van der" is abbreviated "vd".


  1. ^ Schulze, Lorine McGinnis (2008-03-04). "Dutch Patronymics of the 1600s". New Netherland, New York Genealogy. Olive Tree Genealogy. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  2. ^ Leendert Brouwer: "Respons", Mededelingen van het Meertens Instituut 8, 2006.
  3. ^