Dutch-Colonies-L ArchivesArchiver > Dutch-Colonies > 1999-10 > 0941297454
From: "Carma M. Brown" <>
Subject: Concerning the use of diminutive names for grown people
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 99 09:30:54 -0600
Cor, Willem, Dorothy, Lorine and others,
This query is not of the greatest import, but I thought
you might shed some light on the subject, if you would
On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 Steve at
wrote to the New Jersey/Monmouth list
concerning current common names
> I, too, appreciated your posting about the Dutch names.
> Your comments about the diminutives made that
> practice very clear. It reminded me of a question
> that I've had for a while. If an American kid is called
> "Dickie," he will eventually insist on being called "Dick,"
> or "Richard." In most cases, his birth certificate, and
> so forth, will show his given name as "Richard."
> With the Dutch, we often see the diminutive nickname
> used, e.g. "Jannetje," giving the impression that that
> name was used on records, and into adulthood. In most
> cases, the Dutch person would say the name, and someone
> else would write it down. So, I think it's possible that
> genealogists see a name written some time during
> infancy, and use that as the name, even for the adult.
> However, wouldn't an adult have used the adult form of
> the name?
I wish that I were more expert in answering this question,
but I have limited experiences with spoken Dutch. The
one comment that I can safely make is that I have noticed
in reading books written by Dutch people that the Dutch
are great on nicknames and shortened forms of names
in everyday usages. Thus "Cornelius" is "Cor", "Cornelia"
is "Nel", etc. But, none of this is unusual for us English-
speaking people either.
In the Van Patten family history we have an example of
a woman "Caatje" or "little Kate" being called that at the
time of marriage and throughout her life. I gather that for
her it was a term of endearment. But, I imagine that using
a more "grown up" name, a nick name, or a diminutive name
depended on the family or the person, or perhaps even the
Just for fun and clarification I am going to pass your query
on to a few people much more expert than I.
YOU are the "more expert" people that I refer to! Would
you care to reply? The Monmouth, NJ list address and
Steve's address are listed above.
Thank you and Best Wishes,
|Concerning the use of diminutive names for grown people by "Carma M. Brown" <>|