People's names

Roel Schroeven rschroev_nospam_ml at
Wed Oct 11 10:34:18 CEST 2006

Theerasak Photha schreef:
> On 10/10/06, Piet van Oostrum <piet at> wrote:
>>>>>>> Roel Schroeven <rschroev_nospam_ml at> (RS) wrote:
>>> RS> It's the same here in Belgium. Except that our Van is with a capital V in
>>> RS> most cases; if it's a lower v it either indicates nobility or a Dutch name.
>>> RS> I don't see it as a problem. I prefer having Van Straeten and Van Stralen
>>> RS> next to each other than having them mixed up with names without Van like
>>> RS> this:
>>> RS> Straeten, Van
>>> RS> Straetmans
>>> RS> Stralen, Van
>> In Holland it is sorted without the 'van' 'de' etc.
> Which was my original point in mentioning similar Portuguese names. :)
> BTW, do Dutch/Flemish family names now follow the trend of dropping
> declension, as seen in both languages (dialects?) in general: e.g.,
> 'de' instead of 'der'?

My observation is that in general names keep hanging on to archaic forms 
much longer than normal language. Examples:

- A very common name around here is Hendrickx. In normal language, the 
'ckx' construction is replaced with 'ks'.
- 'Straat' (English: 'street') (or 'straten' in multiple) used to be 
written 'straet' ('straeten'); in names it is still written like that: 
'Verstraeten' is a common name. 'Verstraten' exists too though, but is 
less common I think.

But I can't think of that many names with 'der', so maybe the 
declensions have been dropped already.

If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood
on the shoulders of giants.  -- Isaac Newton

Roel Schroeven

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