Dutch term – Roepnaam

A roepnaam is a call name.

Roepnamen were often derivatives of the official name. For example, these were the call names of my grandparents:

  • Hendrik Hoitink, known as Henk
  • Gesiena Wilhelmina Woordes, known as Mien, a diminutive of Wilhelmina.
  • Johannes Marijnissen, known as Jan.
  • Catharina Flooren, known as Toos. Catharina was shortened to Cato, which became Toos (pronounced “toes”) in some southern parts of the Netherlands.
two boys showing blackboards with their names

Two boys show their first names. Credits: Tropenmuseum via Open Cultuurdata (CC-BY-SA)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Esther Bos says

    Regarding the Dutch word “roepnaam”: Here in America (Michigan) we call it a “nickname”, not a “call name”.

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