Ostfriesen First Names Poem

I first encountered this poem while searching the issues of the Ostfriesische Nachrichten for something or other in the 1903 issues. To find a poem comprised entirely of Ostfriesen first names was highly unusual, so I made a copy and transcribed it.

I’ve always loved the sound of the Platt first names–interestingly enough, my great-grandmother’s name of Tjode is not on the list, but most of my other Ostfriesian ancestor’s names are. The name of Uf(f)ke, from which my mother’s maiden name is derived as a patronym is not on the list either, but most others are. My maternal ancestors all hail from Ostfriesland, most from in and around Wiesens, Holtrop, Wrisse, etc.

Any errors in the transcription are mine.

From the 1 September 1903 issue

of the Ostfriesche Nachrichten [Breda, Iowa]

Ostfriesen Names

Men’s Names

Berend, Borjes, Himel,

Tonjes, Dorjes, Ihmel,

Oeke, Eike, Wielf,

Esdert, Gerjet, Stielf,

Untel, Garbrand, Wiebrand,

Ifebrand, Haat, Siebrand.

Evert, Ulfert, Eilert, Klaas,

Luppe, Mehme, Onke, Staas,

Onntje, Tiele, Harm, Tettrino,

Janto, Lubbert, Rickert, Krino,

Geffe, Remier, Dicke, Meimert,

Eielt, Swittert, Swirt, und Weinert.

Pupt und Koert,

Ulpt und Loert,

Jibbe, Jabbe,

Hibbe, Habbe,

Reipert, Focke,

Geike, Ocke,

Koob und Sweert,

Jan und Geerd.

Wirtje, Watje, Woltje, Wene,

Uptet, Eiffe, Henffen, Hene,

Suntje, Jurke, Steffen, Ee,

Silke, Liebte, Engelke, Thee,

Meine, Hootje, Harber, Hedlef,

Sjamme, Lutet, Aalef, Detlef.

Hilfert, Uelert, Ulert, Girk,

Tinnelt, Remert, Lammert, Dirk,

Eicke, Wilcke, Brunte, Weert,

Zobe, Zebe, Ehren, Leert,

Wiebt, Wobias, Wenert, Meus,

Folkert, Frerich, Uidt, Thaleus.

Lutjen, Casjen, Soke,

Melchert, Garrelt, Foke,

Luhre, Ucke, Tamme,

Ubben, Fehde, Mamme,

Ede, Jelde, Onne,

Danje, Eute, Bonne.

Tato, Fiepto, Thilko,

Onno, Otto, Wilko,

Odo, Poppe, Renko,

Jarto, Enno, Menke,

Fieke, Ockje,

Dirtje, Focktje,

Almt, Gertje,

Olligtie, Weertje,

Moderte, Elske,

Jenningtje, Knellste.

Thalke, Sarke, Lamke,

Reenste, Brechtje, Samke,

Eie, Roolfte, Ecke,

Tonna, Wilmke, Becke,

Meemte, Lootje, Lientje,

Jantje, Harmke, Mientje.

Jabbo, Hano, Emme,

Habbo, Nanno, Hemmo,

Jibbo, Dodo, Eicko,

Hibbo, Uno, Henko.

Meiel, Weffel, Ottig, Meine,

Melmer, Bohle, Seven, Heine,

Tebbe, Eiffe, Eve, Ecke,

Hauwe, Weintje, Jellste, Decke.

Jbeling, Eitl, Bemer, Bene,

Folkert, Jellrich, Hinrich, Meme,

Tone, Jilde, Borchert, Fiehe,

Hennsmann, Oltmann, Tard und Hene,

Louth, Cozard, Siefke, Enne,

Julf, Eggo, Remmer, Menne,

Sede, Brune, Freert, Eteus,

Mennte, Mimke, Roolf, Poppen

Women’s Names

Wibke, Wocbke, Wubcke,

Roste, Imte, Lubke,

Swantje, Feentje, Haute,

Geelte, Tiede, Bauke,

Aaltje, Jilfte, Petje,

Tjabbend, Lieste, Gretje.

Bilda, Wea,

Wiemda, Kea,

Thea, Mina,

Hilka, Stina,

Tjalde, Manna,

Truda, Sunna,

Bena, Sina,

Hemke, Tina,

Berenda, Peta,

Lumka, Reta.

Antje, Geske, Gebke, Baufte,

Abte, Tatje, Rante, Aafte,

Hiemke, Hinte, Rerte, Theeste,

Rinnett, Wendel, Engle, Reeste,

Meifte, Jellfte, Greitje, Hientje,

Amke, Anke, Hille, Stientje.

Barber, Sieber, Dever, Hemke,

Bartje, Moder, Meite, Wemke,

Eimde, Lubje, Sieverte, Feike,

Sjante, True, Boke, Jeike,

Bete, Rinne, Betje, Lumke,

Aalfte, Tatje, Infe, Wumke,

Tede, Diene, Elmerich,

————-

I have often used the poem to help me tell whether a first name is a male or female name, although after some years of experience, I am pretty good at name differentiation without having to refer to the poem.

Platt first names are unusual and I’m glad to have the poem as (in some cases), it helps me to get an idea of how a certain name was said.

The author is not listed on the poem.

And as my ancestors used to say, “Eala Frya Fresena.” 

Lever dood as Slaav”

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2 thoughts on “Ostfriesen First Names Poem

  1. Thank u for the poem. This gives me a better in site on different spellings of names. Is it hard 4 u to follow ur family names with the spellings u have? Just find it interesting and I am the curious type.

    • Not too hard in records in Germany. In records in the United States they do often get spelled a variety of ways. Usually those spellings are based upon the way the name sounds, which is why it is important to have an idea of how the name was said.

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