Casefile Clues

19 November 2011

Ostfriesian First Name 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,

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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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Feel free to link to this post. The URL is: http://rootdig.blogspot.com/2011/11/ostfriesian-first-name-poem.html

Please do not just copy and paste the poem.

This transcription is (c) 2011 Michael John Neill