East Frisian first name

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East Frisian names are first names that are common in the East Frisian cultural area . The basis of the East Frisian names are essentially Frisian, Low German, Dutch, High German as well as Biblical and saint names. These names (including the non-Germanic ones) were subjected to an intensive transformation: names were stretched, abraded, shortened, lengthened, vowels were changed, parts of names were recombined; The original names were not lost, but conversely old Germanic names and even parts of names that disappeared outside of East Frisia were preserved. The boundary between male and female names is extremely permeable in East Frisian names; Many short forms are both male and female from the outset, some long forms have become aligned with one another and gender-linked names have been moved by adding an opposite-gender ending or an opposite- gender part of the name . Overall, this resulted in an extraordinary wealth of names; the name researcher Manno Peters Tammena has compiled over 43,000 name forms.

Male names

Some typical male first names are:

In addition to the forms with the conspicuous o-ending, there are those such as, for example

There are also many parallel forms where a name ends in -o or -e:

There are also Frisian variants of names that also occur in German, for example:

as well as low German name forms

  • Hinnerk / Hinrich (Heinrich), Jan (n) (Johann / es), Geert (Gerhard), Marten (Martin) etc.

Female names

There are often diminutive forms of female first names that have become names in their own right:

  • Antje (to Anna), Tri (e) ntje (to Trina = Katharina), Fentje (to Fenna), Gre (e) tje (to Greta), Geske (to Gisela), Wiebke (to Frisian Wiebe or Wieba).

Some typical female names are:

It is also not uncommon to add the ending -chen to common female first names: Annchen, Mariechen, Gretchen

Opposite gender names

A special feature is the formation of names of the opposite sex, that is, male first names that are derived from female, for which the suffix -us, which is probably borrowed from Latin, is often used, or - more often - female, which are formed from male, e.g. B .:

  • (male) Wilko, Antinus, Gretus, Rikus u. a .;
  • (female) Wiemke, Ayeltdine, Berendina, Hindertje, Hinrika, Jakoba , Tjardine / Tjardina, Ubbina u. v. m.

It is also not uncommon for female forms of names to be used in which a full name is given the feminine ending -dine / -dina, e.g. B. Fennedine .

Additions from two different first names

In the 19th century, names formed by coincidence came up in East Frisia . examples are

  • (male) Ahrendbertus, Annebert, Dirkobus, Walsemar
  • (female) Abrahanne, Elisabea, Friedith

The double names common in the German-speaking area , however, were rare in East Frisia.

Name spelling and pronunciation

All names are given here in their official spelling. This also corresponds to the pronunciation in a German-speaking environment. In the East Frisian Platt, the pronunciation differs significantly from this. Names like Onno or Ubbo appear there as "Oen" or "Ueb" (where -oe- and -ue- each represent a long vowel that only exists in German as a short allophone for -o- and -u-), would be Gretje "Gräitje" etc.

Individual evidence

  1. Irma Raveling (1972), page 11f; see also Manno Peters Tammena (2000) on Osebrand , page 29.
  2. (as of 2008); see Manno Peters Tammena (2008), page 13.


  • Manno Peters Tammena, naming in Ostfriesland, SKN Soltau-Kurier-Norden; 1st, edition 2008, ISBN 9783939870593
  • Irma Raveling: The East Frisian first names. Origin, meaning and distribution. Aurich: East Frisian Landscape , 1988³ (1972/1963). ISBN 3-925365-27-3
  • Hinrich Zahrenhusen : The common names in East Friesland, compiled and processed on the basis of Germanic name formation. Reprint of the edition Emden: Heynel, 1939. Vaduz: Sendet Reprint Verlag, 1984. ISBN 3-253-02973-5

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