First Name: Leonieke

I was named for my godfather Leo, but growing up I never met anyone who shared my first name. Never could I buy novelty items imprinted with my first name, because they never carried any with my name. It was not until my teens when I met someone with the same first name as me, at school where we had a temporary PE teacher also called Leonieke. I can remember when she introduced herself, I was all surprised, and when it was our class’ turn to say our names, the temp teacher was surprised as well, as she also did not meet many people with our name.

Later on, at university I remember that my housemate told me she knew someone named Leonieke.

A few years ago, the dutch research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Meertens Institute, published a database of first names recorded in the Netherlands. And as you do, you search for your own name first!

Meertens Instituut - Leonieke

Meertens Instituut - Voornamen database - Leonieke - verspreiding in Nederland

Meertens Instituut – Voornamen database – Leonieke – geographical visualisation

A dutch news site (RTL News) published an article on the most popular first names for 2012. Lo and behold, my name has been used this year: once!

leonieke - keuze 2012

While I appreciate the fact that my name is fairly unique, I do wish more people would use it, as it is a wonderful name.

If I say so myself :-)