The Blog of Funny Names is a huge fan of the Netherlands. It’s not just their many fantastic feats like inventing gin, being the tallest people in the world on average, or their many, shall we say, “do what you want” type legal practices. No, what we most like about the Netherlands around here are their fantastic names. We’ve covered many, and we will cover many more.
Which brings us to today’s subject, Godfried van Voorst tot Voorst Jr. Full name Jan Joseph Godfried Baron van Voorst tot Voorst.
Yep, that’s a mouthful. Imagine spelling that to the DMV’s infernal robot phone “assistance” provider. Just the voorst.
Mr. Van Voorst tot Voorst was a very notable Dutch military figure from the early 1900s all the way up to the second World War. Born just after Christmas in 1880 to Jan Joseph Godfried van Voorst tot Voorst Snr, who was the President of the Senate at the time (I imagine their roll call took a good while), and the lovely Anna Cremers, who may or may not have been the daughter of a great dairy family.
Godfried Sr. also had a taste for wonderful names, marrying as his first wife the amazing Octavia Ottine van Nispen tot Pannerden. His second wife, whose name was also nice an long, was the daughter of the Dutch Prime Minister Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck, further cementing his awesome name credentials (as if that was at all necessary for the van Voorst to Voorst clan).
van Voorst to Voorst Jr went on to a distinguished military career, publishing numerous books on military strategy and politics, becoming a very influential figure in the country between the wars, and becoming a boon to lazy journalists who could reach their required word counts just by writing his name two or three times.
His influence is still seen today, at least in our eyes, in the continuing popularity of great names in the Netherlands. With Fedde, Cornelis, Gijs, Floor, and Guusje all in the top 100 most popular names given to Dutch boys and girls today, I think we can keep counting on this jewel of European naming to provide fodder for our blog for years to come.