Unisex Names: (Dutch/Frisian) Jente


The unisex name of the month comes to you from the Netherlands and Flanders, brought to you by the letter J. It’s Jente.


According to long-time BtN contributor Lucille, Jente is a variant of Jenne¹, which, in turn, is the masculine and feminine shortened form of Johannes (a form of John¹).

Jente is pronounced YEN-tə¹ (ə as in the ‘a’ in about).


Until the turn of the 21st century in the Netherlands, Jente was a rare name to have, so it does equate to Jente being (sort of) unisex at the time. In the 2000s, this name began to rise into the top 500 (mainly for girls). Using data from the Meertens Institute², the graphs below show how Jente fared in the 2000s:


For the 2014 total, 1,258 females and 394 males bear Jente as a first name, giving Jente an overall gender preference of 76.15% on the feminine side.

Turning attention now to Flanders in Belgium and it is a completely different story. Using data from Statistics Belgium³:

1995-2014 Peak Gender preference
Boys 717 59 (1997) 57.41% masculine
Girls 532 34 (1997, ’04 & ’06)

As you can tell, the gender preference in Flanders is more mixed than the one in the Netherlands, yet leans just slightly towards the masculine side.

That’s the unisex name of the month. As you may notice, this post is shorter than most other ones (I couldn’t find any interesting information to add to this post), so I do apologise for that. You can, of course, leave your thoughts about this name and/or this post on the comments section below the sources.

Behind the Name – Lucille’s Jente and Jenne¹ & Mike Campbell’s Johannes¹
Meertens Institute – https://www.meertens.knaw.nl/nvb/ (in Dutch)²
Statistics Belgium – http://statbel.fgov.be/nl/statistieken/cijfers/bevolking/namen/ (in Dutch)³

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