West Frisians (Friesland and Province of Groni...
West Frisian flag; Image via Wikipedia

She’s a Top 20 pick in the Netherlands, and popular in Belgium, too.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I attempted to keep this on the list for both daughters along with Silke and Imke. Only Silke made it to the final round for both. I freaking love that name.

  2. I think you have not transliterated the pronunciation correctly. I would put the stress on the first syllable: FEM-keh

    1. You might be right – I don’t speak Dutch. I listened to interviews with Famke Jannsen, as well as Forvo pronunciations, but there’s often a difference between native speakers and English speakers. (And there are differences in the pronunciations I heard.)

      I think most Americans would try to pronounce it like Zoe or Chloe – FEM kee.

  3. i love seeing some more of frisian names =D. mine (helke) is a pronunciation and spelling headache, but at least i have never ever shared it!

  4. Yay, I said it correctly in my head! Femke is lovely, but I think it would be difficult to pull off if you were lacking sufficient Scandinavian roots, similar to using Etienne without being a bit French. I don’t think the pronunciation issues are too much either.

  5. I can deal with Famke, but there is something about Femke that looks sort of X-rated to me.

  6. We use Maike and Marike as a nickname for Maria, so obviously I love the -ke names… but they feel like nicknames to me. Friederike or Filomena nicknamed Femke, would be lovely.

    (I pronounce it FEM-keh.)

  7. I was getting Janssen mixed up with Franka Potente from Run Lola Run, an actress I wish we’d see more of! I like Silke a lot — how bout that for a NotD?

  8. I actually pronounced this right in my head!! Fem – kuh. It immediately reminded me of Simone Beck ( a friend of Julia Child and co-author of her famous cookbook). Her nn is Simca although she does not spelled it Simke, but I believe the two diminutives have the similar origins.

  9. I’m related to a Famke! She’s 3 and lives in the Netherlands, we have a picture but have never met her. His cousin Joon’s little girl.

    Since I can say Famke properly, Femke doesn’t seem so hard to figure out!

    I have a love of Silke, unusable by me so maybe I should put Femke on the extended list? It’s neat and I really like it!

  10. I think it is cute. Kind of like naming your child an ‘ette’ name.
    I really like the name on Famke Jensson so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on s child.
    I tend to pronounce this as fem-kee and like the spelling Famke better.