Tag Archives: Names

Astrid: The Story Behind My Name #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the 2018 #AtoZChallenge. This year, I’ll be posting the A to Z of random reflections. For the letter A, I chose my name: Astrid. In this post, I’ll tell the story behind my name.

I was born three months prematurely. At the time I was born, my parents hadn’t yet decided on a name for me. As a result, my hospital bed at first had “Baby Van Woerkom”, Van Woerkom being my last name, on its name tag. My father hated this so much that he quickly came up with a name and that became Astrid.

I am named after Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. As a child, I loved her books. I don’t think Astrid Lindgren is that popular in the English-speaking world, as I can hardly find any English translations of her books.

I don’t have a middle name. Neither does my sister Sigrid, who was named after Norwegian author Sigrid Undset (whose books I don’t know at all). As a teen, I would often give yself a middle name, usually one that was ridiculous combined with Astrid, such as Elena.

My mother says that she at one point entertained the thought of naming me Ulrike. Ulrike Meinhof was a well-known German leftist terrorist and yes, I would’ve been named after her. So glad I wasn’t, as, though I’m left-wing politically, I vehemently oppose violence. My husband jokingly calls me Ulrike sometimes. In the recent local elections, I voted for a leftist whose first name was Ulrike. I had harldly a clue who to vote for and her party came up highest in the voting guide and she was its highest woman on the list.

The name Astrid is derived from Scandinavian “as”, meaning god and “frid”, meaning beautiful. The name became most popular in the Netherlands and Belgium after queen Astrid of Belgium, who was very popular. Nowadays, only a few girls each year are named Astrid.

Do you have an interesting story to tell about your name?