What’s in a name in the Netherlands

What’s in a name in the Netherlands

NETHERLANDS: ‘Holland’ still a nickname for the national side Photo credit: CC/Selbst

The sharp-eyed and sharp-eared will have noticed that official announcements during the Euro 2024 football tournament refer to the Netherlands, not Holand.

Although many English-speakers still tend to use either or both of the names without giving the matter much thought, North Holland and South Holland are only two of the Netherlands’ 12 provinces.

It is also true however, that at one point Holland was more dominant as it was once the largest contributor to the overall economy and wealth of the Netherlands.

The country’s formal, official name is now Kingdom of the Netherlands and from January 1, 2020, the Dutch government announced that it would refer to itself only as the Netherlands, and not Holland.

Dutch companies and the Tourist Board followed suit and also agreed to stick to the Netherlands term, together with new logos incorporating the NL letters.

Nevertheless, the Dutch national side, having been referred to as Holland in the course of so many previous championships, is still nicknamed Holland.

In a Reddit discussion centring on the apparent contradiction, one contributor explained that Holland sounded better in chants and songs.

“Hup Holland hup sounds far better than hup Nederland hup,” he said. “Also the word Nederland has a little more serious vibe to it than Holland.”

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.