Dutch Language Blog

What’s up with all the Peters de Vries? Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Culture, News

In 2007, the Dutch radiozender (radio station) 3FM had an idea: Let’s gather as many people with the name “Peter de Vries” as possible and have a little party! Here is what happened.


Het idee

In December, presentator (presenter) Sander de Heer and nieuwslezer (news reader) Peter de Vries of 3FM heard about a record attempt in Wales, where 1220 people with the last name “Jones” gathered. “Dit kunnen we ook in Nederland doen!” (We can do that in the Netherlands, too!), they said, and initially wanted to fill up the Mediapark (media park) in Hilversum, where the radio studio is located, with people named “De Vries”. The nieuwslezer then jokingly said: “Dat lukt ook al met alleen Peter de Vries” (That will already work with only Peter de Vries). And so they decided to invite as many Peters de Vries to Hilversum as possible for a little party on the Nationale Peter de Vries Dag! (National Peter de Vries Day)

De Nationale Peter de Vries Dag

February 10, 2007 was the magical day. From 7:00 am to 12:00 pm, Sander de Heer had his show Het Huis van de Heer (“The House of de Heer”, a pun, as it could also mean “The House of the Lord”). About 100 Peters de Vries registered to come, and 62 showed up. Some of them had a special role. There was a band, for example, consisting only of people with the same name!

Also, there were t-shirts that said “ik heet Peter de Vries” (my name is Peter de Vries) and some that said “ik ook!” (me too!).

En Peter R. de Vries?

Peter R. de Vries in 1995 (Image by De Mol Producties at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0).

Peter R. de Vries, the best known one in the Netherlands, did not show up. The misdaadverslaggever (crime investigative journalist) did not feel like participating in something like it. Come on, Peter! It is a pretty cool thing to be a part of!


What names are extremely common in your country? Have gatherings like this happened there, too? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Michael Brown:

    Peter de Vries may be a common name in the Netherlands. But when I moved to Vancouver BC in 1980, I looked up my name in the telephone book. There were 22 Michael Brown’s listed. There were 5 Michael David Brown’s, and only one Michael David Ernest Brown.That was me!

  2. Peter Simon:

    Dear Sten, a nice post, but to say “as many people with the name “Peter de Vries” and have a little party”, then double it with “as many Peters de Vries to Hilversum for a little party on the Nationale Peter de Vries Dag” is very lame and wrong. Somewhere towards an appropriate place in both sentences you should have inserted something like “… as possible”. Please be more careful with your English.

    To reply to your request for common names, I’d like to submit ‘Szabó’, ‘Kis(s)’ and ‘Nagy’ along with my own surname as probably most frequent family names in my original country (meaning ‘Tailor’, ‘Small’ and ‘Big’ respectively – to find out from which country/language, the reader is requested to do some research). Returning to the Netherlands, my bet would be on ‘de Jong’.

    • Sten:

      @Peter Simon Thanks! Updated that, guess I must have been a bit tired or so 🙂
      I suppose then that your country is Hungary? Interesting that also Simon is such a common last name there!

      And yes, de Jong is super common too. Or Jansen.