Whence vrouwstraat?

Wed. 03 Nov 2010. 7:43 am

After going through Flavia Maria Poelman’s birth certificate I wanted to find out more about the area where Flavia was born.

On the birth certificate it says Flavia is born at the home of her mother on “vrouwstraat” in Ghent. So can we find it? Good thing we have the internet and Google maps huh?

Well guess what? I could not find a “vrouwstraat” on the maps.

But what is strange is Google keeps finding a “Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat” – and in several locations in Flanders not just Ghent. Not only are there additional words but I notice the variation of “Vrouwe” Again back to Google translate and I come up with this:

  • onze = our
  • Onze = Our
  • lieve= dear
  • Lieve = Dear

And then

  • vrouw = Women
  • Vrouw = Female


  • vrouwe = lady
  • Vrouwe = Lady

Ok that was sort of easy…but notice how capitalzing “vrouw” to “Vrouw” completely changes the word from “Women” to “Female” in English?

Alright I suppose the loose translation for “Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat” could be “Our Dear Lady Street” or “Our Lady Street”; but what does that mean? Sounds like this has some sort of religious connotations to me, so back to Google.

And I thought this was going to be a simple and straight-forward post!


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