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Imke is a unisex given name, just like Ime is. Yes, it is much more commonly found on females than on males, but still. In the Netherlands, there are over a hundred male bearers, most of which come from the province of Friesland (or West Frisia, if you will). It could be that this is strictly limited to West Frisia though, as I see no evidence of the name being used as a masculine name outside of West Frisia.
With that said, Imke is also a Low German given name (and a strictly feminine one at that), where the etymology is the same.
Last but not least, there are many variant forms and spellings of Imke. I will list some of them below, grouped by gender.
- Strictly masculine: Iemco, Iemko, Imco, Imko, Ymco and Ymko.
- Strictly feminine: Iemka, Imca, Imka, Ymca, Ymcka and Ymka.
- Unisex (though usually more often seen on females than on males): Iemcke, Iemke, Imcke, Ymcke and Ymke.
(in Dutch; shows that the name is unisex)
(in German; mentions that the name is feminine and of Frisian origin)
(in Low German; mentions that the name is feminine and of Low German origin)
- page 68 of the book "Fryske foarnammen / Friese voornamen" written by Rienk de Haan (mentions that the name is unisex)
- see page 184 of "Friesche Naamlijst (Onomasticon Frisicum)" written by Johan Winkler (in 1898):
(in somewhat archaic Dutch) and
(in Dutch; click on the red-coloured word "document" in order to download the PDF-file)
- "Rufnamen auf den Inseln Föhr, Amrum und Sylt von ca. 1600 bis 1900" (weiblich):
(lists only bearers living in Germany)
(lists only bearers living in the Netherlands).
Pronounced IM-kə. [noted -ed]
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