Sluisje McSluisface: the lock name that could have been

IJmuiden will soon open what will become the biggest sea lock in the world, bringing major international attention to the Netherlands. But the new lock was in need of a name, so the municipality of Velsen decided to hold a competition for it.

Locals loved the opportunity to offer their two cents, with over 5000 names for the sluis being submitted for consideration. Names like Irma Sluis, the Lock Mother and, naturally, Lock McSluisface poured in, reports RTL Nieuws. But after months of wordplay and excitement, residents of Velsen and people on social media were bitterly disappointed when they learned what the municipality had chosen.

Rather than Sluizenmoeder or Sluisje McSluisface, which clearly would have been lock-tacular, the municipality decided to go with the most basic name ever: Sea Lock IJmuiden. Whoo-peee. 

“Did you need a competition for that?” residents complained. “What a joke.” The name has not only been criticised for its lack of creativity, but the fact that non-Dutch speakers will find it particularly hard to pronounce. This will likely have an effect on the international recognition that it receives.

Perhaps the worst part of the whole show was how the new name was announced, as though it would result in wide applause:

In the video Nienke Bagchus, director of network management at Rijkswaterstaat, thanks the public for all of their creative contributions. Jeroen Verwoort, an alderman of the municipality of Velsen, explains that they narrowed the list down to five names, including Irma Sluis which was all over the news. The council of the mayor and the aldermen of the municipality then made the final choice. 

Verwoort is proud of the fact that the new name, submitted by multiple people, will put IJmuiden on the international map. With Sea Lock IJmuiden? Whatever you say, Verwoort.

 What do you think of the new lock name? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Debot at Dutch Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Emily Burger
Emily grew up in South Africa but has also lived in Egypt, the UK, Canada and now the Netherlands. She first came here for her Bachelors in Arts and Culture at Maastricht University and soon fell in love with the land of canals, clogs and cheese. When she's not daydreaming about sci-fi movies or countries yet to explore, you can find her writing for DutchReview.


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