Eric Van Lustbader: Mr. Lustbader or Mr. Van Lustbader?

I just read a book by Eric Van Lustbader and I got to wondering: If I meet him do I address him as Mr. Lustbader or Mr. Van Lustbader? (I would have guessed the latter.)

The “Van” is almost always part of the surname, so you address him as “Mr. Van Lustbader.” (Or, “Hey you,” depending on your mood.)

I’ve seen books by him that were listed as being by Eric Lustbader. I mean, there can’t be two guys with such similar names writing books about such similar subjects, right?

So my guess is that he’s fine with Mr. Lustbader, but prefers the Mr. Van Lustbader.

Agreed. I am sure it is the same guy.

My apologies though. I guess I’m using a specific example to ask about a general rule. Mr. Van Helsing? Mr Helsing?

Guys named “Von” always threw me for a loop. “Von Hayes (80’s baseball player) hit his first major league home run today.” Yeah, so what’s his first name-something like “Vladimir von Hayes?”

(BTW, are “van” and “von” the same word spelled different ways? Two different words in the same language? Two different words from two different languages? Er wut?


Van is Dutch and Von is German, both meaning “from”. Same as “de” in Spanish or French, “di” in Italian, etc.

Someone more knowledgeable about dialects might be able to say if Van is also Low German (which I suspect it is).

Von is his first name. His full name is Von Francis Hayes.

And Van Johnson’s first name is Charles. But Van is his middle name not part of his surname. His parents’ name was Johnson with no Van.

(Edited to reflect that Mr Johnson is not yet to be spoken of in the past tense. Sorry about that, Van.)

Then there is always Van Morrison!

Yeah, what’s with people whose middle names just have “van” in them going by “Van”? See also Van Cliburn.

Would’nt it be

Eric van Lustbader not Eric Van Lustbader?

Yes, it is written that way in the original Dutch, but these things often change when the name holder moves to the US (or some other non-Dutch speaking country). In fact, we often see the “van” merged into the the part of the name following it-- Vendenberg was almost certainly van den Berg (of the mountain) at one point.

Maybe. ::shrug:: I went with what was online via Amazon.

If I were an expert on such things I wouldn’t have had to come and ask questions.

And Hertz Van Rental.

Eric Van Lustbader (he dropped his middle name, Van for several years due to a confusion about his last name) was born and raised in Greenwich Village.

There you go. He’s not one of those Dutch Van Lustbader’s, but rather a plain old Lustbader who happens to have the confusing middle name Van.

Come to think of it, “Lustbader” doesn’t look Dutch. German, maybe, but not Dutch.

Okay - so Mr. Lustbader is a bad example.

However, as stated above the rule is:

Linus van Pelt is Mr. van Pelt, my next door neighbor when I was little was Mr. Van Vleet, and my Father in law is Mr. Di Sorbo. (However, his first cousin in Naples is Mr. di Sorbo.)

Thank you for addressing the *intent *of the question.

And let’s not forget that noted entertainer, Penis Van Lesbian.

Oh, that was totally worth my $15. Thanks!!