Origin and meaning of ZEEF

We received several emails with the question “what is the meaning of zeef and why did you choose this name?” 

200px-ZeefActually it is quite simple… Remember when you were young and were playing in the sand with your friends? When you wanted to play in the sand without all the rubbish like little rocks, plastic cups and twigs, you would get a sieve and start sieving the sand. After sieving the sand the only thing that’s left is high quality sand. That was great, because now you could enjoy playing in the sand without the pain of all the rubbish.


zeefWe believe the same can be done with ‘The World’s Information’. In 2012, there were 641 million websites (source Pingdom). Imagine that the high quality websites are the sand grains and the low quality websites the little rocks, plastic cups and twigs. When looking for products and services online, wouldn’t it be great if you could sieve out the high quality websites and leave out the bad websites? Also imagine that the person sieving this information is a person with passion for the product or service you are looking for. This would mean you will find information through the passion of experts.

And the best thing is… everybody can apply to be an expert. After being accepted to ZEEF you can start sieving your own subject of which you are passionated about. So when people are looking for a product or service they will have multiple experts to choose from. The competition between the experts will eventually increase the quality of the information.

“We filter the web with the passion of experts, to help people find the most useful information and the best products and services.”  

But why is it called ‘ZEEF’ and not ‘Sieve’?

The origin of the word ‘Sieve’  comes from the Dutch word ‘Zeef’ and the German word ‘Sieb’. Before 900; Middle English sive, Old English sife;  cognate with Dutch zeef, German Sieb;  akin to sift (source dictionary reference).  So literally the meaning of sieve is:

“Sieve (zeef) an instrument with a meshed or perforated bottom, used for separating coarse from fine parts of loose matter, for straining liquids, etc., especially one with a circular frame and fine meshes or perforations.”

Since we are proud of being a Dutch company, we obviously decided to choose the Dutch word ‘ZEEF’ for our company.


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