What’s in a Name?

Do you love your name? Do you have a name that makes you original? Or do you dislike the fact that you share your name with other people? Are you named after a parent, grandparent, or someone else?

Everyday we hear celebrity names and most of them sound so distinct and beautiful. You don’t hear of many celebrities with frumpy names. But, how many of them were born with their names? Angelina Jolie’s name sounds almost as exotic as she looks, but did you know Jolie is actually her middle name? She dropped her last night (Voight). Somehow, Angelina Voight just doesn’t sound as striking. Tom Cruise did the same thing. His real name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

Winona Ryder has a cool last name. But, did you know Horowitz was the last name she was born with? Sounds like a good writer name, but it’s not exactly a catchy actress name. Ryder came from the musician Mitch Ryder.

What about Demi Moore’s name? That is certainly a unique. Actually, the Demi is short for her birth name, Demetria. The Moore part came from her first husband, Freddie Moore. The last name she was born with is Guynes. Charlie Sheen, nee Carlos Irwin Estevez, adopted his father’s stage name, while brother Emilio decided to keep the family name of Estevez.

Some celebrities adopt cool nicknames. For example, Bono is really Paul Hewson. His guitarist, The Edge, is actually David Howell Evans. Guess The Edge just sounds more rock-n-roll. Kid Rock is really Robert James Ritchie. Bob Ritchie sounds like a guy you would buy a car from, not listen to on the radio.

Here’s a list of more celebs and their birth names:

Alan Alda (Alphonso D’Abruzzo)

Woody Allen (Allan Stewart Konigsberg)

Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz)

Carmen Electra (Tara Leigh Patrick)

Jamie Foxx (Eric Bishop)

Whoopi Goldberg (Caryn Johnson)

Walter Matthau (Walter Matuschanskayasky)

Helen Mirren (Ilynea Lydia Mironoff)

Sigourney Weaver (Susan Alexandra Weaver)

Bruce Willis (Walter Willison)

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Libby Pelham

About Libby Pelham

I have always loved to write and Families.com gives me the opportunity to share my passion for writing with others. I work full-time as a web developer at UTHSC and most of my other time is spent with my son (born 2004). I love everything pop culture, but also enjoy writing about green living (it has opened my eyes to many things!) and health (got to worry about that as you get older!).