Bright Side
Bright Side

15 Celebrities Who Got Their First Name for a Reason

Oftentimes, expectant parents can’t decide what name to choose for their future baby. Some study lists of popular names, while others decide to name their child after a family member or a famous person who has contributed a lot to the development of humanity.

At Bright Side, we examined the biographies of celebrities and found the stories that stand behind their names. In the bonus section, we’ll explain the meaning of 2 celebrities’ exotic names.

Leonardo DiCaprio — Leonardo da Vinci

DiCaprio’s mother Irmelin, then pregnant with him, was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy. At this moment, she felt her baby kick, and she and her husband, DiCaprio’s dad, decided to name their future son Leonardo.

Uma Thurman — Goddess Uma

As a child, Uma was teased for her unusual name. But actually, she was named after the Hindu goddess of love, beauty, and harmony Parvati, one of whose names is Uma. And it’s no surprise because Uma’s father Robert Thurman used to be the expert in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies.

Selena Gomez — singer Selena Quintanilla

The actress and singer was named after singer Selena Quintanilla who was very popular in the 1990s. Quintanilla is one of the greatest female Latin artists of all time.

Keira Knightley — figure skater Kira Ivanova

The name was chosen by Keira’s father who saw Russian figure skater Kira Ivanova on TV and liked her immediately. However, her mother misspelled her name when she went to register Keira’s birth, so she received the very unusual name — Keira.

Sebastian Stan — Johann Sebastian Bach

Pianist Georgeta Orlovschi, the mother of the actor who became famous thanks to his role as Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, named her son after German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Scarlett Johansson — Scarlett O’Hara

The Hollywood actress was named after the entrepreneurial and feisty Scarlett O’Hara, the main heroine of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.

Jude Law — the Beatles song Hey Jude

The actor’s parents named him after the character of the Beatles song Hey Jude, as well as after the main character of Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure — a stonemason from a small town who had a difficult life.

Winona Ryder — a city in Minnesota

Sometimes streets and cities are named after famous people, but Winona Ryder’s case was different. She was born in Olmsted, Minnesota, and was named after the nearby city Winona. By the way, Winona’s parents named her younger brother after the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

Thora Birch — God Thor

Thora Birch, who many of us know by her child roles in Hocus Pocus and American Beauty, was named by her parents after the Norse god of thunder and lightning, Thor.

Halle Berry — a department store

Halle Berry was named after Halle’s Department Store. It was open from 1891 until 1982 in the actress’s native city of Cleveland, Ohio, and used to be a local landmark.

Macaulay Carson Culkin — historian Thomas Babington Macaulay

The actor, who everyone knows by his role in the Christmas comedy Home Alone, was named after British historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay. While his second name was given to honor American frontiersman Kit Carson.

Anne Hathaway — William Shakespeare’s wife

The actress was named after English poet and playwright William Shakespeare’s wife, whose last name before marriage was Hathaway.

Taylor Swift — musician James Taylor

Taylor was named after the male singer and songwriter James Taylor. In 2011, both singers performed together on stage at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Kit Harington — poet Christopher Marlowe

Kit Harington’s full name is Christopher Catesby Harington. The actor’s mother named him after Christopher Marlowe, an English playwright and poet of the Elizabethan era. It’s interesting that Kit didn’t know his full name until the age of 11.

Bindi Sue Irwin (Steve Irwin’s daughter) — a crocodile named Bindi

The famous Australian wildlife expert named his only daughter after his favorite female crocodile, Bindi. While for her middle name, she got to honor the family’s dog, Sue.

Bonus 1: Zendaya means “to give thanks” in the language of the Shona people.

The name of the popular actress and singer known for her role in the Spider-Man films was chosen by her father. Her name Zendaya is inspired by the Shona word “tendai,” which means “to give thanks.” According to the actress, her father is fond of the letter Z, so he changed the word slightly.

Bonus 2: Keanu means “cool breeze over the mountain” in Hawaiian.

The actor, who has multicultural ancestry, has a name that means “cool breeze over the mountain” in Hawaiian.

Do you know who you were named after? Tell us in the comments below.

Got some cool photos or stories and want to be featured on Bright Side? Send them all right HERE and right now. Meanwhile, we’re waiting!

Bright Side/People/15 Celebrities Who Got Their First Name for a Reason
Share This Article