Have you ever wondered why some celebrities have names that sound like they are reversed? Well, it turns out that many stars have forenames that are more commonly used as surnames, and vice versa.
This trend of using last names as first names has been growing in popularity for both boys and girls over the past few decades, and is especially popular among gender-neutral names. Some of these names are inherited from family members, while others are chosen for their unique or stylish appeal.
But how many of these stars do you know, and what’s the meaning behind their names? Here are some of the most famous examples of celebrities with surnames as first names.
- Angelina Jolie: The Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian has one of the most recognizable surnames as a first name. Jolie is a French word meaning “pretty” or “lovely”, and was originally her middle name. She dropped her birth surname, Voight, after a long estrangement from her father, actor Jon Voight.
- David Beckham: The soccer legend and style icon has a first name that is also a common English surname. Beckham is derived from a place name meaning “homestead by the stream” in Old English. His wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, also has a surname as a first name, as Victoria is a Latin name meaning “victory”.
- Nicole Kidman: The Hollywood star and producer has a first name that is also a French surname. Nicole is the feminine form of Nicolas, which comes from the Greek name Nikolaos, meaning “victory of the people”. Kidman’s husband, country singer Keith Urban, also has a surname as a first name, as Urban is a Latin name meaning “from the city”.
- Ryan Reynolds: The Deadpool actor and funnyman has a first name that is also an Irish surname. Ryan is derived from an Irish Gaelic name meaning “little king” or “descendant of Rian”. His wife, actress Blake Lively, also has a surname as a first name, as Blake is an English name meaning “dark” or “fair”.
- Reese Witherspoon: The Legally Blonde star and producer has a first name that is also a Welsh surname. Reese is a variant of Rhys, which means “enthusiasm” or “ardor” in Welsh. Her surname, Witherspoon, is also interesting, as it comes from a Scottish place name meaning “enclosure by the bend”.
- Drew Barrymore: The Charlie’s Angels star and entrepreneur has a first name that is also an English surname. Drew is a shortened form of Andrew, which comes from the Greek name Andreas, meaning “manly” or “brave”. Her surname, Barrymore, is also derived from a place name, meaning “great fort” in Irish Gaelic.
- Cameron Diaz: The retired actress and author has a first name that is also a Scottish surname. Cameron is derived from a Gaelic nickname meaning “crooked nose”. Her surname, Diaz, is a Spanish patronymic name meaning “son of Diego”, which itself comes from the Hebrew name Yaakov, meaning “supplanter”.
- Taylor Swift: The pop superstar and songwriter has a first name that is also an English surname. Taylor is an occupational name for someone who worked as a tailor, from the Old French word tailleur, meaning “to cut”. Her surname, Swift, is also an occupational name for someone who was fast or agile.
- Morgan Freeman: The veteran actor and narrator has a first name that is also a Welsh surname. Morgan is derived from an Old Welsh name meaning “sea-born” or “sea-circle”. His surname, Freeman, is an English status name for someone who was not a serf or slave in feudal society.
These are just some of the many celebrities who have surnames as first names. Can you think of any others? Let us know in the comments below!