Double barrelled names have become synonymous with posh and classy, especially if we look at where it all started.
Apparently, double barrelled names started way back in the Victorian times and their purpose was mainly entwined with inheritance and estate. It was mainly used to preserve the family name of wealthy families in cases of no direct male heirs, and so, daughters use a double-barrelled surname just to keep their maiden names alive.
Now, celebrities and public personalities have been digging it and it’s becoming quite a trend. Perhaps to preserve the family name or just for that classy vibe.
1. Sacha Baron Cohen
The hilarious comedian from Borat has a very proper double-barrelled name! Sacha Baron Cohen was born on October 13, 1971, in Hammersmith, London. He is actually from Cohen family. It was his grandfather who added the ‘Baron’ on his surname. ‘Baron’ is a noble name that means ‘son of strength’. ‘Cohen’, on the other hand, means ‘priest’. He is an English actor who is known for his satirical roles as Ali G (1998-9), Borat Sagdiyev (2006), and Admiral General Aladeen (2012), among others.
2. Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen is one half of the famous Olsen twins. Mary-Kate was born on June 13, 1986, in Sherman Oaks, California, who began her acting career at a very young age. Her first role, together with her twin sister Ashley, was as Michelle Tanner in the sitcom Full House (1987-95). She was 9 months old then. ‘Mary’ is a name associated with the Mother Mary that means ‘bitter’ while ‘Kate’ is a Latin name meaning ‘pure’ and ‘clear’. Mary-Kate Olsen is an American actress, fashion designer, and businesswoman.
3. Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis has been a good actor during his years that he was even acclaimed as one of the greatest actors of all time. When he was still active, he’s one of the most selective and private actors. Some of the films he became known for include, among others, My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Lincoln (2012).
His surname holds meaningful connotation. ‘Day’ means ‘daylight’ and ‘Lewis’ means ‘renowned warrior’, which, from another perspective, also mean ‘hope’ and ‘strength’. He was born on April 29, 1957, in Kensington, London.
4. Lily-Rose Depp
Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of Vanessa Paradis and, you guessed it right, Johnny Depp. She was born on May 27, 1999, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris. She began her acting career in Tusk (2014) and since then, she’s already appeared into 6 films. Her name is a beautiful name. Even without further research, it’s apparent that it’s related to flowers. ‘Lily’ and ‘Rose’ mean ‘rebirth’ and ‘fame’.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
‘Gordon’ is a Scottish name meaning ‘spacious fort’ while ‘Levitt’, an Anglo-French surname, means ‘wolf’. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor, singer, and producer who began his acting career at a young age, when he was 6 years old. He’s known for 500 Days of Summer (2009), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), among others. Apart from acting and film directing, he also spends his time managing HitRecord, an online collaborative media platform he owns. He was born on February 17, 1981, in Los Angeles, California.
6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an award-winning American actress, producer, and comedienne born on January 13, 1961, in Manhattan, New York. In total, she’s received 11 Emmy Awards, 1 Golden Globe Award, 9 Screen Actors Guild Awards, 5 American Comedy Awards, 2 Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Apart from that, she was also named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time and you can find her name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ‘Louis’ is a French name meaning ‘famous warrior’ and ‘Dreyfus’ is of Jewish descent that means ‘tripod’ in German.
7. Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John was born on September 26, 1948 in Cambridge, England. She’s an award-winning singer who has won the Grammy Awards four times and whose 14 albums and 11 singles have been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Aside from singing, she’s also an actress who’s known for her role in Grease (1978). She’s half-Aussie!
‘Newton’ was derived from the Old English word ‘neowe’, which means ‘new town’. On the other hand, ‘John’ is a biblical name meaning ‘God is gracious’.
8. Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor rose into prominence as the lead singer of Theaudience, an indie rock band in the United Kingdom during the late 1990s. She began her solo career in 2000 and she released her first album called Read My Lips a year after. She’s a singer and model who is also known as ‘The Dance Queen’ and ‘Mademoiselle EB’. She was born on April 10, 1979, in Hounslow, London. The ‘Ellis’ in her surname means ‘God is my salvation’. The ‘Bextor’, however, has an unknown origin.
9. Kristen Scott Thomas
‘Scott’ is one of the surnames common in Scotland and it is actually associated with the Scottish people. Thomas, however, is of Aramaic origin that means ‘twin’. Kristin Scott Thomas is an actress born in Redruth, Cornwall, in England on May 24, 1960. She has been in the film industry for more than 3 decades and some of her films include Bitter Moon (1992), Darkest Hour (2017), and Tomb Raider (2018). She’s also a theatre performer and has won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role in The Seagull (2008). In 2013, she’s one of the 50 best-dressed women over 50 according to The Guardian.
10. Kim Kardashian West
Kim Kardashian West is known worldwide as one of the members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan and as the ‘center’ of the reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She started off as a personal assistant of Paris Hilton and that’s when she began to slowly acquire fame. She’s the highest-paid reality television personality in 2015. To date, she’s the second richest in the family, following Kylie Jenner, having a net worth of about US$350 million. She was hailed as one of the 100 most influential people by Time in 2015 and was described as a ‘pop culture phenomenon’ by Vogue in 2016. ‘Kardashian’ means ‘stone carver’ while ‘West’ means, well, the ‘west’ direction.
11. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
While more known for her first name, Beyoncé’s full name is actually Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Beyoncé is a singer who began to gain prominence as the lead singer of the group Destiny’s Child in the 1990s. She began to pursue her solo career after the group disbanded in 2001. The first album she released as a solo artist was Dangerously in Love (2003), which became successful. She then became more known worldwide after that.
‘Knowles’ means ‘dweller by the knoll’ while ‘Carter’ means ‘one who transports goods by cart’. She was born on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas.
12. Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter’s surname is mostly connected to agriculture. ‘Bonham’ means ‘peasant farmer’ while Carter means, well, ‘one who transports goods by cart’. Regardless, she is an award-winning actress known for her roles as the voice of Emily in the Corpse Bride (2005), Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series (2007-11), the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), and many others. She’s known for her unusual style. In 2010, she was included in the best-dressed list of Vanity Fair. In 2011, Marc Jacobs selected her as the face of his 2011 autumn/winter collection. She was born on May 26, 1966, in Islington, London.
13. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones is an award-winning actress who got her first lead role in 1987, at the age of 17. She rose to prominence when she was cast as Elena Montero in The Mask of Zorro (1998). She’s also known for her roles in America’s Sweethearts (2001), The Terminal (2004), No Reservations (2007), and Red 2 (2013). She was born in Swansea, Wales, on September 25, 1969, as Catherine Zeta Jones, with no hyphen. ‘Zeta’ means ‘girl’ in Tuscan while ‘Jones’ is of Welsh origin meaning ‘John’s son’.
14. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a model, businesswoman, designer, and actress known for her roles in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). But before she entered the filming industry, she already made her name known as one of the ‘Angels’ of the Victoria’s Secret brand. She has also worked with Burberry, Marks & Spencer, and Paige prior to her acting career. She was born on April 18, 1987, in Plymouth, England.
‘Huntington’ was derived from the Old English words ‘hunta’ and ‘tun’ meaning ‘hunter’ and ‘enclosure’, respectively. ‘Whiteley’, on the other hand, originated from the Old English translations of ‘white’ and ‘wood’.
15. Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith is, yes, the wife of Will Smith and the mother of Jaden and Willow Smith. ‘Pinkett’ is of English origin that means ‘clever’ while ‘Smith’ was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘to smite or strike’. Jada was born on September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, Maryland. She is an actress, comedienne, singer, and businesswoman who starred in several films including Scream 2 (1997), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), as well as in two American television series, namely Hawthorne (2009-11) and Gotham (2014-16).
Are you familiar with these celebrities with double-barrelled names?
16. Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra, now Priyanka Chopra Jonas hit Hollywood by storm when she top billed the hit series Quantico as an FBI Agent. She later gained more popularity in the west when she starred in Baywatch. However, even before that, she was already a huge star in Bollywood. She’s one of India’s highest-paid actress-singer with over 50 movies to date. She gained her footing as a celebrity when she won Miss World 2000. But she solidified her celebrity status worldwide when she won the hear of the famous Jonas Brother, Nick Jonas and got married in 2018. Priyanka Chopra quickly added to Jonas to complete her name.
17. Angelina Jolie Pitt
Angelina Jolie is already a household name. But when she married superstar Bradd Pitt in 2014, it was a no biggie for her to honour her husband by taking his last name. She then became Angelina Jolie Pitt even on movie posters! Unfortunately, the two had a terrible split which ended up in a divorce. She dropped Pitt and went back to the Angelina Jolie we know.
18. Jenna Dewan Tatum
Jenna Dewan is an American dancer-actress who rose to fame after filming the very first Step Up. Which catapulted sequels of the movie featuring different up and coming actors. She married her on screen romance in Step Up, Channing Tatum and was known as Jenna Dewan Tatum in all her projects after getting wed in 2009. They were married for nine years and have a kid together. Jenna Dewan dropped Tatum following their split in 2018.
19. Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon
We all know Reese Witherspoon, of course. From her younger days in Cruel Intentions to her cult fave, Legally Blonde (she’s now working on Legally Blonde 3 BTW, exciting!) But little do we know that Reese and Witherspoon are both last names! Reese is her mother’s maiden name while Witherspoon is her dad’s. She does sound one of a kind using the two together!