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Published March 12, 2012, 11:30 PM

Nameberry: The secret middle names of famous people

Pop open the champagne: March 9th was Middle Name Pride Day! In celebration, everyone’s supposed to reveal their middle names to three people who don’t know it.

By: Nameberry.com, All about baby names, INFORUM

Pop open the champagne: March 9th was Middle Name Pride Day! In celebration, everyone’s supposed to reveal their middle names to three people who don’t know it. What if you learned, probably the hard way, that your middle name might make other people laugh, gasp, or want to punch you in the nose? Then take comfort in knowing that you’re in good company. Many of the most famous names around have middle names they’d probably just as soon keep out of the limelight.

And hey, come on over and join the conversation on Facebook about YOUR middle name, proud or not.

Charlie Sheen: Irwin

Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estevez, and we can’t help wondering _ would he have needed all that anger management therapy if his first two names were reversed and he was known to the world as Irwin? Poor Irwin has had a bit of a schlubby image for decades, completely dropping off the radar by 1965, though it had ranked as high as No. 245 in the early 1930s.

Daniel Craig: Wroughton

Daniel Wroughton Craig shares the middle name of his father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, who was of half-Welsh descent. It’s a name more fitting to the actor’s debonair James Bond persona than to some of his tougher-guy roles. Two others with unexpectedly upscale middles: Owen Cunningham Wilson and Kevin Norwood Bacon.

Diana Ross: Ernestine

Born Diane Ernestine Earle Ross, Diana Ross received her mother’s unglamorous name in middle place, one that clashes with her own drama-diva image. Ernestine is an unfashionable feminization of the equally dated Ernest, and for those who were around, is likely to call up Lily Tomlin’s classic snorting telephone switchboard operator “Laugh-In” character, whose best friend was named the more interesting Phoenicia.

Donald Duck: Fauntleroy

Unlike his girlfriend Daisy or Mickey Mouse or Minnie, Donald Duck actually did have a middle name, though it was only revealed in a couple of early cartoons. The name Fauntleroy, as in the prissy Little Lord, was in perfect keeping with Donald’s usual uniform of sailor suit and floppy bow tie, if not his feisty character.

Hugh Grant: Mungo

Mungo might sound a bit mongrelish to some of us, but it is actually quite a well-used name in its native Scotland _ it’s a saint’s name that means “beloved.” But this is not the most unusual name in Hugh John Mungo Grant’s family: his mother was christened Fynvola.

Kim Kardashian: Noel

Kimberly Noel Kardashian and not Kimberly Noelle? It’s pretty surprising to find that this symbol of womanly pulchritude would have the masculine version for her middle name, especially when her four sisters all have unambiguously feminine ones: Kourtney Mary, Khloe Alexandra, Kylie Kristen and Kendall Nicole.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Wilhelm

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio’s name represents a sandwich of his multi-cultural heritage _ the Italian on either end from his father, an underground comic artist, and the middle via his German-born mother Irmelin. Wilhelm pretty much faded from the American naming landscape after World War I, because of its association with the detested Kaiser Wilhelm.

Nameberry is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of 10 bestselling baby name guides, including the newest, “Beyond Ave and Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby.” See more at http://nameberry.com.

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