Choosing a child’s name is an art, a reflection of one’s identity, culture, and aspirations. For Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, this creative process resulted in a collection of names that not only define their children but also tell captivating stories of love and cultural diversity.
Maddox Siobhan Thornton Jolie-Pitt, born Rath Vibol
Maddox Siobhan Thornton Jolie-Pitt, originally born Rath Vibol, embodies the first chapter of Angelina’s journey into motherhood. During a visit to a Cambodian refugee camp while filming in 2001, she encountered a one-year-old orphan who captured her heart. She and then-husband Billy Bob Thornton adopted the boy, who retained the additional surname Thornton. However, their union was brief, and Angie eventually gained sole custody, renaming Rath Vibol to Maddox Siobhan. “Maddox” originates from Welsh, meaning “lucky one” or “son of Madoc,” an illustrious Prince of Wales. The name “Siobhan” connects Maddox to the Hindu world and devotes his life to the god Shiva.
Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, nee Yemsrach
In 2005, Angelina adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia named Yemsrach, which means “joy and happiness” in an African dialect. Angelina rechristened her “Zahara,” an Arabic name signifying “shining flower.” Zahara also received the second name “Marley” in honor of Bob Marley, the Jamaican musician and father of reggae, whose legacy deeply touched her.
Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt
Angelina and Brad’s first biological child, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, arrived in 2006 when their happiness was at its zenith. Shiloh, a name of biblical origin, denotes the omnipotence of God. “Nouvel,” borrowed from Angelina’s French heritage, means “new,” embodying hope and fresh beginnings.
Pax Tien Jolie-Pitt, born Pham Quan Sang
A year later, the couple welcomed Pax Tien Jolie-Pitt from Vietnam. His birth name, Pham Quan Sang, is Vietnamese for “magnificent.” “Pax,” derived from Latin, means “peaceful,” and “Tien” in Vietnamese translates to “sky.” Pax Tien reflects the hope for a tranquil and harmonious life beneath an expansive sky.
Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt
In 2008, the family grew with the birth of twins, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline. Vivienne’s middle name honors her maternal grandmother, Marcheline Bertrand, while “Vivienne” translates to “alive” in French, paying homage to her grandmother’s memory. Knox Leon is a symmetrical tribute to Brad Pitt’s family, with “Knox” being the middle name of Brad’s Irish-rooted grandfather, and “Leon,” meaning “lion” in many languages, echoing strong and noble qualities.
Angelina’s meticulous selection of her children’s names underscores the richness and diversity of their genetic, spiritual, and cultural heritage. Each name carries a unique story, an ode to love, unity, and embracing the world’s diverse tapestry. In her children’s names, Angelina has crafted an enduring testament to family bonds and the beauty of shared experiences.