How January Jones Got Her Name – Plus, Surprising Back Stories Behind Other Celebrity Names

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How January Jones Got Her Name – Plus, Surprising Back Stories Behind Other Celebrity Names
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January Jones was named after a fictional character, not the month.

She was born on January 5, but that's not why January Jones shares her name with the first month of the year.

The actress who plays "Mad Men's" beloved ice cube, Betty Draper, was named for a character in Jacqueline Susann's famous 1970's potboiler, "Once is Not Enough," although her parents may not have wanted their baby girl to turn out like the book's protagonist, January Wayne. "My dad (just) liked how January went with Jones," the classic beauty explained. "My sisters' names are Jina and Jacey Jones."

Alliteration aside, the cool, aloof moniker suits the actress's persona. Her son Xander's biological father remains one of Hollywood's biggest mysteries, a well-kept secret from which the "Sweetwater" star seems to derive satisfaction.

Despite the fact she was raised in a typical Midwestern middle class family, with a glamorous name like January Jones, the almost 35-year-old star seemed destined to see her name in lights on movie theater marquees.

Another famous actor with an interesting name story, Jamie Foxx grew up as the more conventionally dubbed Eric Bishop. As a young comedian, the "Django Unchained" star changed his name to Jamie Foxx for strategic and sentimental reasons. At open mic nights, women comics typically got their turn on stage before the men, so he changed his first name to the more gender ambiguous "Jamie," hoping to be mistaken for a female. The "Dreamgirls" actor selected Foxx as his last name to honor comic performer, Redd Foxx, best known as the crotchety junk dealer on '70s sitcom "Sanford and Son." (Ironically, Foxx himself was originally named John Sanford, his TV character's last name.)

The story behind Whoopi Goldberg's name is as funny as the comedienne herself. The former Caryn Elaine Johnson named herself after the whoopee cushion, a prank toy that simulates the sound of someone breaking wind when they sit on it. "When you're performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door," she told a reporter. "So if you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You are like a whoopee cushion.'" According to one account, "The View" host contemplated using the stage name Whoopi Cushion, but her mother talked her into Goldberg instead.

Meanwhile, the former Calvin Broadus, Jr. changed his name to Snoop Dogg because as a child his mother thought he looked like the famous beagle from the Charlie Brown comic strip and nicknamed him Snoopy . Last summer, however, the gangsta rapper announced he wanted to be known as Snoop Lion after becoming a Rastafarian. The religion originates in Jamaica where being called a dog is deemed a big insult.

More from this contributor:

Is January Jones as Cold as Her Character Betty Draper?

Whoopi Goldberg and Other Celebs Get Hot Over Campus Pepper Spray Fiasco

Name that Celebrity Baby: Should Lindsay Price Name Her Baby 'Half?'

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