In 1982, Zimbabwe passed a law banning citizens from making jokes about the surname of the President, Canaan Banana.
Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Johnson. She has claimed Jewish ancestry, despite research showing no known Jewish ancestors. The Jewish Chronicle related an account of the name change where Whoopi’s mother thought her birth name was “not Jewish enough” for her to become a star.
Keanu Reeves almost renamed himself “Chuck Spadina” because some casting agents were resistant to having him come in for auditions because his first name was hard to pronounce and seemingly too exotic.
After four months of rejections Kim O’Grady added ‘Mr.’ to his name on resume/CV and almost immediately landed a job.
Children in Iceland are not allowed to have names with the letter “C” in them. All names must conform to rules of Icelandic language, which does not have the letter “C”.
Oprah Winfrey’s actual name is spelt Orpah, a biblical name, it is present on her birth certificate. However people didn’t really know how to pronounce ‘Orpah’ and misspelt it as Oprah. Therefore she just stuck with it and began to call herself Oprah.
Mongolians have a tradition of giving unpleasant names to children born to couples whose previous children have died, to confuse evil spirits. Ex: Muunokhoi – “Vicious Dog”.
In the 80s, businessman Armand Hammer bought a significant portion of the company that makes “Arm & Hammer” products simply because people kept asking him about the name.
The first manager of the first McDonald’s franchise was called Ed MacLuckie.
A man was arrested for trespassing at the Budweiser brewery. His name? Bud Weisser.