It's been seven years since Suri Cruise silently entered the world. While her life has changed significantly in the past year -- new city, new school, new bangs! -- Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's daughter's name remains one of the most interesting in the celebrity kid set.
The gossip world was obsessed with Suri before she was even born. In 2006, TomKat mania was in overdrive, conspiracy theories ran rampant (Was their relationship real? Was "Kate" really pregnant?), and Cruise himself fueled the gossip machine, sharing the unusual story of how he purchased a pricey sonogram machine for on-demand tracking of fetus Suri's development.
[Related: Did Suri Cruise Cut Her Own Bangs?]
After Holmes gave birth to the blue-eyed baby at an L.A.-area hospital on April 18 of that year, the couple "joyously" announced her arrival via a statement -- and shared the origins of her unusual name. Suri was Hebrew for "princess" -- or, in Persian, it meant "red rose," the statement noted.
However, what the statement didn't say was that "suri" also means "pickpocket" in Japanese and "horse mackerels" in Italian, and is a form of a French verb meaning "to sour." Those discoveries led to jokes aplenty on the Internet.
Further, Hebrew linguists were stumped by the claim that Suri meant "princess." At the time, name expert Jonathan Went told the media it had just two meanings -- one being a person from Syria, and the other the expression "go away" when spoken to a female.
"I think it's fair to say they have made a mistake here," Went said. "There are variations of the way the Hebrew name for 'princess' is spelled, but I have never seen it this way."
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The name brouhaha didn't bother Cruise. In the Vanity Fair article in which Suri made her world debut that fall, the proud papa gushed about the couple's name choice, though he omitted its supposed Hebrew origins.
"We had the name before we found out because we both thought the baby would be a girl," he told the magazine. "Some friends of ours sent us two [baby-naming] books. When we came to the name Suri, we both loved it. And we both said, 'Suri Cruise.' We later found out that it meant 'red rose,' and that was just a bonus. Suri -- it was perfect."
While many of the monikers celebrities have given their offspring have boosted the popularity of that name, that hasn't happened with Suri.
"Suri has inspired a scattering of namesakes but hasn't really made an impact on name trends," best-selling name expert Laura Wattenberg from BabyNameWizard.com tells omg!. "That's not surprising because celebrity examples only move style in a direction parents are already eager to go. The baby's name matters far more than the parents' fame. You can see that even within a single famous family: Gwen Stefani's elder son, Kingston, inspired thousands of namesakes, while her younger son, Zuma, had virtually no copycats.
"Even when unconventional Hollywood names don't spark baby name trends though, they still influence the sound of our times," Wattenberg continues. "They encourage parents to be creative with their own choices, and help fuel the drive toward more and more distinctive names."
As for what we can expect from Suri as she embarks on her next year, we turn to Allie Hagan, who cracks us up with her popular blog, Suri's Burn Book. According to her, you just never know!
"It's been seven years since she made the most mysterious celebrity baby debut ever, and she hasn't yet been outdone," the author of "Suri's Burn Book: Well-Dressed Commentary From Hollywood's Little Sweetheart" tells omg!. "I know I at least will never get tired of her outfits, her posh lifestyle, her eye-rolling -- and how just when you think you've got her figured out, she goes and cuts her own bangs."
Co-sign. Happy birthday, Suri!
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