The History of the Brangelina Nickname

Ever since the days when Ben Affleck and J.Lo first got together and fans affectionately dubbed them “Bennifer,” the practice of bestowing hilarious monikers on celebrity couples has become a standard part of pop culture. (In fact, celeb relationship nicknames date back even earlier — remember when Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz dubbed their television production company in the 1950s Desilu?) It wasn’t long after Affleck and Lopez hooked up that Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah Winfrey’s couch while declaring his love for Katie Holmes, and “TomKat” appeared on the scene. So when two of the biggest names in Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, pledged their romantic allegiance to each other, it was only fitting that they would forego their individual identities and become forever linked as Brangelina.

It all started in 2004 when Pitt (who was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time) and Jolie worked together on the steamy set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Rumors swirled that the two had become romantically involved, and a year later, Pitt and Aniston split. From that moment on, Pitt and Jolie were unstoppable — until they announced their divorce today. Like many relationships in the public eye, the powerful duo had been given their own shiny nickname, Brangelina, a label that was rumored to have been bestowed on them by People magazine back in 2005.

Fans hopped on board so quickly that the term became universally recognized long before it was even confirmed that the two A-listers were shacking up. A few months after the birth of Brangelina, TMZ launched. Celebrity gossip hit an all-time high, and Pitt and Jolie became media perennials as the world watched their every move. And with that, #Brangelina became a regularly trending hashtag.

Although the world quickly rallied around the name Brangelina, the famous duo reportedly were not fans of their nickname. While Jolie was making her directorial debut on Budapest, which was filming in Hungary, Pitt swung by the set to provide moral support. It wasn’t long before he overheard the crew referring to him and his wife as Brangelina. Apparently, the mere mention of the nickname was enough to make him visibly upset. Jolie didn’t like it either but opted to brush it off playfully. The actress — who typically introduces herself as Angie — was overheard saying, “We don’t use that. It just sounds like a breakfast cereal.”

While the couple didn’t embrace Brangelina, according to the Sun, they did have their own special pet names for one another. Pitt reportedly referred to Jolie as “Kitty,” while she showed her affection toward him by calling him “Miffy.” A source revealed to the paper that these were also the pseudonyms the couple used when they checked into hotels.

Naturally, Pitt and Jolie’s six kids also have cutesy nicknames. During an interview with BBC Radio 4, Jolie divulged that the family refers to Maddox as “Mad,” Zahara as “Z,” and Shiloh is “Shi.”

But back to Brangelina … with the news of their split, fans are not only mourning Pitt and Jolie’s relationship but the loss of their favorite celebrity couple name as well.

According to a 2014 poll conducted by Us Weekly, Brangelina is the most popular celeb couple nickname of all time. Forty-six percent of voters deemed it their favorite, with 25 percent voting for Bennifer, and 21 percent for TomKat.

Now, just as the duo has uncoupled, so will their identity. The announcement brought longtime Brangelina supporter Perez Hilton to tears. And fans around the globe are throwing a massive fit about having to say goodbye to Brangelina.


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