The Many Meanings Behind Suri Cruise's Unique Name

From the minute Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch declaring his love for Katie Holmes, we were hooked on the pairing. An unlikely romance, we couldn't help but follow the couple through their journey. When they announced Holmes was pregnant in 2005, we waited eagerly for the child's birth — and for what name TomKat would choose for their new addition.

Shortly after the birth of their daughter in 2006, Cruise told Vanity Fair he and Holmes received baby-name books from friends. "When we came to the name Suri, we both loved it. And we both said, 'Suri Cruise.'"

The actor also revealed they knew the meaning behind the name but that it didn't play a part in their decision to choose it. "We later found out that it meant 'red rose,' and that was just a bonus.'" Indeed, one of the Persian translations for the word "suri" is the rose, especially one with an intense fragrance. But it could also be translated as vitriol, mirth, a color, and an arrow. And that's the just tip of the iceberg where the name Suri is concerned. Switch to a different culture, and you'll find even more meanings. 

A rose, royalty, and a thief

The year 2006 was filled with celebrity babies, many with unusual names. Shiloh of the Jolie-Pitt clan, Moses of Paltrow-Martin, Grier of Shields-Henchy, Kingston of Stefani-Rossdale, and Ruby Sweetheart of Maguire-Meyer were included in the group, making it essential Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes dig deep for their own unique baby name.

Upon the birth of Suri, Cruise's camp released a statement that included the details of the child's name. In addition to mentioning the red rose connection, the announcement also noted Suri had a Hebrew meaning as well: "princess." It was later explained by a Hebrew linguistics expert that Suri itself isn't an official Hebrew name, but rather a nickname for "Sarah," which does officially mean "princess" in the Hebrew culture. 

Switching to an entirely different mode and a different language, if you look up the word "suri" in a Japanese dictionary, you'll find the definition to be a pickpocket, a thief who sneakily steals items right from your purses and pants. Perhaps Cruise and Holmes weren't up on their Japanese vocabulary? And they definitely weren't up on their beetle knowledge...

The buggy nature of Suri

Suri Cruise, who has no middle name according to her birth certificate, has been primarily raised by her mom; Katie Holmes divorced Tom Cruise in 2012, when their daughter was six years old. While Cruise's relationship with Suri may be strained, Holmes is all in. "I am so grateful to be a mom to the sweetest daughter," Holmes declared in an Instagram post. She also shared her parenting method for Suri with InStyle. "My biggest goal has always been to nurture her into her individuality. To make sure she is 100 percent herself and strong, confident, and able. And to know it."

What she may not want her daughter to know, though, is that her name has a distinct relationship to bugs. According to the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, "The term 'suri' means larvae of the Rhynchophourus palmarum, a beetle from the Curculionidae family." It also states the word hails from a small culture living in the Peruvian forest. 

Flowers, tiaras, stolen goods, and beetles — the name Suri has a plethora of meanings, but there is one it doesn't have: a connection to Apple's virtual assistant. Though it sounds similar to Siri, the Cruise offspring is no relation. Siri wasn't unleashed on the public until 2010, four years after her birth.