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Why Drew Barrymore Named Her Daughter Olive (and Not Kidney Bean)

12/06/2012 at 11:30 AM ET

When it comes to food items, Drew Barrymore picked quite a respectable one as her daughter’s name.

Asked why she and her husband Will Kopelman chose Olive, the actress says it came from a book — though not one of baby-names.

“I was reading a book with my husband. I was three months pregnant, and they said, ‘Your baby is the size of an olive.’ And that was it. We never looked back,” Barrymore, 37, says in an interview airing Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Good thing they weren’t reading the same book weeks earlier. “It could have been named Kidney Bean,” says DeGeneres. “Kidney’s not such a fun name,” Barrymore replies. “We were work-shopping a few [names] … And then once the light was shed, there was just no turning back.”

Why Drew Barrymore Named Her Daughter Olive
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.


Barrymore, who unveils her new pinot grigio wine on the program, also confirms that they knew the sex of the baby ahead of time. “I figured there’s so many surprises to come,” she says. “Every phase of her life that I will be trying to master.”

So, how is Olive doing now? Well, not to brag, but Barrymore says she’s just about perfect.

“She is a good baby,” she says. “I count my lucky stars every day because she is … and really interactive and happy and nice to people. She’s a nice person.”

She adds: “Olive is a definite ambassador to having lots of babies. I have met babies who are screaming and they’re crying and they’re trying to convey all these things, and you get so terrified and overwhelmed. I’m very grateful to her. She really has it together … She’s really impressing me.”

– Tim Nudd

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Showing 55 comments

Dawn on

Perfect! And perfectly sweet.

Lauren on

Glad she finally became a mom

Liz on

Love Drew and I bet she is a great mom. She is so kind and caring.

boohoobytch on

she’s over the top adorable, even her stance in that pic is too cute lol…congrats to her

Han on

So sweet! Love Drew and her cute shirt! Anyone know where she got it?

Nancy on

Love Drew!

Anonymous on

love the name Olive

Sandy on

OMG……..Olive!!! If they have a boy down the road will they name him Popeye??

Melissa on

Olive is my 5 year old daughter’s name. I love that it’s been catching on again!

Amber on

I am so happy that Drew has been blessed with a healthy, gorgeous baby girl. I wish her ALL the best in her future.

Willa on

I love Drew, she has such a great sense of humor. And I love the name Olive, it’s a classic.

Katrina on

She’s my favourite actress!! So happy for her and her husband!! Really cute baby name!! :)

Faye on

I think it’s awful to just have one child.

She is too old to wait much longer to give this child a sibling… Aside from that I love drew.

Anonymous on

Really sweet. I’ve always loved Drew Barrymore.

klutzy_girl on

Seriously, Sandy? So lame.

Terry on

The name Olive has been around for a long time, it didn’t start with Popeye. Think Olive branch, peace, victory.

Ashley Jourige on

Haha…Kidney Bean. She could’ve gotten away with “Sidney Bean” – would’ve been a really cute name! I like Drew, she’s come from a hard, rough background and she’s come out on top. I’d like to try her wine too.

rfh on

Olive was my great grandmother’s name. She was from Buffalo, NY and was born in 1902. There is a perception that it is a weird name, but it isn’t. It’s classic and normal.

Anonymous on

she is adorable. I bet she’s a great mom.

jld on

oh dear, don’t have another then! the old wives tale says the second is the exact opposite of the first! In that case I should’ve had another since my first was adorable but “tricky”! Sounds like she’s very much enjoying being a mom.

gagirl on

People like FAYE make me sick. Ragging on women about their age??? Really??? She can have children when she feels like it. Worry about your own uterus, loser.

jld on

I would like to respond to Sandy who said having only one child is awful. What if some people can’t have more than one? sometimes it’s not a choice, but even when it is, who are you to judge. I know many one child households with kids who are bright, happy and healthy and I know as many multiple child households with kids who are disrespectful, lazy and the list goes on. Of course I can say the exact opposite for both situations, but the point is, who are you to judge?

kmcv on

I thought it was after her character “Olive” in “Olive, the other reindeer”.

Anonymous on

Sidney Bean….very clever!!!

lizzy on

good thing she didn’t go with bean, Frances Bean Cobain is her god daughter!

Donna on

I think Olive is a beautiful name. Its old fashioned. My Grandmother’s name was Olive and I think its English since that were her mother was from.

kim on

she looks beautiful. glowing

Scarlet on

Just wait for the terrible twos.

Alissa on

I love Drew! Always so honest and refreshing…what an amusing, quirky story about the name! Love it! And Drew is one year older than, so her age is fine to have another baby if she so chooses. I guess since I had my first baby so young, no one ever asked when I was going to have another. I wouldn’t have liked having an infant dealing with others’ opinions about MY Family, prodding me to reproduce in order to fulfill their fantasy for my life, hassling me about siblings and all. Can’t a mother just enjoy the baby she has without having to plan for the next one?

Kate on

Oh SANDY and FAYE….get over yourselves!!

Cute name. I like her. She’s had a rough and interesting life. Nice to see good things ahead for her.

Mommy of 1 on

It was Faye, not Sandy that thinks it’s awful to have only one child…. Not only is it ridiculous to say but it’s totally none of your business, Faye!! You have no clue what the reasoning is behind our decision or anybody elses!

angelus5by5 on

And here was me thinking she named her sweet baby after the character she voiced in “Olive, the Other Reindeer”, which is still one of my favorite Christmas shows. Good luck to Drew and her family, hope their lives are full of joy.

Heather on

I’m with @kmcv. I thought it was because Drew played the character of Olive in “Olive, the Other Reindeer”.

Tonysgirl on

I was thinking the same thing, that she named her after her character in “Olive, The Other Reindeer”. I was looking for the mention in the article….but nothing! Good luck to you, Drew! And God Bless!

Cathy on

kmcv, that’s what I thought, too!

I’m glad she did something original, and she sounds like she’s having a great time as a first-time mom. Congrats!

Robin on

I assumed it was because she did the voice for “Olive the Reindeer” in 1999… She heavily promoted that film so I instantly thought of that..

Cool Aunt on

Olive is a lovely name–when I heard that was Drew’s choice for her daughter, immediately I thought of Olive May Davis Osmond, Donny & Marie Osmond’s mother [and Marie was officially christened Olive Marie to honor her mum--also probably because Marie was the only daughter from nine children]. As for Fay, who hopes that Drew has another child [even though she's old because she thinks Olive is a terrible name & would not want her to end up an only child] if Drew & her husband want more children & can physically have them, more power to them. Some people can only have one child & even then, they have been cautioned against it, fearing the worst for the mother medically. Luckily in my family, my twin sister really wanted to experience pregnancy & was blessed with a healthy baby boy six years ago. Fortunately her son has no pre-existing medical conditions like the life-threatening neurosurgical conditions we possess but he will remain an only child for the rest of his life & my sister & brother-in-law are happy that he is here to further brighten their lives–and I remain hopelessly devoted to my three nephews.

LHR on

Faye,
You might want to try to walk in the parents shoes of an only child before saying such a statement. My husband and I always said we wanted or would try to have at least two children. I got pregnant with our son when I was 25. It was right as I entered my second trimester that I was deemed extremely high risk. I am not speaking bed rest high risk, I am speaking possible abnormalities with the baby, high risk of birthing a still born, having trauma on stand by as I delivered and having to sign forms for who to save during the labor should anything arise. Luckily, I had people looking over me and my delivery went as planned. Into the world came our son. Healthy, 10 apgar and screaming to the world. At 2 weeks old we were told he has a constricted valve on his heart. No surgery needed but it had to be watched. Add that to the list of first time mom paranoia. Again, I have people above watching over because my son has not had a heart problem. He was, however, diagnosed Asperger’s at 4 years old. The care that is required is a lot and daunting. There are constant therapy appointments as well as keeping him on a schedule that he is able to conform to. Now, I am only 30 so I would be able to have more children, but my husband and I chose not to so that our son can have the best care. Before making such ludicrous comments stop to think about why these children might be that way, or why those parents chose that way of life.

Shawna on

Drew gave her voice to a little dog named Olive in the Christmas cartoon Olive the Other Reindeer! LOL

fanofboardwalkempire on

It is a cute story to learn how Olive came to be named.

Love Drew Barrymore and am thrilled that she has a loving and happy family life. Drew deserves the best!

Magnolia on

I can understand; my husband and I decided that we were not going to have children (for so many reasons, mostly due to my severe chronic pain) but people tell me constantly “oh, you’ll want to have children later”… I’m sorry but if anyone says that PLEASE STOP! Someone told me I was selfish to be married but not have children, but I truly think it’s selfish to have children and then not be able to provide an active mother for them! My point? Watch what you say people! I agree with you LHR… People need to think… Then speak!! Also, your son gets ALL of your attention and he sounds like a miracle! <3

noel on

My grandmother’s name was Olive. I hope her Olive is as sweet as can be. I love the name!

Magnolia on

I just KNEW somehow that her name was Olive!! Felt like I predicted it when I first heard it! Weird… :) Olive is perty!

marley on

Didn’t Drew write a book 20 years about being in recovery from drugs and alcohol? And now she’s selling wine? Funny rehab…

CCmommy on

@jld, I couldn’t agree more w/ that old wives tale. For me, it actually came. Based on my eldest daughters behavior and personality, I wanted to have 2 more kids. Then I got pregnant w/ my 2nd child and I was beyond excited, I couldn’t wait. Then she was born and boy was I singing a different tune, lol! She was the COMPLETE OPPOSITE from the minute she was born. Cries allll day, takes absolutely NO naps throughout the day…. I could go on and on lol!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way, I live for them!!!

Carol on

One of my high school teachers was Olive Wood………..

Lisa on

Wow it was a joy watching her on the Ellen show. She looked so genuinely happy it was contagious and made me happy! It’s great to see a person who has overcome obstacles in life to be happy and have a nice little family!

JS on

So funny to read the comments about “kidney bean” and “sidney bean.” When we first found out my niece was pregnant, someone remarked that the baby was then about the size of a lima bean. He then became “Bean” when we talked about him. When the middle name Stanley (after one of the grandfathers) was selected, but no first name at that time, the baby then became “Bean Stanley.” Even after Michael was picked for the first name, the little guy was still “Bean” and is called that as a nickname even now at 3 months old.

Miche on

I love her shirt! She looks great, glowing and happy.

Both my babies were chill, sweet and a breeze, too.

Irma on

Olive is the female version of Oliver, with a Latin derivative. Oliver, male or Olive, female, dates over 2000 years. In Christianity and the Bible, the olive branch is seen as a symbol of peace, beauty and dignity. How appropriate for Drew Barrymore and her husband! Congratulations!

Misty on

@ Faye, not everybody that has one child plans it. Some people suffer things like secondary infertility.

Anonymous on

Awww, lovely story! And I hope we see Olive’s sweet baby face soon (if I’m remembering correctly, the paps DID catch her out in public with her parents once, but she was in her covered carseat the entire time). :)

lifeasahouse on

I hope Drew has found true happiness and that she and her husband have a strong and lasting marriage.

kpmonkeymommy on

I thought maybe it was a nod to when she was a voice for the character Olive, the other reindeer (who was a dog)

virginia on

oh,i thought it was because she played “olive” the reindeer on a christmas cartoon.

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