By now, news of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's split has been spread across the country, resulting in the swiftest dissolution of American ideals of love in recent history. Earlier today, TMZ reported that Jolie filed for divorce from longtime partner Pitt after an apparent disagreement over the children. As we come to terms with Brangelina's split, let us reflect on one aspect of their partnership that gave us the ultimate, original #relationshipgoals: an excellent couple name. But where did "Brangelina" come from? Why did it stick? And what made Brangelina so much more special than other portmanteaus, like Spederline or Khlomar? I take a closer look ahead.
The name started popping up in media reports in late 2005, after fans spent the summer speculating about Jolie and Pitt's blossoming relationship. Pitt had split from Friends star Jennifer Aniston in 2004 after falling in love with Jolie on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. After that, the name stuck.
Bonnie Fuller, then-editorial director of American Media told the New York Times that the nickname grew from fans' desire to play a role in shaping the stars' image.
They want to have a nickname for the couples because they feel as if they are part of the stars' extended group of family and friends.
Linguistically, the name worked better than most. When Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore were married, the name "Ashmi" made the rounds but never quite took off. Ashton later explained to Conan O'Brien that portmanteaus work much better if one name is monosyllabic. That explains why "Bennifer" was popular in its time, and why "Kimye" is hugely popular today.
Because Pitt and Jolie were the biggest stars at the time to have gotten together, and because of the particular highly publicized circumstances of their relationship's beginning, the nickname held extra cultural staying power. Unfortunately for the family and the fans, Brangelina will just be a name in the future, and a reminder of 12 years of glorious love between two of the hottest people, probably ever. BRB, crying.
The decision to file for divorce was made for the health of the family, Jolie's attorney Robert Offer said in a statement. "She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time."
In a statement to People, Pitt echoed Jolie's statements and said he was mostly concerned about the kids:
I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.
It's safe to say fans everywhere will miss the couple, but we wish them the best and hope their family gets through the divorce alright. Farewell, Brangelina. Thanks for the memories.