What Is Tiger Woods' Real (and Full) Name?

Tiger Woods is all smiles prior to the start of a Masters Tournament
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

"Tiger Woods name" is a common term that fans of Woods search for on the Web. Of course, what those searchers want to know is Tiger Woods' real name: his given name, his birth name, his full name.

We can answer all three of those questions at once by relaying what appears on Tiger's birth certificate. Tiger's full, given name is:

Eldrick Tont Woods

But everyone knows him as "Tiger."

Over the years there have been some stories that Woods legally changed his first name from Eldrick to Tiger. But that's not true. As was confirmed when legal documents from Woods' divorce proceedings became public, "Eldrick" remains Woods' first name and "Tiger" remains the ubiquitous nickname. Another giveaway is that the corporation formed as licensing agent for the use of Woods' name and likeness is named ETW Corp., where "ETW" stands for "Eldrick Tont Woods."

In addition to the Tiger nickname, Woods was also called "Sam" by his father. And that fact helps explain why Woods and his ex-wife Elin Nordegren named their daughter Sam.

Tiger's First Name: 'Eldrick'

Why did Woods' parents give him the first name of "Eldrick"? There doesn't necessarily have to be a reason (such as Woods being named after a relative), of course, beyond it being a name his parents liked and selected. But one story we've heard is that Woods' mother picked the name because she was looking for something that started with an "E" (for Earl, Woods' father's name) and ended with a "K" (for Kultida, Woods' mother's name).

According to those baby name suggestion Web sites, "Eldrick" is of German or English origin, and is a variation of "Eldridge" or "Aldric." The original meaning of the name was "righteous ruler" or "sage ruler."

Funny thing is, there doesn't appear to be any point in Woods' life when he was actually called by his given name. He's always been "Tiger" to family and friends. In the earliest days of his fame as a golfer, while still a teenager playing in junior and amateur tournaments, some news reports did identify him as "Eldrick (Tiger) Woods." But the Eldrick quickly disappeared once Woods became truly famous, which began happening with his first victory in a U.S. Amateur Championship tournament.

Tiger's Middle Name: 'Tont'

Woods doesn't list his middle name on his official Web site, and "Tont" was only widely revealed as his middle name when legal documents relating to his divorce became public around 2010.

"Tont," according to various sources, is a traditional Thai name. Woods' mother, Kultida, is from Thailand.

We've seen the name "Tont" written in Thai script a few times. And if you take those script characters and plug them into Google Translate, an English translation of "beginning" is what you get.

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