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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

Wait, What Is Jenna Lyons' Real Name?

"Oh my god!" is all Sai De Silva can say when she learns the truth about Jenna Lyons.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

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Six weeks into The Real Housewives of New York City, the Season 14 cast is still just getting to know each other. Jenna Lyons, like all of the Housewives, still has some personal details she's been keeping up her ever-stylish sleeves.

In fact, as seen in a preview for Episode 7, she's been keeping the truth about her real name hidden.

What is Jenna Lyons’ real name?

Jenna Lyons' birth name is Judith Agar Lyons.

My name is not my real name. My name is Judith,Jenna tells a young woman seated with her and Sai De Silva. 

My brother,” Jenna adds, used to call me geni-geni-geni-talia.

When you think about it, you can see the nickname sounds like Jenna-talia. Hence, meet Jenna.

Sai was gobsmacked.

Oh my god!” the Brooklyn influencer and content creator gasped. We'll have to wait until Episode 7 to see what prompted this reveal — and the meaning.

Jenna with slicked back hair and red lipstick in a blazer with crystal lapels in front of a step and repeat.

The fact that Jenna was born Judith Agar Lyons in Boston, Massachusetts isn’t actually top secret, though. It has been mentioned before in articles about her as well as an online bio.

Jenna, the former president and creative director of J. Crew and CEO and founder of the beauty company, LoveSeen, has been revealing many aspects of herself on the show. She has been candid about her health challenges and the impacts it has on her, speaking openly on RHONY about suffering since her youth from incontinentia pigmenti. The genetic disorder left her skin scarred and hyper-pigmented. Her signature clothing style was partly inspired by a desire to keep covered up. 

Why does Jenna Lyons use a nickname?

The fact that Jenna’s youthful nickname stuck with her puts her in a celebrated club, according to Pamela Redmond, an authority on names who created

RELATED: New RHONY Cast Member Jenna Lyons Is a Met Gala Regular — See Her Best Looks

Actress Meryl Streep was born Mary, but her father came up with Meryl. Singer Miley Cyrus was born Destiny Hope and her nickname Smiley evolved into her given name. Shelton Jackson Lee’s mother called him “Spike” as a baby because he was tough, and he grew up into director Spike Lee.

Nicknames pop up for various reasons.

“The source could be a term of affection or a kind of a private joke,” said Redmond. “For some people it becomes the name they use all the time. For others it’s just used around friends or at home.”

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Sundays at 9/8c on Bravo, and streams the next day on Peacock.

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