Why Does Kris Still Use the Jenner Name?

We all know the Kardashian-Jenner matriarch as Kris Jenner, but she hasn’t always gone by that name. Before the rich husbands, there was once a girl named Kristen growing up in California.

Over the years, which names has Kris gone by? And why, now that she’s no longer married, does Kris still use the Jenner name?

Keep reading to find out the answer, along with several fun facts about the Kardashian-Jenner family names and their meanings.

Kris Jenner’s maiden name

Kris Jenner
Kris Jenner | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for GEARYS Beverly Hills

Kris was born to Mary Jo and Robert True Houghton in San Diego, California. If her father’s name sounds familiar, that’s because Khloe named her daughter True. After the birth, Kris took to Instagram to explain the name’s family history.

“FUN FACT… my grandfather’s name on my Dad’s side was True Otis Houghton… my Dad’s name Robert True Houghton…so I am so excited Khloe named her daughter True!!!”

Kris’ original name was Kristen Mary Houghton. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother. Kris attended Clairemont High School, graduating in 1976 and then became a flight attendant for American Airlines.

Kris Kardashian

Robert Kardashian met Kris at the Del Mar racetrack when she was just 17 years old. He was 28 and already a successful lawyer. When Robert saw Kris, he fell in love right away. It took two proposals before Kris agreed to marry him. When Kris was 22, in 1978, she became Kris Kardashian- a rich Beverly Hills housewife.

The pair had four children, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob. You might notice the girls names all begin with K. This isn’t actually a trend started by Kris- it goes back much further than that. Kris’ mother, Mary Jo began the K tradition with her children. Kris’ sister is named Karen.

When Kourtney had her first child, she didn’t continue with the K tradition, but she did pay major homage to the Kardashian name. Kourtney explained to MTV how the name Mason Dash was chosen for her son.

“[My Aunt] told me that Mason means the same thing in English that Kardashian means in Armenian- stone worker…. Dash is short for Kardashian, and it was my father’s nickname.”

Kris was happy with her family and loved Robert, but in her 30’s she became bored. An affair began between her and a soccer player which, when Robert found out, ended her marriage.

Kris Jenner

A month before her divorce with Robert was final, Kim went on a blind date with Olympic gold medalist, Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner). The pair were married within a year and Kris then became known as Kris Jenner.

They each had four children from previous marriages, but decided to have two of their own, and that’s when Kendall and Kylie joined the family. (By the way- Kylie’s middle name is Kristen- after her mom).

Why does Kris still use the Jenner name?

When Caitlyn and Kris divorced, she actually considered going back to the name Kardashian for a time. Everyone knew the Kardashian family because of their TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and many people assumed her name was Kris Kardashian.

“I live in a Kardashian world,” she explained to ABC news. “It’s like Kardashian Inc., in my office- I eat Kardashian, I breathe Kardashian, I sleep Kardashian. I deal in Kardashians- so everyone calls me Kris Kardashian, and it goes on and on..”

It seemed natural for Kris to go back to the name. However, her daughters talked her out of that idea.

Instead of returning to her maiden name, Kris decided to keep the name Jenner, out of respect for her daughters, Kendall and Kylie. “It happens to be two younger girls who have an amazing dad and I think I’m going to stay right where I am,” Kris said.