Dunst's mother, seeking to rectify the situation, told her daughter to inform her classmates that 'Dunst' was just the German word for 'fog.'
Did it work? Well, not exactly: "Whenever I came to school or during tense silences in class," Kirsten recalled, "some bully would inevitably bellow out a foghorn noise!"
[This, Dunst felt, "was much worse than being called Dunce Dunst. I wished I'd never told anyone what my name meant." Indeed, when she arrived in Hollywood, Dunst began telling people that Dunst means 'mist' -- rather than 'fog' -- in German. "It's much more romantic sounding that way."]
[Unable to sleep without a blanket given to her by her mother when she was born, Dunst, even as an adult, began taking it everywhere she went.]