The revelation was recently made by Dag Kittlaus, one of Siri’s co-founders, in a keynote speech given in Chicago on Tuesday, Network World reports.
Originally, the word “Siri” is Norwegian for “beautiful woman who leads you to victory,” Kittlaus explained.
“I worked with a lady named Siri in Norway and wanted to name my daughter Siri and the domain was available,” he said. “And also consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell, easy to say.”
Initially the software was independent from Apple but available on iOS, on the iPhone App Store. The Cupertino company acquired Siri in April of 2010 for a rumored $200 million.
Kittlaus recounted how Jobs personally contacted him after Siri launched its iPhone app in 2010 to set up a meeting:
“Three weeks after we launched I got a call in the office from someone at Apple that said, ‘Scott Forstall wants to talk to you and he’s the head software guy.’
And I said sure…
Only it wasn’t Scott that called it was Steve. And Steve never announces where he’s gonna be and what he’s gonna do because there’s too much commotion around it. So he said, “Dag, this is Steve Jobs.”
And he wanted me to come over to his house the next day, and I did, and I spent 3 hours with him in front of his fireplace having this surreal conversation about the future.
And, you know, he talked about why Apple was going to win, and we talked about how Siri was doing. And he was very excited about the fact that.. you know, he was very interested in this area in general but, you know, they’re patient, they don’t jump on anything until they feel they can go after something new and he felt that we cracked it. So that was his attraction.
I ended up very lucky, timing wise. I got to work with him for a year before he got real sick. And he’s pretty incredible. The stories are true. All of the stories.”
Kittlaus also revealed that Jobs was not really a fan of the name “Siri” but Kittlaus kept insisting that it was a good name.
Although he remained skeptical, Jobs couldn’t find a name he liked better, so he stuck with Siri in the end.