Will Ferrell had to go through the "excruciating" pain of being called John by his teachers at school.

The 'Elf' star was registered at birth as John William Ferrell, but his parents called him Will and it took ages before people got used to calling him by their chosen moniker.

He told his 'Anchorman' co-star Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler's 'MeSsy' podcast: "This is a minor thing in terms of β€” it's not really even trauma β€” but I remember feeling so embarrassed because my real name is John, John William Ferrell, so first day of school, I'd be John. The teacher would be like 'John Ferrell?' and it was so embarrassing to me to have to say 'Here, but I go by Will, I don't go by John.'"

He continued: "It wasn't my choice.

"My parents named [me] John, but they called me Will. I grew up as Will, but on a rule sheet, my legal name is John Ferrell.

"I don't know why that was so embarrassing to me to have to explain 'I'm actually Will.'"

The 'Barbie' actor quipped: "People are probably going to be listening to this going 'That is the lamest thing ever.'"

Will opening up about his school days comes after he incorporated a jibe about his old college rivals into 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'.

The 56-year-old actor studied sports broadcasting at the University of Southern California (USC) but a scene in the film features a small group of Americans in Arizona State University (ASU) clothing, which the 'Despicable Me 4' star admitted was a deliberate taunt at the "party school".

Asked about the scene, he told Screen Rant: "That was Pac 12 fellowship right there. That was also a perfect party school to make fun of, because at USC, we're graduates of a fine academic institution now.

"When I was there, maybe not so much, but now it's really hard to get into. ASU? You know, anyone can get in there."

Will starred in the film as Eurovision entrant Lars Erickssong, while Pierce Brosnan, 71, played his father, Erick.