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Is the World Ready for Another Grace Kelly?

My daughter has always wanted to name a baby girl Grace, and it's especially great because her great-grandmother's name was Grace. However, she has married a Mr. Kelly, making a prospective baby girl Grace Kelly. She is wondering if this would target her baby girl with a life-long problem, or if time has moved on enough for people to not associate the name with the beautiful Princess of Monaco? - Planning ahead Grandma

Dear Grandma,

Please pass on my condolences on the loss of your daughter's favorite name. I wish I had better news, but the original Grace Kelly will always keep at least partial ownership of her name. That means that it can never fully belong to your granddaughter.

The problem is that Grace Kelly was a icon. When a star reaches that status, her fame develops a life of its own. Consider movie stars of the generation before Kelly, whose paths have had longer to play out. Actresses like Constance Bennett and Kay Francis had outstanding careers and at one time ranked among Hollywood's highest-paid stars. But they never reached the iconic level, so their names just sound like names today. Their iconic contemporaries Greta Garbo and Mae West, though, are a different story.

The irony is that for most families, Grace Kelly is a reason to choose the name Grace. Ms. Kelly's image of beauty and refinement has helped make her name the most elegant of the old-fashioned virtue names. But with the surname match, everything changes. Just as the last name Long changes Miles, or Ball changes Crystal, Kelly transforms Grace. You're no longer naming your daughter Grace, you're naming her GraceKelly. And that's not just a name -- it's an homage.

Throughout the life of a young Greta Garbo or Grace Kelly, everyone who encounters her name will immediately think of the other Greta/Grace first. That's not necessarily a bad thing if the homage is what you're aiming for. Your daughter, though, wants something different. She wants "just Grace," the strong and gentle name that's been touched by Grace Kelly, but not owned by her. With the surname Kelly, I'm afraid it's just not an option. Luckily, she still has plenty of time to work up a love for names like Violet, Hope, Iris, Lydia, Lillian or Blythe.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

June 28, 2010 2:51 PM
By Maria de Acero (not verified)

HA. I thought this post was going to be about Charlene Wittstock who will be the new Princess of Monaco when she marries Grace Kelly's son, Prince Albert II, next summer. She's also pretty and blond, but really no Grace Kelly.

June 28, 2010 8:37 PM
By Claire (not verified)

There is also the option of using mom's last name instead of dad's...

June 29, 2010 7:39 AM
By Elissa (not verified)

But I doubt that Grace Kelly will really remain that iconic to your daughter's child's generation. She's NOT as iconic as Marilyn Monroe, in fact it does take some measure of "pop-culture digging" to become aware of Grace Kelly if you didn't grow up with her in the news and in the movies that played in your local theaters. I think that Grace Kelly is a beautiful name, and I think when she gets older, she might tell her friends, "Did you know there was a princess that had my name too? Yeah, and she was in the movies!"

June 29, 2010 8:21 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think she can and should still use it. It is a beautiful name. No one in her generation is going to really associate it with the princess. I am 30 and I know who Grace Kelly the icon is and yes if I was introduced to a Grace Kelly I would think of the princess, BUT it was a long time ago and her generation isn't going to grow up knowing who she was. Plus, you aren't going to call her "Grace Kelly" every time you talk about her. Her name will be "Grace," and she can always take her future husband's name if she hates the Grace Kelly connection.

I say don't worry about it!!!

June 29, 2010 12:51 PM
By Pamela S (not verified)

Maybe a hyphenation of the mother's and father's surnames, or Grace with something else will solve the problem. I know named little girls Anna-Grace and Hannah-Grace, which is pretty, though redundant, since Hannah/Anna/Ann/Nan/Annette/...are all variations on the Hebrew word for Grace... which... means a whole lot more than just Grace.

June 29, 2010 12:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have only a very vague idea of who Grace Kelly is. I hear it and think "oh someone famous". But that's about it.

I think it's fine to use it. And the association will fade over time.

June 29, 2010 12:59 PM
By Allison (not verified)

I agree with Anonymous -- I'm 23, and yes I'd think of Grace Kelly the icon, but to be honest I don't know much about her but her name and that she was an actress and princess. I think the association with Grace Kelly the icon gives an already lovely name additional beauty, but is not overwhelming. Certainly parents of a potential Grace Kelly should have a positive association with the icon.

If the writer's daughter wanted to use Grace as a first name but avoid naming her daughter Grace Kelly, she could easily use a double first name like Mary Grace, Emma-Grace, or Lucy Grace and call the child either the full name or just Grace informally. If the child wanted to embrace the Grace Kelly association, she could go by Grace; if she wanted to distance herself completely, she could use just Mary or Emma or whatever. Otherwise, the double name would have a mild association with Grace Kelly, but probably not something most people would comment on.

June 29, 2010 1:56 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, I have to admit, before today, I had no idea whatsoever who Grace Kelly was. I just googled it now. I'm 15 btw. Grace Kelly is just a beautiful name. I say go for it. I asked a friend of mine and she didn't know either. I think you get what I mean.

June 29, 2010 2:16 PM
By MelissaBKB (not verified)

I understand what a lot of people are saying about today's generation not knowing who Grace Kelly is (witness the 25 and 15-year-olds above)... but this child will not interact with people only in her generation, or just the generation ahead of her. Especially at a young age, during the formative years, her interaction will mostly be with adults who still understand the iconicity of Grace Kelly and will immediately make that association. Hitchcock, Princess Grace, Monaco, car crash, Princess Stephanie.... Not to mention later with college professors and prospective employers. Not a good idea.

But this will fade. For this reason, I think that Ms. Kelly's great-granddaughter could probably get away with being another Grace Kelly. She would certainly get lost in the google results.

I suggest other puritan names if you're going for that style, or switch to the mother's last name if you're that hooked on Grace.

June 29, 2010 3:01 PM
By Jessica (not verified)

why are there 15 year olds giving baby name advice? why are there 15 year olds even on a baby name website? don't wish away your childhood, my dear. there will be plenty of time later for you to be worried about all of that.

June 29, 2010 3:13 PM
By LJ (not verified)

I say go for it. I'm 29 and although I do know who Grace Kelly is, I'm really not that familiar with her. Vivien Leigh (another beautiful name)is far more familiar, but that is probably because I'm a southerner. I'd like to reiterate the question of how often do you really go by your full name. When I introduce my daughter to anyone, I always just use her first name. I don't even think any of her daycare teachers know our last name. Also, as someone else said, as a girl there is a good chance she will take a new last name when she gets married. In fact, its likely she'd have the married name much longer. Lastly, you can't prevent every association to celebrity. Sometimes they happen during your lifetime. I know a Mel Gibson who claims to be the "original". Who knew some Australian would come along and get hate mail sent to him? At least people generally think really lovely things about Grace Kelly.

June 29, 2010 4:04 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I would say go for it as well; even though I am the generation that would instantly recognise the name Grace Kelly as time passes the association will definately go away.
If teenagers do not recognise it I would think it would be safe to say that the classmates of this child would not realise the sentiment.
Another thing to consider is the fact that Grace Kelly was actually her real name unlike Marilyn Monroe; therefore it would be much more likely that there would be another with the same name.

June 29, 2010 4:31 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

I wonder if it's really Mom who's worried about the connection, or is it really Grandma given that they would probably have been of an age? My guess is Grandma mentioned it when Mom was tossing around ideas with her and now she's concerned.

If she would be Marilyn Monroe or Diana Spencer or Natalie Wood, I could see why there would be a pause. As such, it wouldn't keep me from using it.

@ Jessica --

1) B/c you can be into names (no matter what your age) and not be interested in starting a family (yet or at all). Not everyone on a baby-naming site is there to get ideas for their own child(ren). I've had a list of over 100 names that I've liked since I was younger than the OP, and I'm approaching 30.

2) Who better to give insight into a younger generation than a member of it? After all, this 15 yo might very well be the teacher/professor or future employer of the current generation of newborns (our children included, assuming you have any). She'd be in the best position to say what associations will be more common in a decade's time.

June 29, 2010 4:46 PM
By Lily (not verified)

Well... to be honest, the people who say they are not familiar with Grace Kelly are pretty much uncultured, even if they are 15, I'm 19 years old, and I've known about her since I was like 8...

If I met a Grace Kelly I would definitely think,: "what were they thinking? I mean, I feel her pain, because Grace is actually my second favorite name for girls, but yeah, I agree with the Name Lady 100%...

June 29, 2010 5:04 PM
By Alex (not verified)

I almost feel that Grace Kelly is as iconic as the name of a character, a la Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler... I wouldn't like my child to be named any of those, and really, if she is worried about it it's because she also makes that connection herself, so she's is trying to get someone to say: "ohhh, don't worry dear, nobody will know", when that's not the case...

And saying that her generation is not going to know about Grace Kelly is kind of silly, 'cause just as there are movies about Queen Elizabeth or about famous presidents, there will probably be a movie about her life and her family.... and I definitely would like my own children to be educated enough to know who Grace Kelly was, at the very least....

June 29, 2010 7:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

See all these comments from people who say, "Well sure, I recognize the name but I don't really know much about her..." That's it right there. Even (arguably) uncultured youthful people recognize the name. You don't have to be able to write an essay on it - it's still that first hit when she's introduced. The name belongs to Grace Kelly, some old famous chick. Then, it's not whether there are positive associations with the lovely actress, it's the detraction from the person in front of you that she doesn't deserve. How often do you use last names? All the time! I knew everybody's last name in school, in church, and now at work, whether or not I "use" them. All your teachers will know. And while not all people go back and watch older movies, many will, and there will always be plenty of people going back to watch Hitchcock films (thanks for reminding me to rent Dial M for my 13-year-old this summer).

In a similar vein, I'm an actor and the only thing that makes me cringe about my son's name, "Beckett," is when fellow theater people assume I named him that because I'm a rabid (Samual) Beckett fan. It's not that I don't like S. Beckett, but it's not why I named him that. Then again, I knew it was a gamble going in. Grace Kelly's parents, however, will have to be prepared to deal with A LOT of "Watch a lot of Hitchcock?" and little Grace will have to hear a lot of "Your parents watch a lot of Hitchcock, huh?" Not everybody, not even most people, but enough.

I mentioned this to my husband and he thinks it's even worse to have a whole bunch of people "know the name" but only vaguely know why.

And NEVER cop out with "Oh, she'll just change it when she gets married!" That's an awful sentiment on so many levels!

June 29, 2010 7:31 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)


June 29, 2010 7:35 PM
By Erin (not verified)

Although I know who Grace Kelly is and have known since my early teenage years, and I would think of the princess/actress if I heard the name, I don't think the mother really needs to worry about it. I mean, its not like its a bad association. She's not naming her kid Britney Spears or Lady Gaga.

June 29, 2010 7:43 PM
By Marie (not verified)

I think Grace is an absolutely lovely name. Any association with The Grace Kelly seems like it would be positive, not negative.

June 29, 2010 9:57 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

We have 3 girls and always wanted to use the first name Grace but our last name starts with the "Gr" sound so it is terrible together. By our 3rd daughter we figured out how to use it, by naming her Alexandra Grace and calling her AliGrace. That is how she writes her name for everything and everyone calls her AliGrace of Grace. She tells everyone she has a queen name and a princess name! I also know a Kira Grace and a Mary Grace who both go by their 1st and 2nd names at all times or just Grace. We had a different "problem" with Grace so we just worked with it and found something we love with the name we love. If my last name were Kelly I think I would still use Grace or use it as a middle name with a first name that you could combine it with.

June 29, 2010 9:59 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry, meant to say "everyone calls her AliGrace OR Grace"!

June 29, 2010 10:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree with Lily. If you don't know who Grace Kelly is, don't blame it on your age.

Icons go in and out of style and three generations down the line may be obsessed with her the way many teens are obsessed with their idea of Marilyn Monroe these days.

And yes, USE THE MOTHER'S LAST NAME if you love it so much. There's no law that you must use the man's name. Sheesh.

June 29, 2010 11:25 PM
By Casey (not verified)

I agree completely with Lily. I'm also 19 (and have been reading the baby name wizard blog for 4 years...because it's interesting), and I'm quite sure that people in my generation who haven't heard of Grace Kelly are indeed severely uncultured.
But I'd also like to add that this mad TV sketch ( is a VERY popular meme referencing Grace Kelly, and it just goes to show how much more easily a name can become a burden when it's shared with a public figure, even if not everyone thinks immediately of the celebrity. Enough people will, and everyone deserves a name that feels like it belongs to them alone.
tl;dr Don't name your baby Grace Kelly

June 30, 2010 8:01 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know an 8-year-old Ava Gardner, and she likes the association. People always ask her about the movie star, when they hear her name, but she doesn't mind at all, and she has a beautiful name. I think you should be aware of the baggage the name Grace Kelly will carry, but not let that necessarily stop you from using it.

June 30, 2010 8:47 AM
By Kelly (not verified)

My 6 year old son's name is James Taylor, & while I don't think that name is quite as iconic as Grace Kelly, it definitely does have an association with the famous singer. When my son was initially born, we got a alot comments on how much we must love James Taylor the singer, when in fact he is named after his great-grandfather. For the most part, when and adult first meets him, they might comment on his name, but after that point its really a not ever brought up. Of course kids his age don't have any association for the name, although as they grow up they may become more aware of the name.
My son thinks its kind of neat when someone says to him, "Hey, did you know you share you name with a a famous singer?"
So I say if you love the name Grace & don't mind the association, go ahead & use it.

June 30, 2010 8:59 AM
By Kelly (not verified)

One more quick comment. While I appreciate the fact that some younger posters know the association of the name Grace Kelly & don't think it is a good idea; I think that when you are a teen, everything becomes a much bigger deal than it really is & teens worry too much about what other people think. As you get older, you care less about other people's hang-ups.

P.S. please excuse my typing

June 30, 2010 9:03 AM
By Elissa (not verified)

Man, there is a lot of negativity and judgement in this thread... "uncultured" and "wishing away your youth"? Names affect everyone, and we should be happy that those younger --even much younger-- than us are taking an interest! And everyone comes from different perspectives. Why pass judgement so damning as "uncultured" if someone is unfamiliar with Grace Kelly?

Let's keep it clean and thoughtful.

June 30, 2010 2:34 PM
By Katsy (not verified)

I'm 18 and I've loved baby names since I was 4 and my brother was born. I love giving you ladies advice because it lets me be part of something I'm not ready for yet, but can't wait for!

I think there has been and always will be one Grace Kelly. Just like there is one Oprah and one John Lennon. I think the best option in this situation is to go with Grace as a middle name. It could be used as a double name, or just a middle name. Either way, the meaning is still there.

June 30, 2010 3:15 PM
By GeorgiaPeach (not verified)

If you really love the name, then I think you should use it. However, be prepared for ALWAYS being asked if you named her after THE Grace Kelly... because the princess/actress will always be THE Grace Kelly. Additionally, it's not just you, the mother, who will have to answer that question, but also your daughter when she gets older... which is why I wholeheartedly disagree with poster Kelly above -- everything IS a big deal when you're a teenager, and unfortunately those are very impressionable and potentially traumatizing years. Even though it may only be a decade or less, the effects can last much longer. I think comments from teens now would be very helpful in making a final determination.

Also, "Grace Kelly" conjures up beauty, serenity, etc, so what if your daughter is a tomboy? Names can be very powerful, so I would just hope that your daughter wouldn't feel the need to "live up" to the princess.

June 30, 2010 3:19 PM
By GeorgiaPeach (not verified)

One final point: I'm 28 (no children yet), but I've been interested in baby names since in my preteen years. It's fun to think about the future (not wishing away your life, just daydreaming like every girl I've ever known). The only thing I caution teens is that names you love now (especially those that aren't popular) may become popular or have a bad association when you finally do have children! I LOVE the name Chloe. It was a elderly friend of the family's name, and I have said I was going to name my first daughter Chloe since I first heard it (when I was 12). Everyone then thought it was an old lady's name and said I'd obviously change my mind. As everyone now knows, it's a hugely popular name now, so I may actually have changed my mind.. but not for the reasons they thought! :)

June 30, 2010 6:04 PM
By Kate (not verified)

I'll cast another vote with the name lady. I would hate being named Grace Kelly. A child might turn out to be like the young Ava Gardner above and like sharing her name with an icon, but there's an equally good chance she'd hate it so personally I would not take the chance.

Also, I agree with others that there's nothing wrong with teenagers reading name websites. I have ALWAYS loved names-they are fascinating!

July 1, 2010 12:17 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Wow. I don't really know what to say. Grace Kelly is a pretty name....and I have to agree with the poster that said "she wouldn't be called Grace Kelly.". There would be a middle name in there. She when some stranger asks "what's her name?" the answer would be "Grace". Or "Grace Ann" or whatever.
How often are you really called by your first and last name?

July 1, 2010 1:00 PM
By Mamapeas (not verified)

@LJ-I wouldn't count on not using a last name with Grace. Especially in daycares in this day and age. It is a HUGELY popular name, and speaking from experience as a preschool teacher, one class may have 2 or 3, all using their last names in conjuction so as to avoid confusion!

I like the idea of an Emma-Grace, Ava-Grace, etc or Grace as just a middle name.

@Elissa-Well said, this forum is meant for fun and good clean debate, I'll never understand how people take things so personally on the internet! I'm fairly certain we wouldn't be talking this way if we were face to face! As I tell my 3 yo "Use your manners, please!" LOL.

July 2, 2010 9:47 AM
By Mary (not verified)

My brother is named Jon Adams and his daughter is Abigail Adams (as in the president and first lady so many years ago). They get an occasional comment but it has not been a lifelong problem for either of them. I think Grace is a beautiful name. If her last name happens to be Kelly so be it. Grace Kelly was a beautiful lady and any girl sharing her name should be proud. It's not like you are naming her after a serial killer or anything. I say go for the name you love!

July 2, 2010 11:39 AM
By LK (not verified)

I have to disagree with the response. Ironically, I may be in the same situation. My husband is a Mr. Kelly, and I am fond of the name Grace. What makes our situation unique is that my husband is a Gene Kelly. So we would have Gene Kelly, the father of Grace Kelly. I personally think its very interesting and not negative at all. My husband has had to deal with the "So can you dance?" comments all of his 30 years of life, but it doesn't really bother him. I have had to deal with being born on December 24 all of my life, and it hasn't bothered me at all. "Do you get two presents?" OF COURSE I DO! I think the important factor in both our cases is that we have attentive and caring parents that made sure we felt unique and special. We were reminded that we are our own person and a name or birthday cannot take away from who we are. I have proposed the Grace Kelly name to my husband, and we may or may not use it, but if we do she will surely be special.

July 2, 2010 12:28 PM
By Mommytoatree (not verified)

@ Jessica - Why are you taking offense at the idea of a teenager giving advice?
Why be that petty?

If the mother loves a name enough, she'll regret not going for it. "Oh, I was afraid of what other people would think, so I didn't give you a name I really loved and has a lot of personal meaning" kind of thing. It's not like she's naming her son Adolf to honor her great-grandfather or anything potentially offensive like that.

July 2, 2010 9:39 PM
By Anne Onnimice (not verified)

From my perspective, the Grace Kelly association is quite noticeable. If the mother dislikes this, she should steer clear of the name. On the other hand, it does have two things going for it. First, neither "Grace" nor "Kelly" on its own is particularly tied to the icon in question (whereas both "Elvis" and "Presley" are tied closely to the king). Second, the name isn't associated with someone generally thought "bad" (like Larry Craig) or even especially controversial (like Lindsay Lohan). If the mother can't bear the thought of giving up Grace, I think she should go for it.

My variation on the "use a combo name and call her Grace" suggestion is to use Grace as the first part of a double name. I think using Grace as a nickname for Grace Annabel or Grace Edith, for example, seems more natural than using Grace as a nickname for Emma Grace.

July 2, 2010 9:40 PM
By Anne Onnimice (not verified)

Oh yeah, and fwiw, when I read this, I recognized Constance Bennett but not Greta Garbo. Likewise, there will probably be some people who for whatever random reason won't have heard of Grace Kelly.

LK - I know someone born on December 24 who did not get two presents growing up and someone else born on December 28 who also did not (although the latter did grow up during the Depression and WWII). Maybe it's "of course" to you, and maybe it's annoying to be asked, but it's "of course" to everyone.

PS In case anyone's curious, I'm 18.

July 2, 2010 9:41 PM
By Anne Onnimice (not verified)

*NOT of course to everyone. -_-

July 2, 2010 10:27 PM
By Payton (not verified)

Jessica@ Actually, she's discussing names on the baby-name website. I love names, and this isn't just a site for expecting parents

July 3, 2010 10:44 AM
By Dominique

Check out Name Candy (sister site to Ask the Name Lady) post on GRACE KELLY:

July 3, 2010 9:59 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Maybe this is one of those generational name things. Grace Kelly sounds like a nice name, I like it, but it doesn't remind me of a famous person. She should feel free to name her daughter Grace Kelly. The name wouldn't belong more to the older Grace as you suggest. I think this is more of a situation where a mom thinks a name sounds old (reminds them of an old person), but the daughter thinks the name sounds fresh (they don't know anyone with that name).

July 6, 2010 12:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

"why are there even 15 year olds..."

Its not only grown ups who enjoy looking at baby names. I don't see how I'm wishing away my childhood. It's not like I' actually having a baby. I think your comment is pretty indecent and senseless. Thank you for those who defended that.

No knowing Grace Kelly is being 'uncultured'? That is so ridiculous. Just because I don't know something doesn't make me uncultured. Maybe instead of critising my lack of culture, teach me some and brush up on your manners in the process.

I still think Grace is a wondeful name.

July 6, 2010 12:35 PM
By NH (not verified)

I love the name Grace too. And I used my last name for my daughter. So yes, it can be done if you want to avoid the Kelly surname to keep the Grace. On the other hand, don't underestimate the value of having a name that will let you get "lost" in Google results. I have a very unusual name and any Google result of that name is me. It's a little unnerving to have my entire life *easily* available online.

What really entertained me about this post, though, was that I used one of the suggested alternatives for my daughter.

July 6, 2010 5:02 PM
By Lily (not verified)

For what it's worth, when I made the "uncultured" comment, I didn't know the term meant this: "lacking good taste, manners, upbringing, and education" (English free Dictionary)'cause English is not my language... I associated it with not knowing about certain subjects such as history, arts, pop culture, etc. 'cause in my country that's what it means, it doesn't involve manners, or taste, or upbringing...

Anyways, I guess it WAS pretty disrespectful of me to make that comment, so, I apologize...

July 7, 2010 8:40 AM
By Jonathan (not verified)

I face a similar problem; my baby's due this saturday and we've been thinking about Jack...our last name is London. My grandfather, who passed away last year, was also named Jack London. I do not want to burden my child (if it is a boy) with a name to which everyone will make some dumb-ass remark; on the other hand, how many folks in the early 21st C are gonna know much about Jack London. Another concern is that the famous Jack London (not my granfather) was something of a racist (though my granfather was something of a bigot)....if not Jack...then there's Jamie, but then I face a different set of concerns about whether Jamie is sufficiently "male" ... ideas?

July 7, 2010 11:51 AM
By Jean (not verified)

I think this is funny because I come from a whole family of Gene/Jean Kelly's. It is an old family name and there is at least one person in every generation of my family with this name. Yes, I did get comments growing up as Jean Kelly, but they were mostly from people like school teachers and my peers were pretty much clueless. I think the Grace Kelly connection is more of a neat thing than a negative, it makes the name more special.

July 8, 2010 8:49 AM
By Lisa in TX (not verified)

@Jonathan - If you love Jack, go for Jack. I know the author and his books, but didn't know about the racism, so I don't think it'll come up with most people. Also, I've got a son named James who goes by Jamie--it's the standard Scottish familiar for James and I love it. James McAvoy goes by Jamie (or even Jamsie) with his extended family.

July 10, 2010 6:42 PM
By L. (not verified)

My brother-in-law is Jonathan Locke and everyone who meets him instantly makes the connection to John Locke and makes a stupid comment. I think with every last name there are just a few first names that unfortunately you have to eliminate if you don't want the connection constantly pointed out to your child. I also think a first name-last name match to a famous/historical person either makes the parent seem like they must be obsessed with that famous person, or they were too ignorant to see the connection. Why not choose another version like Engracia or Graciela?

July 11, 2010 8:23 PM
By Jackon's Mom in VT (not verified)

I taught a kid named Alec Baldwin (born in 1988) who was in high school with Meg Ryan. I know there is another girl at my local high school with a "famous name" but I can't think of it off hand.

I think Grace is a wonderful name. I think you should go ahead and use it. At least people know how to spell it and remember it.

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