A Celebrity (Almost) Used My Baby Name

It's a Girl!Would you want a high-profile celebrity couple to give their child the same name as your son or daughter? I was surprised at my own response to that question.

For a brief period of time, right after French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, gave birth to their daughter a couple of weeks ago, there were reports that France's first couple was going to name the little girl Dahlia, which happens to be my own daughter's name.

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but I got my answer just a short while later, when it was announced that the Sarkozys had in fact named their daughter not Dahlia, as Telegraph had first reported in a widely picked up news story, but rather ... Giulia.


Giulia is a lovely name, a classic-sounding name, a terrific choice. But I couldn't help but feel a little bit disappointed that they had passed the name Dahlia by, and my response frankly surprised me. My husband and I had chosen the name because we loved it -- I still think it's almost as beautiful as the little girl who now uses it to decorate every piece of paper in the house, lovingly dotting each "i" with a heart.

Dahlia adores her name. But like many other parents (apparently some quite strongly), I have had my moments of uncertainty.

People frequently mispronounce it. (I don't care if you say it with an open "a" sound, as in "all," or a flatter one, as in "Al," but those are pretty much the only two acceptable options, I think.) People often call her "Delia" or "Delilah." There's a silent "h" in there that throws people off, and sometimes feels inefficient. And I occasionally wonder if people who are unfamiliar with the name (it's now ranked 650 on the Social Security list of Popular Baby Names, though it wasn't even in the top 1,000 the year we chose it) think we just made it up.

I never thought I'd care much one way or the other if a celebrity chose the same name as my child. It's the sort of thing we probably all imagine would make us roll our eyes, secretly hoping it didn't spark a trend that would make it hard to get our kids' attention on the playground. And let's face it, the Sarkozys are probably not bound to set that kind of trend here in the U.S..

But had the Sarkozys chosen the name Dahlia, I might not have had to say my daughter's name twice in order for people to understand it, or spell it, or say "like the flower" every time someone looked at me uncertainly. Those things don't bother Dahlia, but they do sometimes bother me. If nothing else, I would have felt ... validated.

Would you want a celebrity to choose the same name for their child that you have?


Image via kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop)/Flickr

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