Category: Naming Siblings and Multiples
My husband and I have six kids. If naming babies were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I’d medal. Not necessarily in quality or creativity but in experience.
When we had our first daughter in 2001, choosing her name literally took 5 minutes. My husband suggested Juliet. I loved it immediately but suggested the longer French version, Juliette, because I thought it made a better balance with our short, somewhat masculine-feeling last name. He agreed.
Her middle name was chosen before I was ever even knocked up. In 1998, I was visiting Ireland when a bomb blast in the Northern Ireland city of Omagh claimed the lives of 29 people. One of those souls was that of a little girl named Maura. I made a silent and personal vow to use that name if I were ever to have a baby girl. Also, Maura is the Irish form of Mary and we are Catholic, so it was especially precious to me. We never looked back or second guessed our choice of Juliette Maura.
If a recent New York Times article is to be believed, naming a baby is more anxiety-inducing than ever before. So much pressure to find the one. perfect. name. But what happens when you need two perfect names and I don’t mean in succession. Like virtually everything else to do with having twins, is naming them double the trouble?
There is a real sense in which choosing a pair of twins’ names is just like choosing a sibling set. For me, the same basic rules applied. The names had to be complementary and of a comparable level of originality. They had to roll off the tongue together, because, lord knows, they will be spoken in tandem more often than you can imagine. It would be a bonus if they shared some common, but not overwhelming, feature: a group of letters perhaps or a vague significance of meaning. Better yet, a sense of style. I have seen, for instance, all of my children’s names described as “Antique Charm.” This was a happy coincidence for the first two. For the twins, as numbers three and four, it felt almost like a necessity.
Every three months, when we prepare these quarterly reports, we’re knocked out by the endlessly creative variety of choices made (and I’m sure there are lots more that didn’t make it into the Birth Announcement Forum), the felicitous first and middle name combos and the great twin and other sibsets.
This time around there are reports of ten sets of twins:
A while back, we asked you to list your favorite names, one for a girl and one for a boy, from A to Z.
Now we’re inviting you to reprise that exercise, but with a pair of twin names for each letter.
You are welcome to mix it up: some girl-girl twin names, some boy pairs, and some girl-boy mixes. Create pairs with clever matching themes or flow, if that’s your preference, or choices that are very distinct from one another and are connected mainly by their first initial.
The only rule is that each pair of twin names start with the same first letter.
So your list might read:
…..and so on.
It’s always so disappointing to see the most popular twin names in the U.S. The majority are connected in such obvious ways, or in several obvious ways at the same time. They’ve got the same first initial, they rhyme or at least have a similar rhythm, they share a derivation and/or a meaning, they’re identical in style and/or popularity and/or image – and often they’ve got all those factors going on at once.
But we think you can do better, much better, and we’re going to help you. The point is to find twin names that share a strong bond yet remain distinct individuals, just as you would wish for your children. Some ideas for fresh links between names are below — you might want to use these for finding compatible sibling pairs too!
Same first initial, different sound
Connecting twin names by using the same first initial may feel like the easiest and, let’s face it, most predictable and boring way to link.
But you can give the powerful initial connection a fresh twist by choosing names that share the initial but sound different. Some first initials accommodate this idea better than others. A few examples:
If you want to use a first initial that sounds the same no matter what, at least vary the second letter to give the overall sound of each name a distinct feel. Examples: