Category: Naming Siblings and Multiples
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:
We first talked with the lovely Natalie Hanson, whose husband is musical star Taylor Hanson, when she named her fourth child the amazing Viggo Moriah. Not only is Natalie a celebrity mom, she’s a name nerd! We’re delighted and honored to welcome Natalie to Nameberry as a guest blogger. Here, she looks back on the names she and her husband chose for their four young children and what she’s thinking about for names for her fifth, due this fall.
This October I will celebrate ten years since I first took my adolescent name research and applied it to an actual human being. This upcoming anniversary has inspired me to look back on the names my husband and I gave to our four children, the ways we chose them, and how they’ve worked out. Have each of my choices lived up to my hopes? Was my perception of each name’s potential correct, or “ahead of its time”? Our name stories:
So we’ve decided to reprise the idea with a whole raft of new pairs of twin names. As before, the idea is to choose names that are compatible yet clearly individual — no shared first initials or other overly-obvious links — yet that are joined in a more subtle way by a common meaning.
In the girl-boy pairs below, the girl’s name goes first as per Nameberry style; in single-gender pairs, the names are organized alphabetically.
Remember Kristen, the mom who was suffering from Baby Name Desensitization Disorder and just couldn’t settle on a name for the little brother she was expecting for Colette and Weston? Well, her problem turned out not to be BNDD or even Boy Name Ambivalence but something much more dramatic. We’ll let her tell the story:
With four weeks left till my due date, my midwife sent me for a series of ultrasounds. The baby is very healthy, but there is one detail that now has my head spinning, eyes crossing, and hair standing on end. During the ultrasound they informed us we were having a GIRL! Yes, a girl! A GIRL!
We are thrilled and excited and can’t wait to meet this little girl who has played an awesome practical joke on us! Man, she will fit into this family just great! But after years of ignoring all things having to do with girls’ names, Jeff and I have no clue where to start.
What is popular? What is trendy? What is classy? What is just weird? What is wayyy overused? Right now we are calling her lil Shocka Khan, Shocka for short, but hopefully we can replace that soon!
Washington State berry Katy is a mother to three girls with meaningful names and spirited nicknames, a tradition she’d like to continue with her fourth child. Can this berry find a name that fits her criteria and her sibset? Here is what she says:
“My husband Colin and I are expecting baby #4! We have 3 daughters, 6 year-old twins Isobel Rose & Liv Michaela, and a 3 year-old Zoie Grace. Isobel‘s name means pledged to God, Zoie and Liv‘s names mean life.
We don’t know the gender of the baby yet, but we’ve been searching for a name that has a meaning similar to Isobel‘s. We want to stay consistent. So far we’ve come up with Jack, Matthias, & Theodore (our favorite) for a little boy and for a little girl we found Elliot (our favorite), Libby, & Thea.