Category: Naming Siblings and Multiples
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Both his first and middle names honor his great-grandparents, Charles and Al. Cal is the name of my favorite character from my favorite book, East of Eden, and Alasdair is a cheeky nod to Alexander the Great and the fact that we were deployed to Afghanistan at the time of his conception. It’s the perfect name for him and our family.
The problem is coming up with a name for his little brother, due in March, with a similar traditional feel, cool-but-not-too-common nickname-ability, and family significance. We like strong, classic boy names, but I have always wanted to avoid the Top 100 — though I obviously made an exception with Charles.
Some of the family first names we’re working with are John, William, James, Thomas, and Raymond — all of which are too familiar for my taste, as they are — and Bertsch, Rhodes, and Stokes as possibly transformable last names. I’d also be open to using honor initials, like J.D. after my father or T.R. after my husband’s grandfather, but we just can’t think of any combination of names that we’re in love with.
As a middle child, I know what it’s like to feel overshadowed by my older sibling, and I really want this baby’s name to be just as special as his brother’s. Can you offer any advice?
The Name Sage replies:
Here in the US, some of the most popular twin sets include names like Matthew & Michael, Daniel & David, Hailey & Hannah or Ella & Emma. Yet others are even matchier such as Lillian and Jillian, Bryan & Ryan or Jesse & Jessica. While there isn’t technically anything wrong with matching names together like this, there are plenty of ways to be more creative when naming twin while still allowing them to have their own identities.
I’ve come up with three ways to help parents make sure their twins won’t have overly matchy names. We will examine twin names that are linked together by meaning while still being different from one another, names that sound very different but still work together stylistically, and names that share a common sound without rhyming or being too sound-alike.
1. Linked by meaning
These names don’t rhyme or sound alike but they do share a similar meaning. This is great for parents who feel the urge to make twin names matchy but don’t want to rhyme or have the names start with the same letter.
Or the rare instance where the meaning of a name is also a name:
2. Very different sounds
These names may be of a similar style or origin but they do not sound the same. They do not rhyme; they might not even have any of the same letters in common. These names stand together but have their own identities.
These names share a similar sound or two, but they are not overwhelmingly similar and they do not rhyme. Often, these sounds will be emphasized differently and the names will have different syllable counts.
What do you think of this list? Whether you like or dislike the idea of making twin names overly matchy, perhaps you can share in the comments some examples of names that you appreciate on twins. Do you have twins of your own? Do you have twin names picked out just in case? Where do you draw the line between the names being subtly linked and being too close for comfort?
We have twin girls called Beatrice Willow and Amelie Isobel. We also had a little boy called Finnian Robert, sadly stillborn at 36 weeks. We are now expecting another girl in November. Any suggestions for something that would go well with our older kids’ names?
The Name Sage replies:
My husband was raised to be very proud of his middle name and it doesn’t bother him. I’m just afraid that our son won’t be the same, or it will hurt him more than my husband.
Close friends and family have mentioned this to me, so what the heck is the general public going to say?
What do I do? Do I put my foot down and say no way? Or do I hope that we can raise him to love his namesake and his name?
We are expecting a girl in December. We thought we had the perfect name picked out for our little darling: Easton Brennan LastName. We loved that Easton is not expected for a girl and Brennan is my best friend’s last name. Our son Nash Anderson‘s middle name is my husband’s last name.
Then Kim and Kanye have to go and get pregnant! It’s rumored their boy will be named Easton and I just can’t get over it! Our kids will be born at similar times and I don’t want announce that my new baby has the same name as this celebrity babe.
The problem is we can’t agree on other names! I like Vivi, but it’s so common.
Help! I want something as fun and unique as Nash!
The Name Sage replies: