Category: names for twins
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.
It’s a name nerd’s fantasy: Naming twin girls.
You want two girls’ names that are compatible yet distinct, that are consistent in style and image and gender identity yet sound no more alike than the names of sisters.
The most popular names for girl twins range from the top of the charts Olivia and Sophia to cutesy pairs such as Faith and Hope or Heaven and Neveah to sound-alikes Ella and Emma. But we know you can do better than that.
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:
Funny that the most popular twin names in the U.S. are still what we’d call too matchy-matchy, with the same first initial and separated by only a letter or two: Taylor and Tyler, for example, or Ethan and Evan.
On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to give your twins names that seemed as if they came from different planets. A pair like Kaylee and Eleanor sound like a cheerleader and a valedictorian, while Theodore and Logan might have been born centuries rather than mere minutes apart.
Since choosing twin names is among the most baffling tasks for parents, and present one of the most fun challenges on our message boards, we thought we’d make this the topic of our next group-produced blog.
What’s the best set of twin names you’ve ever heard — or that you can dream of — and what’s so great about it?
And what’s the worst? Over to you….
This blog is adapted from our most recent book, Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby
Twins offer a rare opportunity for parents to choose two related names at the same time, but also multiply the potential difficulties of sibling naming. With twins, it can be more tempting to use rhyme, sound play, and same initial names, but in our opinion pairings like Eddie and Teddy, Faith and Charity, or Nicholas and Nicole should be relegated to a time capsule.
While same-initial names that are clearly distinct from each other – Garrett and Grace, say, or Susannah and Simone – are okay, different-initial names are consistent in style and tone are preferable.
Some celebrity examples that work: Brad and Angelia’s Knox and Vivienne, Julia Roberts’ Phinnaeus and Hazel, Patrick Dempsey’s Sullivan and Darby, and Marcia Cross’s Eden and Savannah. Although each of these sets of names is very different in style and feel, they all embody the qualities that matter most in twin names. Each name in the set is distinct from the other yet they make a harmonious pair – exactly what most parents would wish for the twins themselves.
Gender compatibility may be more important for twins than it is for siblings. One pair of starbaby twins whose names don’t quite work as well as they should: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Jessie James and D’Lila Star. Both are girls, yet Jessie’s name seems thoroughly boyish while D’Lila’s is feminine to the point of frilly. Melissa Ethridge’s twins are Johnnie and Miller – but unless you know their middle names, you wouldn’t guess that Johnnie is a girl, Miller a boy. Such gender confusion seems needless, well, confusing.