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Category: twin baby names

Girl Twin Names: What would you choose?

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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.

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Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link

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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.

Dominant pairs include Jada and Jayden, Taylor and Tyler, Ella and Emma, London and Paris.

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:

Cybele and Clio

Genevieve and Garrett

Imogen and Isla

Patrick and Philip

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:

David and Drew

Mabel and Murray

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One of our favorite twin names blogs ever was on distinct names that had shared meanings: Esme and Imogen, which both mean beloved, for instance, or Asher and Felix, which mean happy.

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.

Anoush and Eulalia – sweet

Balthasar and Rex – king

Celeste and Juno  – heaven

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Twin Names: One Berry’s Top Picks

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Twin names pose special challenges and special pleasures, for the namer and name enthusiast alike. Here, Nameberry intern and guest blogger Hannah Tenison chooses her favorite twin pairs and tells us why they work so well.

Since the days of Ancient Rome and Greece, when the stories of Remus and Romulus and Castor and Pollux circulated among the public, twins have been a source of intrigue; but when Mary-Kate and Ashley burst onto the screen in the 80s sitcom “Full House” as the lovable Michelle, they became positively marketable.

The Olsen twins gave way to “The Parent Trap,” starring Lindsay Lohan as twins Hallie and Annie; Tia and Tamera Mowry, who starred in the 90’s Disney show “Sister, Sister,” and later, Dylan and Cole Sprouse in “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” There’s “Harry Potter”’s Fred and George Weasley as well as Padma and Parvati Patil, along with “A Series of Unfortunate Events’” Duncan and Isadora Quagmire, and in music, there’s the duo Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, and indie pair Tegan and Sara.

But of course, the most interesting thing about twins is their names – at least from a name nerd’s perspective. Here, a list of my personal favorite twin name pairs, from starbabies to royalty, and why I think they work well together.

Thornton and Theophilus Wilder (Thornton wrote the play “Our Town”): Unusual, distinguished, and somewhat stodgy, these names sound old-world cool, and the shared “th” sound makes them similar without taking it over the top. I like that Thornton, whose unfussy surname vibe couldn’t be more different from the antiquated sound of Theophilus, still manages to sound like the latter’s twin.

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Guest blogger Laura Blackwell offers some practical advice for naming multiples–based on her own experience.

When you find out you’re having twins, your baby-naming duties get more than doubly complicated. The moment my husband and I saw that second jellybean on the ultrasound, some of our plans went out the window. Since then, we’ve learned about many challenges and much confusion over twin names–some before naming our daughters, and some after.

Nameberry has already touched on several of the pitfalls of naming multiples: the matchy-matchy names, the rhymes, the names so different that anyone they meet will think one kid got the “good” name. The following are some more of the surprises that parents of multiples encounter.

Equal weight: If you’re into the meanings of names, finding comparable names for your kids can be challenging. In childhood, my friend Craig was taunted by his sister Cynthia. “I’m named after a goddess,” she told him, “and you’re named after a rock.” They’re not even twins. Thinking about that made us decide against giving one of our twins a mythological name and the other the name of a flower.

Initial difficulties: Cute as it may seem to name your kids with the same first letter, it can cause problems. I have heard twin moms say that their insurance tried to deny claims as double-billing, based on the first initial and birth date. And if originality is important to you, limiting yourself to one letter may backfire. I know three different moms who named their twin daughters Hayley and Hannah (with spelling variations).

“Which one is the boy?”: Boy/girl twins are the most common type of multiples. Many well-meaning people will simply assume that one of your kids is male and the other female. Gender-ambiguous names, such as last-names-as-first-names, add to the confusion. If you’re naming your boys Cooper and Edison, brace yourself for compliments about your “daughter’s” long eyelashes. Which one they call the daughter will vary.

They can’t even tell the names apart: Have you ever heard a restaurant hostess call “Denise,” only to have a peeved-looking Dennis stand up? Not everybody is good at phonetic spelling. To many of the people your kids will encounter in life, Casey and Cassie look like the same name. Your children will almost certainly share a birthdate, and if they’re same-sex, they may look a lot alike…it’s better if at least their names are different.

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