Category: twin girl names
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.
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….
Twins offer a rare opportunity for parents to choose two related baby names at the same time, but also multiply the potential difficulties of sibling names. 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 celebrity twin 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.
Lookydaddy.com’s Brian Sargent, today’s guest blogger, is the stay-at-home dad of now-four-year-old twin girls and a third-grader. Those are his daughters, above.
My wife and I knew it would be tough to name twin girls, so we assigned ourselves jobs. My wife’s job was to suggest possible names for consideration. My job was to say I didn’t like them.
Not to be immodest, but I did my job well.
“You’re not even trying, anymore, are you?”
I did my job so well that toward the end of my wife’s pregnancy, I began to fear for my life. With each passing week, in an attempt to sleep comfortably, my wife had stacked foam pads, sleeping bags, pillows, and even an air mattress on her side of our marital bed, and as the twins’ due date approached, I knew that all she would have to do was roll over in the middle of the night to literally crush the baby-name objections right out of me.
I kid, of course. My wife could have never rolled over without my help.
Finally, exasperated with the selfless way in which I saved my children from names that belonged to my ex-students or had too many Ys, this is what my wife did: She wrote down a list of her ten favorite names, posted it on the refrigerator, and informed me none of the names could be removed from the list unless they were replaced with better ones.
So there they stood: Ten names. Who knows where they came from? Some I recognized as my wife’s coworkers. Some may have been from TV shows. And some were there simply to make me wonder why I had ever thought my wife and I had enough in common to successfully raise a child together. And, unless I could come up with better, two of them would become my twin girls.
I never came up with better. The two girls currently pulling on my arms as I type, giving my spellchecker a run for its money, bear names that came from that list of ten. And you know what? It’s fine. In fact, it’s more than fine. When I look back on it, I’m not sure why I was such a jerk about the whole name-choosing process in the first place. My girls, my beautiful, wonderful Lila and Victoria, are beautiful and wonderful no matter what we call them. And besides, they turned out to be identical, so it’s not like we use their names anyway. Beats us who is who.
But, happily, neither of them are is Hester.