Category: twin names
By Joslyn McIntyre
My stepdaughter, Emily, is 17 and already has her first daughter’s name picked out. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend, but she has confidently repeated this name to me several times. To which I usually respond, “Don’t you dare have a baby for at least ten years.”
When I was Emily’s age, long, long ago, I too, wanted to have lots of babies, right away, and I had all their names picked out. In fact, I kept journals full of potential baby names I would use with my future husband, River Phoenix. I planned to raise a brood of nature lovers we’d call things like Meadow, Fawn, and Seashell. Luckily for my actual daughters, River Phoenix and I never worked out.
We recently posted the list of names that our Berries were most interested in over the past year– headed by Ezra and Asher, Charlotte and Amelia—but what names did they actually choose at that crucial moment when the name had to be inscribed onto the birth certificate, when all the hypotheticals were winnowed down to one single reality?
Of course we know that only a small percentage of arrivals were actually recorded in the Birth Announcement Forum, which is our only available source—(Strong hint to those expecting new arrivals in 2016!), but still more than three hundred Berries did enter there picks. The diversity and originality of the Nameberry community is reflected in the fact that most of the names were unique choices.
Having said that, which names were the most popular?
On the girls’ side, Pearl and Rose tied for top place for those used as both first and middle names, tying at 8 each, with Pearl the leading middle. Classic William was in top place for boys in the combined categories, tying with James as favorite middle.
The most frequently used first initial vowel was E for girls and A for boys. For consonant beginnings, M girls won by a landside; for boys it was the letter C—a gendered contrast in soft and harder sounds.
By Kara Blakley
Twin names and honor names are some of the hottest topics on the Nameberry forums.
Some folks like a direct approach, sticking with a shared first initial or passing down identical names from one generation to the next. Others like a more subtle approach. For the subtle crowd, I like the idea of ‘cognate’ names: names that are either the direct meaning of a name (e.g., Margaret means pearl), or names that share a meaning. These names can add a subtle connection between siblings or generations, or alternatively, they might be names you want to avoid using in the same combination.
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?
By Linda Rosenkrantz
This is one of those months when every Berry choice seems to be sheer perfection—down to each name, first/middle combo and sibset. And some wonderful naming backstories to boot.
Here’s the complete rundown.