Category: unique twin names
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:
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.
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.
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 needlessly, well, confusing.
Style consistency is also important. Most of the examples here work really well, from the traditional Lucy and John to the quirky Juno and Rex. The pairing of John and Juno would not be so sweet: too close in sound, yet too far apart in style.
One idea: Look for twin names that are distinct from each other and yet have a unified meaning. For specific ideas, see our twin names blog.
The most popular twin names tend toward the matching sets. While most of these read like a list of Don‘ts, there are a couple that work: Gabriel and Michael, for instance, or Isabella and Sophia. Here, the current Top Ten for each kind of pair. For more popular pairs, see the Social Security site.
POPULAR TWIN NAMES