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:
Different first initial, same sound
Maybe you prefer to fool the eye rather than the ear by choosing names whose sounds match but initials don’t. Examples:
We’ve blogged before about twin names linked by meaning, which can be one of the most subtle and, well, meaningful ways to come up with a pair that’s compatible in a private way. Some examples:
For a shared ethnic origin to work as a link for twin names, it has to be obvious but the name also need to be distinct from each other. Some ethnic pairs that we think work:
But names can also share an origin of a less obvious kind. They might both be ancient Roman names, for instance, or may both derive from the works of Shakespeare. This works best if the origin is neither too broad or too narrow. Two Old Testament names may not even register as linked, for instance, while two flower names may be overly obvious. Some pairs that work:
This can be a shared ending such as o or n, or a shared number of syllables, or a standout letter like x appearing somewhere in both names. But you’ve got to stop short of too-cute rhymes like Haylee and Kaylee or Chloe and Zoe.
Same number of syllables
Is the number of syllables enough to link twin names? It can be a subtle bond between two otherwise-disparate names. A few ideas:
Similar popularity standing
If you’re set on one name but stumped on where or how to find its perfect twin, you might try looking at the popularity standings for its companion. Nameberry’s popularity list is divided into groups of 100 so it makes sense to look for twin names in that same 100-name group. Of course you’ve got to consider other factors as well, but here are a few examples that work:
(Having just played it myself, I can attest that picking good twin pairs from each 100-name range is a fun name game.)
This concept is a bit squishier. Many baby-namers instinctually choose names of the same style. The trick, as with the above, is not to pile on too many linking elements to make the point. Thus, if the style of names you like is Modern, a pair like Archer and Hudson is good. But Archer and Hunter or Hunter and Hudson take it one step too far.
The link will be more subtle and more interesting if you refine the style a bit further. Using an example from above, a sister for Seraphina, a Classic Romantic name, might be Gabriella or Rosamund, not necessarily a close sound match but more of a pairing of style and feel.
We’re very excited to include a slideshow here of pictures of twins sent in by Nameberry moms. (Note: You’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the post each time to see the next picture.)
Oliver Graham & Luke Axel