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Boy-Girl Twin Names

October 1, 2019 Abby Sandel

by Abby Sandel

They’re looking for boy-girl twin names. They’ve got a great name for their son … but how ‘bout his twin sister? Let’s find a name that works well with Truman.

Kristen writes:

We are expecting our first babies in November, boy-girl twins. We love older, vintage-sounding names that aren’t currently too popular.

My husband loves Truman and Marlowe. I do too, but I am worried that Marlowe might be on the up and coming.

I also like Hollis or Darcy for boys, but I can’t come up with a good girl name to match. My husband is worried that both of those names sound too feminine, but I actually like the ambiguity.

We want the same number of syllables for the twins and we are staying away from rhymes and alliteration.

The Name Sage replies:

I think you’ve found your son’s name. Truman checks all the boxes. It’s strong, with a virtue meaning built-in. It feels a little bit old school, but very in step with current names, too. 162 boys were given the name in 2018. That’s not zero, but compared to nearly 12,500 boys named Mason, or 7,300 Lincolns, it’s pretty uncommon.

Plus, it’s your husband’s favorite. And while there are names you might like as much, it sounds like you don’t have any hesitations about Truman. I think your search is done!

Now let’s talk about Marlowe. It pairs nicely with Truman. And yet, you’ve raised a good question: is it trending?

The data doesn’t help much here. In 2008, just 41 girls received the name. A decade later, that number had surged to 246. But it’s hovered around 250 for the last three years. Nameberry’s popularity list puts it at Number 555, but that’s still way behind choices like Isla, Cora, Luna, and Rose that make up the Nameberry Top 20.

Marlowe might be gaining modestly in popularity, but it’s no Harper or Riley or Everly.  I think you could use it without hesitation.

But do you want to? It sounds like you’d prefer some fresh options for completing your set of boy-girl twin names.

My first suggestion comes straight from your list: Darcy or Hollis. Your husband is right; Darcy is far more common for girls than boys. Hollis seems more evenly split. That makes me wonder if Hollis is the better choice: unisex, and maybe a little less common, too.

Or is it cheating to take a name from your boys’ list and assign it to a daughter? Would you consider:

Adair A Scottish surname with an adventurous vibe, I think Adair feels just feminine enough. Another bonus: it’s far less common than Marlowe.

Flannery – Literary and slightly Southern, Flannery breaks the two-syllable rule. But it does sound very much at home with Truman.

Havilland – We’ve been naming our daughters Monroe and Taylor for years. So how ‘bout Havilland, as in legendary actor Olivia de Havilland? The Academy Award-winner might not be a household name in 2019, but it’s still an unexpected choice with a dash of vintage Hollywood glam.

Reeve Reese Witherspoon helped us see her family name as an option for girls. The similar-sounding Reeve has potential, too. Aviator Charles Lindbergh and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh gave this family name to their youngest daughter, who also became a writer.

Wallis Hollis always makes me think of Wallis. While it’s ancient history to this generation, Baltimore-born Wallis Simpson caused a sensation when England’s King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry her in 1936. Wallis Simpson helped put her unusual family name on the list of possibilities for girls.

Winslow – If Marlowe only gives you pause because of popularity, would Winslow be an option? It’s less popular than Marlowe – though with that upbeat ‘o’ ending, it’s possible that will change in the future.

While I can make the case for sticking with cool, tailored Marlowe, it’s certainly true that it’s the kind of name that could catch on. If that concerns you, then I’d suggest Adair instead. It satisfies your matching syllable count rule. And I think the parallels between true Truman and daring Adair feel satisfying, too.

Readers, let’s have a poll based on my suggestions for these boy-girl twins. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments, too!

Abby Sandel is the creator of name blog Appellation Mountain and writes Nameberry’s Name Sage column, offering wise advice on baby name questions submitted by Berries every other Wednesday.  Abby lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and two children, Alex and Clio. You can reach her on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest. For a chance to have your questions answered on Nameberry, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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