Names for Twins: Double Delivery Surprise

January 10, 2017 Abby Sandel
names for twins

A double delivery surprise means four finalist names for twins! If their twins are boys, they’re all set. But when it comes to girls’ twin names, they’re not sure where to begin.

Megan writes:

My husband and I are expecting fraternal twins in a few short months.  We have decided to keep the babies’ genders a surprise. As a result, we need to come up with four twin names (two boys and two girls).

We have two older children already. Our son’s name is Holden and our daughter’s name is Amelia.  We have a very common last name that starts with B.

We had no problem coming up with boy names for our twins.  We have chosen Miles and Emerson. If we have boy/girl twins, we have decided to use Emerson as the boy name.

We are at a bit of a standstill when it comes to girl names.  We don’t want any names that are too matchy, and would prefer names that do not have easily derived nicknames, but other than that we don’t have any real guidelines for names.

My top contenders are Hadley, Cora, Lila, and Margo.  My husband’s top contenders are Annabelle/Annabel, Maeve, and Elaida.  While we don’t hate each other’s choices, we don’t love them either.

I want names that I love as much as my other children’s names and our boy name choices.

We are quickly getting closer to the babies’ arrivals and we are desperate to find the right girl names. Do you have any suggestions for girl names to round out our list?

The Name Sage replies:

I’m always intrigued by couples that seem to be on the same page style-wise – but don’t actually agree on a name yet! It happens to plenty of parents, though, and I think looking for help to build up your list of suggestions is the right approach.

Both you and your husband seem to prefer conventionally feminine names that aren’t automatically shortened. And while a few of your names are longer and unusual – like Elaida – I’d say that you tend to favor shorter, more mainstream choices.

So how does that translate to The Name? Let’s start by looking at few options that your short list seems to suggest, and then consider some fresh ideas.

Anna – Drop the –bel/belle ending, and Anna comes closer to nickname-proof picks like Cora and Lila.

Eva – Another slim, trim name, but with the ‘v’ of Maeve.

Eloise Eloise reminds me of both Elaida and Lila, as well as Amelia. Like Amelia, it’s a longer name that tends to be used in full, even though both could be reduced to a nickname if you preferred.

Adelaide Adelaide reminds me of Elaida and Annabelle from his list, and picks up some of Hadley’s sound, too. The same things I wrote about Eloise and Amelia apply to Adelaide, too.

Layla Layla marries Lila with the long ‘a’ of Maeve and Elaida.

Now, let’s talk about some fresh ideas.

Violet Violet is every bit as vintage as Cora, qualifies as nickname-proof, and feels like a sister for Holden, Amelia, and Emerson.

ElizaElizabeth practically begs for a nickname. Eliza sidesteps the question entirely. While the name has history galore, it also feels traditional. It’s the perfect sister name for Amelia.

Caroline – Not so long ago, every Caroline was a Carrie. But over the past thirty years or so, that’s changed dramatically. Now most Carolines are … Caroline. It feels like a compromise between shorter Cora and longer Annabelle.

JulietAs with Caroline, I doubt many would try to shorten Juliet. It’s literary, like Holden and Hadley. But it also feels like a classic, thanks to its ties to Julia and company.

Marlo Marlo seems like a midpoint between surname choices like Hadley and more traditional favorites, like Margot. Marlowe is a surname spin on the name.

My favorites are Eloise and Violet. I think they both work well with Emerson as a brother, and I think Eloise and Violet sound like great names for sisters, too. They share an ‘l’ sound, as well as an ‘o’, but really sound nothing alike Both names work well with big sister Amelia, too.

Since you’re eager to avoid matching, I realize you might not like two E names for your twins. That tips the scales in favor of Violet if you welcome boy/girl twins. Holden, Amelia, Emerson, and Violet really does sound exactly right to me.

Readers, what would you suggest to Megan and her husband?

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About the author


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

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