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Naming Twin Boys: Double Trouble

April 3, 2018 Abby Sandel

Naming twin boys feels three times as hard as naming one! Let’s find some great twin names for Sarah’s new sons.

Sarah writes:

We are expecting twin boys in July, kiddos number three and four for us! We are all thrilled but are having a hard time finding twin names we love.

Our daughter is named Tallulah, a name we could not love more and which suits her perfectly. Her little brother is Maximilian but is always called Max, a name we both always loved despite its popularity.

This time around we’re having a harder time finding names that haven’t been used by people close to us and that we love as much as Tallulah and Max’s names.

Max was almost Fox which we both love but seems like maybe a bit much alongside Max?

Other names in the running that we more or less agree on are Abe, Jasper, Henry (Hank) and Wolf. My husband is pushing for Blaise or Mars but I’m just not convinced. I love Felix and Forest but he does not. We could always each name one baby! But we’d really like to agree on their names! Any suggestions?

We’d like to avoid giving the boys’ names that start with the same letter if we can, and some names just sound weird with our one-syllable last name that rhymes with ‘News’.

Thank you!

The Name Sage replies:

The thought of naming twins always thrills me. Two babies! Double the names!

But when it comes time to narrow the list to two actual names for these new human beings? It’s harder than it looks.

Our Twin Naming Guide describes the right choice this way:

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.

The good news is that many of your choices feel like they’d work beautifully together, and fit nicely with Tallulah and MaximilianMax,” too. And you’re absolutely right: better to agree on both names that each choose one.

I would cross out Fox as too close to Max, but also maybe Mars. And if avoiding popular choices matters, Henry strikes me as name that might disappoint. It’s a personal favorite of mine, but at Number 22 and rising, you’re likely to meet a lot of little Henrys.

Maybe the biggest challenge of naming twin boys is this: Tallulah and Maximilian are long, dramatic names. But Max is a friendly, accessible, mini name, just one syllable. And the boys’ choices on your current list top out at two.

Are we matching Maximilian … or Max?

I suspect that your style for boys leans more towards the latter. The perfect compromise might be two longer, unexpected names, both with a short nickname. But I’ll throw in some other options, too.

So we’re drawing inspiration from the boldest names on your boys’ list (Blaise and Mars and Wolf), but also looking for something that feels right with Tallulah and Max.

Abraham, called Abe or Bram – This feels like an obvious choice. Abe is already on your list, and while Abraham ranks in the Top 200, it doesn’t feel too common. Nickname Bram, as in Stoker, is another option that’s even less often heard.

Callahan, Calder, or Calvin called Cal – There are scores of longer names that easily shorten to Cal, which feels like a companion for Max and Gus and Hank. Calvin ranks in the current Top 200, but Calder and Callahan don’t even crack the US Top 1000.

Ezekiel, called Zeke – One of the fun things about Max is that letter X. It’s on your list with Felix, too, so I wonder if you might like Z names for boys? Ezekiel falls just outside of the current Top 100, but it doesn’t feel too common.

Flynn Blaise brings to mind other brief names like Flynn. Blaise is saintly and fiery; Flynn feels every bit as feels spirited, but closer to Henry and Max.

Leonidas, Leopold, or Leonardo, called Leo – As with Cal, possibilities for a longer name abound. I’m guessing you might know a little Leo or two already. But if Max having a longer, and less common, given name helps in that case, would Leonidas called Leo work every bit as well?

Nicodemus called Nico Nicholas dominated the 90s, but there are plenty of Nic– names to choose from. I have a soft spot for Nicodemus, but Dominic and Nicanor are options, too. Nick is an easy option, but Nico feels more like a sibling for Tallulah and Max.

Orion – Because Mars is on your list, I wonder if another mythological pick might appeal? Orion stands out, but there’s also Atlas or Evander.

Theodore called Theo Henry and Max remind me of Theodore and Theo. It’s traditional, and ranks in the current Top 100. But then, so does Henry.

That’s the easy part! But since we’re choosing two names, let’s look at some possible pairs.

Abraham + Harrison, called Abe and Hank – Both names draw inspiration from your original list, and I think they work nicely with Tallulah and Max.

Orion + Atlas – If he loves Mars, but you’re hesitant, maybe Orion and Atlas are the sweet spot? They’re less expected than Max, but I think they work well with your children’s names overall.

Calder + Flynn How do you feel about surname names? They’re not really on your current list, but I think they might split the difference between Henry and Mars nicely.

Theodore + Calvin, called Theo and Cal – These are more traditional names, but I think they hit the sweet spot.

Ezekiel + Abraham, called Zeke and Bram – This is my favorite duo from the list! They feel a little more offbeat and unexpected, even though they’re really fairly familiar. They strike me as nicely balanced for twin brothers, but also compatible with Tallulah and Max. I like Jasper and Zeke together, too.

Readers, I can’t wait to hear what you’ll suggest for Sarah’s family! What would you name twin boys, brothers for Tallulah and Max?

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.

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