Double Trouble: Naming Twin Boys

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Choosing two names feels three times as hard! 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 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 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?

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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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27 Responses to “Double Trouble: Naming Twin Boys”

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NameLover 11 Says:

April 3rd, 2018 at 11:53 pm

I really like this sets!

Finnegan “Finn” & Callahan “Cal”

Theodore “Theo” & Leonardo “Leo”

CarolAnn Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 2:11 am

I know Blaise isn’t her favorite, but I really love Blaise and Flynn together!

Gia.berry Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 3:05 am

I like Abraham ‘Abe’ & Theodore ‘Theo’ (or maybe Ted?). They sound great with Tallulah and Maximilian ‘Max’!

RosiePosie Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 4:37 am

Xavier and Felix

Otis and Charlie

Cameron and Ryan

Dylan and Cody

Dexter and Hendrix

Milo and Grey

Rory and Riley

Henry and Andre

Finley and Wesley

Weston and Wyatt

Austin and Oscar

Arlo and Bentley

Dylan and Ethan

Milan and Maddox

Javan and Jonty

jessiemay Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 6:38 am

Oh how fun! Twin names are always exciting. I have a sister named Tallulah so I have a real soft spot for that name. Okay so… Tallulah, Maximilian “Max” and:
Dashiell, August/Augustus, Evander, Atticus, Viggo, Sylvester, Julian, Wolfgang, Calloway, Vincent, Rockwell, Huxley, Leopold, Guthrie, Valentino, Aurelius, Ezekiel, Arthur, Willoughby, Raphael, Ignatius, Gulliver, Elliott, Lucien, Everett, Kingston, Leonardo, Griffin, Jericho, Callahan, Anderson, Benedict.
I would tend to stick with longish names (2+ syllables) and have possible shorter nicknames if necessary. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer sibling names of similar length so while I adore Fox it looks out of place alongside Tallulah and Maximilian (and is probably a bit too close to Max in my opinion).
My top choices would be Dashiell and Augustus. Handsome, worldly, charming, timeless, on-trend but definitely not overused, go well with your older kids’ names, and if you wanted nicknames Dash and Augie are gorgeous together!

Chocsypop Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 6:43 am

I agree with having a longer name to match Tallulah and Maximilian. Another Cal name I adore, is Calidore meaning Eagle King. Which I think would work great with Tallulah and Max. I also love the option this article gave of Abraham. So cute. Would love to hear which names you pick. Xo.

benjamelissa Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 7:50 am

Nathaniel and Alexander, Nate & Zander.

Leviosarah Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 8:20 am

Looking at your list, Fox and Wolf jump out at me as great middle names that would give the twins a cool connection between their names. My favorite suggestion is for Abe and Hank, so maybe Abraham Wolf and Harrison Fox?

bexlafon Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 8:42 am

I am absolutely in love with Orion & Atlas

Delphine Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 9:28 am

Ezekiel, which I love, brings another twin set to mind.

Ezekiel nn Zeke and Zebedee or Zebediah nn Zebbe pronounced Zeb ee

WelcometoWonderland Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 10:10 am

Lovely names!! Congratulation on twins, how fun!! What came into my mind was:

Leander & Elias

they sound nice together and keep in line with the romantic but not out-there feel that Maximilian evokes. and of course could be shortened to Eli and Leo.

best of luck!

mclola Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 11:05 am

My favorite twin names for boys are Alasdair & Dashiell with the nicknames Dair & Dash. I think these fit well with Talullah and Maximilian.

tfzolghadr Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 11:29 am

Abraham and Edmund… Abe and Ned. Tallulah, Max, Abe, and Ned… how cool.

morgantaylore Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 12:39 pm

This is so great !

Augustus “Gus” and Leopold “Leo”

Maximillian “Max”
Augustus “Gus”
Leopold “Leo”

baffled_jessica Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 1:14 pm

From the sage’s suggestions I like the combo Harrison and Abraham. I also like Leopold and Augustus, nn Leo and Gus, Callahan and Anderson, nn Cal and Ender, Phineas and Alistair nn Phin and Al, and Theodore and Sylvester, nn Theo and Sly. My Faves are Phin and Al and Leo and Gus.
I also like Orion and Atlas, but to me the lack of nn options and their relative shortness makes them stick out next to Talullah and Maximillian, similar objections to Calder and Flynn, but Calder also just isn’t my style.

elizabethkt Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I LOVE the suggestion of Atlas & Orion!! Here are a few more…
Tiberius & Ignatius (Ty & Iggy)
Augustus & Caspian (Gus & Cass)
Cyrus & Theon (Cy & Theo)
Cato & Lucius
Roscoe & Leander

TiffanyS Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Jasper and Felix would go so well together! But if he can’t love Felix, Jasper and Calloway or Sullivan get my vote. Can’t wait for the update when the boys arrive!

Evelyn Mae Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I have quads! Tow boys and two girls. The boys names are obviously the more helpful ones. I have Alexandros,Echo,Scarlett and Evangeline. They all have middle names as well: Alexandros Jax, Echo Maxton, Scarlett Elizabeth and Evangeline Rose. I think Alexandros would work. Maybe not Echo though. My DH picked Scarlett Elizabeth and Alexandros because they were family names for him. I hope that you like the suggestions of Alexandros and Echo.

DeeDeePH Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 7:09 pm

So exciting! What about Benedict and Desmond?

yogi.kiki Says:

April 4th, 2018 at 8:57 pm

I think Tallulah and Maximilian are FUN and quirky names… I suggest

Bonaventure nn Benno
Gideon nn Gill
Valentine nn Lenny

Birdie Largo Says:

April 5th, 2018 at 4:00 pm

@elizabethkt I second Augustus but I think the nn Gust is more unusual and would well fit too.

tabitha Says:

April 6th, 2018 at 10:42 am

Augustus and Evander!

Nn’s Gus and Van would pair so well with Max! All three letters but different!

So perhaps:

Augustus Fox
Evander Wolf

Tallulah, Maximilian, Augustus and Evander.

All the best!

niteowl13 Says:

April 6th, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Wonderful suggestions!
I feel like you might go for Nameberry’s Old Man Names List:

Old Man Names
Old man names like Max and Sam and Henry have been used for babies for so long now that they no longer sound like old man names. But don’t worry, there are plenty more where those came from. To qualify as a cool old man name, a name has to feel both classic and slightly moth-eaten, like the perfect vintage suit.

I have added a few more

Hubert, Hugh
Heathcliff, Heath
Montgomery – Monty
Sidney – Sid
Theodore – so many nicknames

Good luck!

babymagic Says:

April 9th, 2018 at 10:37 pm

Henrik & Otto

JamiJae Says:

April 10th, 2018 at 7:50 pm

You seem to like three syllable or more names that allow for short, obvious nicknames (at least in the case of your son). Here are some names that come to mind that may suit your requirements:

Calloway & Redmond/ Cal & Red- These names are longer names that allow for interesting nicknames. I suggest these since your son is Maximillian and that name in itself is a mouth full. Names i

Nikolai & Sebastian/ Niko & Seb/Bash-These nicknames, especially Bash, are fun nicknames that aren’t the most common. Neither of these names is overly common, though they are not unheard of either–a perfect blend.

Malachi & Theodore/ Chi (Kai) & Teddy/Theo- In this pairing you would keep with/create the M & T theme that you have at the moment. This pairing allows you to have common nicknames, like your sons, but rather uncommon (though Theodore is gaining popularity everyday) first names.

Felix & Channing/ Fox & Wolf- Now, here me out. Fox has been an acceptable name for Felix for years, so that should not come as a surprise, and since your husband isn’t sold on the name but liked Fox–well, this link might do the trick. Channing, on the other hand, means wolf cub. I believe that you mentioned liking wolf as well, so why not use it for a nickname? The reason I didn’t suggest Wolf alone was simply because it doesn’t allow for nicknames, and I wasn’t about to suggest Wolfgang.

So, here’s the thing. If you and your husband can’t decide on two names that you both absolutely love, then each of you could choose a first name and let the other choose the middle name to go with the first name that you chose. That would allow each of you to have something that you liked in the name.

I hope that you and your husband are able to find names that you can agree upon. Hopefully, I helped.

Congratulations on your twins! Good Luck on your naming journey!

Xxxx JamiJae

kennamoon Says:

April 17th, 2018 at 3:27 am

I think Macellous “Mars” would fit well with his siblings!

I like

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Marcellous “Mars” & Hezekiah “Ki”

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Rhett & Dominic

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Bishop & Elijah “Eli”

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Deangelo & Isaiah

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Isaiah “Ike” & Evander

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Quinton & Christofer “Tofer”

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Tiger & Gentry

Tallulah, Maximillian “Max”, Gideon & Chandler

sphinx Says:

July 15th, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Thank you so much everyone for all the suggestions! It really put some focus and fun in our naming conversations. There were so many good names and combos here!! The babies arrived last week and we named them Jasper & Wolf. We are all smitten ✨. Thanks again!!

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