Names for Twin Boys

June 23, 2015 Abby Sandel
naming twin boys

Names for twin boys present double the challenge.

McKenzie writes:

My husband and I are expecting our first babies in July. Yes, you read that correctly … BABIES! We are expecting twin boys!

We both love and agree on the name Oliver for one of the boys, but can’t agree on another name.

I like Bellamy, Berkeley, Zander, Elliot, and Sawyer. But my husband doesn’t. He likes Julian, Anthony, and Keegan.

So we are stuck! Any twin names that you could suggest would be extremely helpful!

The Name Sage replies:

How exciting to be naming two baby boys – and how challenging, too!

If I had to describe Oliver, I’d call it a classic. Oliver ranked Number 32 in the US in 2014 – the most popular it has ever been, though Oliver had a good run back in the nineteenth century, too. Names that feel like natural matches for Oliver might be Henry or Max.

But when I look at your lists? Not a Henry or a Max to be seen! Well, Anthony would fit. But Sawyer, Keegan, Berkeley, Zander, and the rest of your names feel like bolder, more modern choices.

There’s absolutely no rule that says that twin names have to share the same style. But maybe this explains why none of the names has felt like The Name for Oliver’s twin.

So we’re looking for a name that is every bit as handsome as Oliver, but feels maybe a little bit more 21st century.

Gone are the days of naming twin brothers Eddie and Teddy. Instead, let’s try to find a name that shares some of Oliver’s best qualities and picks up on the names you both love, too.

Everett – Both names share a middle ‘v’ sound, but they’re clearly different names. Everett is a surname, just like Bellamy and Sawyer. It’s also close to your favorite, Elliot. Everett ranked Number 167 in 2014 and is climbing fast, so while Oliver is more popular, Everett is far from obscure.

Xavier – If Zander is out, would Xavier be a possibility? At Number 88, it’s just as mainstream a name as Oliver. Like Everett, there’s the shared ‘v’ in the middle. Oliver and Xavier also share the –er ending, though, which might be too close.

Ezra Ezra might feel like a really out-there name, but it ranked Number 119 in 2014. That’s pretty popular. And Oliver and Ezra share a certain vibe – they’re both names with lots of history, but cool, edgy sounds.

Felix – Speaking of Ezra, Felix is another name that always strikes me as the perfect balance of modern sound and deep roots. Felix ranked Number 267 in 2014 and is catching on quick. Plus, Felix has such a great meaning – happy!

Declan Declan was obscure until just about ten years ago, but now charts at Number 122 in the US. Like Keegan, Declan is an Irish import, but I think Declan and Oliver sound more like brothers than Keegan and Oliver.

Dominic Oliver is a three-syllable name – just like McKenzie! I wonder if another three-syllable name might appeal. Like Anthony, Dominic is often used in families of Italian heritage. The name ranked Number 69 in the US last year.

Lawson – Both of you seem drawn to surname names. Let’s see if we can find one that appeals to you both! Lawson and Sawyer share the ‘aw’ sound. At Number 485, Lawson is much less common than many of your possibilities. But I think Oliver and Lawson work well together.

Beckett – Maybe it’s thanks to the –t ending of Elliot, but Beckett keeps coming to mind. The name is literary, thanks to Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. With B names like Bellamy and Berkeley on your lists, Beckett feels like an obvious suggestion. The name ranked Number 244 in 2014.

Finley Finley ranked Number 373 in 2014, but there are plenty of Finn names in use. Still, I think it’s a more mainstream alternative to Bellamy and Berkeley, while still a little more modern than Anthony.

Cameron – Scottish surname Cameron has been in the US Top 100 since the 1980s. That’s a lot of boys called Cameron. And yet this also puts Cameron midway between the classic classics (Anthony) and the truly new (Keegan, Berkeley). Because both names are three syllables, I think Oliver and Cameron sound great together.

From your list, I love the idea of Oliver and Sawyer. They’re both literary names attached to unforgettable boys. Oliver makes me think Twist, and Sawyer is Tom.

Your husband’s suggestion of Anthony also seems like a great option. Oliver and Anthony share three syllables, and both have a timeless quality.

Assuming that he won’t agree to Sawyer you can’t be convinced of Anthony, I love the sound of Oliver and Everett or Oliver and Cameron.

Readers, what would you name a twin brother for Oliver?

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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