Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link

It’s always so disappointing to see the most popular twin names in the U.S.   The majority are connected in such obvious ways, or in several obvious ways at the same time.  They’ve got the same first initial, they rhyme or at least have a similar rhythm, they share a derivation and/or a meaning, they’re identical in style and/or popularity and/or image – and often they’ve got all those factors going on at once.

Dominant pairs include Jada and Jayden, Taylor and Tyler, Ella and Emma, London and Paris.

But we think you can do better, much better, and we’re going to help you.  The point is to find twin names that share a strong bond yet remain distinct individuals, just as you would wish for your children.   Some ideas for fresh links between names are below — you might want to use these for finding compatible sibling pairs too!

Same first initial, different sound

Connecting twin names by using the same first initial may feel like the easiest and, let’s face it, most predictable and boring way to link.

But you can give the powerful initial connection a fresh twist by choosing names that share the initial but sound different.  Some first initials accommodate this idea better than others.  A few examples:

Cybele and Clio

Genevieve and Garrett

Imogen and Isla

Patrick and Philip

If you want to use a first initial that sounds the same no matter what, at least vary the second letter to give the overall sound of each name a distinct feel.  Examples:

David and Drew

Mabel and Murray

Different first initial, same sound

Maybe you prefer to fool the eye rather than the ear by choosing names whose sounds match but initials don’t.  Examples:

Callista and Kieran

Selena and Cyrus

Georgiana and Jessamine

 

Shared meaning

We’ve blogged before about twin names linked by meaning, which can be one of the most subtle and, well, meaningful ways to come up with a pair that’s compatible in a private way.  Some examples:

Dorothea and Jonathan – both mean “gift of God”

Felicity and Laetitia – both mean “happiness”

Redmond and Shanahan – both mean “wise”

 

Shared origin

For a shared ethnic origin to work as a link for twin names, it has to be obvious but the name also need to be distinct from each other.  Some ethnic pairs that we think work:

Consuelo and Teo

Maeve and Finn

But names can also share an origin of a less obvious kind.  They might both be ancient Roman names, for instance, or may both derive from the works of Shakespeare.  This works best if the origin is neither too broad or too narrow.  Two Old Testament names may not even register as linked, for instance, while two flower names may be overly obvious.  Some pairs that work:

Benno and Lionel – both have animal roots

Leonora and Marguerite – opera names

Octavia and CassiusShakespeare names

 

Shared sound

This can be a shared ending such as o or n, or a shared number of syllables, or a standout letter like x appearing somewhere in both names.  But you’ve got to stop short of too-cute rhymes like Haylee and Kaylee or Chloe and Zoe.

Felix and Maxwell

Lennon and Roman

Seraphina and Valentina

 

Same number of syllables

Is the number of syllables enough to link twin names?  It can be a subtle bond between two otherwise-disparate names.  A few ideas:

Fleur and Rhys

Juliet and Vivienne

Orson and Rufus

 

Similar popularity standing

If you’re set on one name but stumped on where or how to find its perfect twin, you might try looking at the popularity standings for its companion.  Nameberry’s popularity list is divided into groups of 100 so it makes sense to look for twin names in that same 100-name group.  Of course you’ve got to consider other factors as well, but here are a few examples that work:

Audrey and Owen (from the Top 100)

Iris and Phoebe (from the 300-400 range)

Seamus and Callum (from the 800-900 group)

(Having just played it myself, I can attest that picking good twin pairs from each 100-name range is a fun name game.)

 

Same style

This concept is a bit squishier.  Many baby-namers instinctually choose names of the same style.  The trick, as with the above, is not to pile on too many linking elements to make the point.  Thus, if the style of names you like is Modern, a pair like Archer and Hudson is good.  But Archer and Hunter or Hunter and Hudson take it one step too far.

Similarly, if your style is Classic, James and Henry work better than James and John, Caroline and Elizabeth better than Caroline and Catherine.

The link will be more subtle and more interesting if you refine the style a bit further.  Using an example from above, a sister for Seraphina, a Classic Romantic name, might be Gabriella or Rosamund, not necessarily a close sound match but more of a pairing of style and feel.

We’re very excited to include a slideshow here of pictures of twins sent in by Nameberry moms. (Note: You’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the post each time to see the next picture.)

Oliver Graham & Luke Axel

Picture 2 of 8

Mom Celeste Zimmermann aka Zaelia took this photo of her twin boys Oliver and Luke. The Zimmermanns are Americans living in Sweden.

 

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31 Responses to “Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link”

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Poppy528 Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 2:30 am

What cute (and fantastically named) babies!

I hate to admit it, but my fave way to name siblings is still with shared first letter. It’s something I share with my sibs, and I still love it.

If I were so luck as to have twins, I’d def name them linked by first letter and name origin. Examples: Baxter & Beatrix (English, double X), Oren & Odelia (Hebrew), Montgomery & Magnolia (Southern flair, both have G in the middle). It does make naming any other children rather hard after you set yourself up like that.

Tea4everyone Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 4:13 am

Great article! Very excited to see Chara and Calista on Nameberry 🙂

LyndsayJenness Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 7:50 am

Cute babies! Love the slideshow! I hope you start using baby berry photos regularly! Great blog, too. I love twin names (like everyone here!). All your linking suggestions are so much better than the most popular twins out there. One of my favorite twinsets is Beatrix and Felicity. I think Clementine and Cordelia is nice together, similarities but different enough. I’m drawing a blank on twin names right now, but fingers crossed I’ll have twin girls someday!

Samantha-Bianca Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 8:49 am

I love today’s blog!! (And every other day’s of course!)

Calista and Chara are great twin names! I loved seeing the little berries that belong to their names! Would love to see more of that! Puts a personality to the names.

If I had twin girls, I would have to name them Greta and Ursula…great German names, with lovely meanings.

…two babies to name…how lucky can you be?!
Cos, you know, it wouldn’t be hard or anything having two babies to look after instead of one <.<

Samantha-Bianca Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 8:50 am

OH! And I love the game idea…going to do that now…

LJandRL Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 8:53 am

Oh wow, Everett & Sullivan are fantastic names! 🙂

All the Baby Berries are gorgeous too!

If I had twins first I’d likely just use two of my favourite names as long as they were a similar style. If I had twins last and had already used my very favourite names, I might pay more attention to subtly linking the names. Ideas I like from my own faves are Mirabelle & Jessamine, Otto & Wyatt, Sullivan & Rafferty, Hadley & Alba, Tabitha & Matilda, Lennox & Xavier etc.

Great post!

R_J Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 11:26 am

Those pictures made my day. Too cute. I LOVE Calista and Charis along with sister Lyra. Beautiful, beautiful names.

R_J Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 11:27 am

Omg, Chara, not Charis. I was eating cereal and typing at the same time 🙂

Mischa Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 11:31 am

There are some wonderful twin pairings on this blog. My faves are:

Octavia and Cassius
Iris and Phoebe
Fleur and Rhys
Felix and Maxwell
Georgiana and Jessamine
Leonora and Marguerite
Juliet and Vivienne
Orson and Rufus

It’s lovely to see the photos of the little Nameberries! Everett and Sullivan are just adorable and their smiles could light up a room! It’s nice to see the faces that match the names. Thanks for posting.

MerMaiden6 Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Excellent post; *loving* the pix of the Babyberries! My favorite shared-meaning twin pair is Eve and Zoe, which both mean “life.”

Beautiful_Haiku Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Great blog! There are some really great pairings here! Georgiana and Jessamine was the standout for me

JEMama Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

So nice to see the babies behind the names of mamas I post with. Lovely article. 🙂

atlaskatarzyna Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I think I’d name twin girls Violet and Alice. I think they pair nicely together due to a similar vintage style. Twin boys would probably be Oscar and Atticus {again the vintage style, the literary references and the similar sound}. Boy/girl twins would probably just be Oscar and Violet. I have other twin pairings I like, such as Harper {b} and Violet. I think they’re perfect together!

Worchazer Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Story and Paul are my favorite name pairing, although Banjo and Rupert run them very close. As do Everett and Sullivan and Clara and Calista.

For personality in the photo, though, it has to be Joseph and Annie. Cheeky!

My own family has a history of twins, of which one only survived, and our parents never named any of us with the same initials. My best friend and her sister-in-law share the same name as my late twin.

Tea4everyone Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Thank you R_J. and Samantha-Bianca! So nice to hear that! I was really sick when I was expecting the twins so I had a lot of time to think about names! We liked Lyra from the Philip Pullman Northern Lights novels. Ellen and Maeve are family names; Ellen was my grandmother and Maeve is Lyra’s grandmother.

cj85 Says:

November 9th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I love Georgiana and Jessamine!

Here are some I like…

Fiona and Naomi
Cosima and Sabine
Kerensa and Serena
Caroline and Amandine
Lorelei and Heloise

Pierce and Miles
Hayes and Grayson
Gabriel and Elias
Dean and Kent

BerryBry Says:

November 10th, 2012 at 2:54 am

My friend is called Celestine and her sister is Angelica. I think these pairs go together really and on top of that they share a same sort of meaning, Celestial and Angel! I think it’s wonderful!

BerryBry Says:

November 10th, 2012 at 7:03 am

Story Rose and Paul Donovan! WOW! That is one (two) beautiful names! Story fits with Rose and Donovan gives such a lovely feeling to Paul. Paul and Story are such a great way to bring modern and classic together! Well done!
I love Cecilia and Alexandra together, also Winter and Saffron. How about Willoughby and Bartholomew

BerryBry Says:

November 10th, 2012 at 7:04 am

Great to see Aurora and Astrid too!

BerryBry Says:

November 10th, 2012 at 7:04 am

Wonderful to see Aurora and Astrid too!

xiabelle Says:

November 10th, 2012 at 8:41 am

We had a couple of boy-girl twin names picked out for if we’d had twins, although we never totally settled on same sex onez. We tend to be more style and origin namers than anything else.

So our top contenders, all names we loved:
Katharina and Nathaniel: both longer and complex, and with nicknames that rhyme (Kate and Nate)
Sebastian and Viola: this started as a joke, but we genuinely loved both names and hey, they were twins in Shakespeare. Although it was almost a bit too twee for me.

rollo Says:

November 11th, 2012 at 1:55 am

Yes, great article, very interesting and my favourite babies are Banjo and Roo (Rupert) our little boys from “Down Under”.

rollo

Aurra Says:

November 11th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Personally, I only know two matchy twin sets: “Aubree and Emilee” and “Cyle and Casey”.

I know a twin set named Evelyn and Olivia, which I think is beautiful. In their family, they have another set of twins: Ellen and Grace.

If I had twins, I really like Isabella and Elizabeth- they mean the same thing. However, the popularity of the two and Twilight means that I will never use them.

I was looking at the twin combos. Really? Zoey and Chloe? London and Paris? I admit I like Hope and Faith, but that’s an exception.

These twins on the SSA will end up hating their matchy names:
Mia and Mya
Jayla and Kayla
Autumn and Summer
Madison and Mason
Makayla and Mackenzie
Jayda and Jayden (at least the girl isn’t Jayde)
Landon and London (What the tiddly winks?)
Adrian and Adriana (Boy and girl twin names are horrible.)
Isaac and Isaiah
Ethan and Evan
Jayden and Kayden
Chance and Chase
Ayden and Jayden (What are these -ayden trenders thinking?)
Jonah and Noah

I also like the twin combo Lucy Ariadne and Kira Anastasia.

iwillpraise Says:

November 11th, 2012 at 11:14 pm

This is an interesting topic for me because, although I’m not expecting, when I do, we may be in for it! My dad’s younger brother and sister are twins, Terrance (Terry) and Nancy, and both my husband’s parents are twins… Daniel and David and Judi and Charles (Chuck). As you can tell by their names, they are part of the baby-boomer generation, and at that time, no one knew prior to birth they were carrying multiples. DH paternal grandmother opened the Bible and found Dan and David, and his maternal grandmother named Chuck after her father. My Aunt Nancy and MIL Judi were the only girls in their family, so im nearly 100% positive their mothers simply bestowed upon them their favorite girl names!!! I personally know twins my age named Toni and Danielle (g/g), Amanda and Jennifer, Angela and Bianca and little twins under the age of five named Stone and Ali (b/g), Dean and Gabby, Jacqueline and Devon (g/g) and Maggie and Katie. (I used to work at a daycare 🙂

All the names on our list are chosen with twin possibilities in mind…. just trying to prepare for any combo! Gabriel Patrick, Tobiah Nicholas, Adelaide Corrine, and Nadia Clarice. Gabe and Adie would be our first choices.
Gabriel {meaning strong man of God} and Tobiah {God is good}, both Hebrew, while Patrick and Nicholas compliment each other (and I’m not catholic, but they are distinct saints’ names too). Adelaide {German, meaning Nobility~ my ultimate favorite!!} and Nadia {Slavic, meaning Hope~ my husbands ultimate favorite!!}, while both Corrine and Clarice, begin with same letter… We’ll see how things work out for us! But I sure hope we don’t have twins first, because my husband says if we do, we’re done with children!

LunaHope Says:

November 12th, 2012 at 12:27 am

I am loving this article. I am having twin girls next month, or sooner. I am still not sure which way I am going to go. I may go with same origin Lucy and Skye ( beatles), my son is Jude. Or just similar style Lucy and Stella both have a vintage feel. We had liked Lucy and grace for a bit but I think I would end up calling her Gracie and that would rhyme to much. If anyone wants to offer advise or input on my names I welcome it. Thank you.

baileybop Says:

November 20th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I’m a twin, I’m Bailey and Max. I also have cousins, Alexandra and Michael and friends, Brooke and Taylor, Zachary and Owen, and Isadora and Isabela. If I had twins it would be Benjamin and Noah, Nora and Caroline or Penelope (Poppy) and James.

HerMajesty Says:

December 17th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I love these! Some twins I know are
Melody and Melanie
Sarah Elizabeth and Hannah Alyssabeth
Colby and Cory
Nicholas Elijah and Nathan Elisha
Rebekah and Gabriel
If I had twins I would name them Drucilla and Yvaine, Percy and Kelyn, or Percy and Drew. I liked Aurora and Astrid, Banjo and Rupert, and Annie and Joseph.

nouveau909 Says:

January 4th, 2013 at 11:30 am

My twins are Meredith Clare and Leah Hope. They each got a middle name from my grandmother, who was Clara Hope.

Emm2Brenn Says:

January 4th, 2013 at 6:42 pm

My babies were born on October 16th of 2012 and they are my everything. We named them Emmett Malachi and Brennah Natalie, we found names that sound good together and that sound good with our last name which is Weller. So that is how we named our babies

notcinnamon Says:

January 9th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Two other great ways to name twins (or siblings, for that matter) is the same number of actual letters and to reverse the initials.

Like- Ruby Frances and Jack Preston

or

Dahlia Ruth and Ramsey Dashiell

KGrace82 Says:

June 10th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I love the classical pairing of luke and cathryn. Very classy. Here are some of my picks;

Wyatt and Logan
Cohen and Hudson
Luca and Nico
Aiden and Kellan

Vivienne and Genevieve
Valentina and Viviana
Daphne and Lydia
Fallon and Sloane

Opal and Ryan
Alexis and Adam
Lila and Nolan
Eva and Ty

And the list could go on and on….

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