Twin Names: Lessons from the Stars

This blog is adapted from our most recent book, Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby

Twins offer a rare opportunity for parents to choose two related names at the same time, but also multiply the potential difficulties of sibling naming.  With twins, it can be more tempting to use rhyme, sound play, and same initial names, but in our opinion pairings like Eddie and Teddy, Faith and Charity, or Nicholas and Nicole should be relegated to a time capsule.

While same-initial names that are clearly distinct from each other – Garrett and Grace, say, or Susannah and Simone – are okay, different-initial names are consistent in style and tone are preferable.

Some celebrity examples that work: Brad and Angelia’s Knox and Vivienne, Julia RobertsPhinnaeus and Hazel, Patrick Dempsey’s Sullivan and Darby, and Marcia Cross’s Eden and Savannah.  Although each of these sets of names is very different in style and feel, they all embody the qualities that matter most in twin names.  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.

Gender compatibility may be more important for twins than it is for siblings.  One pair of starbaby twins whose names don’t quite work as well as they should: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Jessie James and D’Lila StarBoth are girls, yet Jessie’s name seems thoroughly boyish while D’Lila’s is feminine to the point of frilly.  Melissa Ethridge’s twins are Johnnie and Miller – but unless you know their middle names, you wouldn’t guess that Johnnie is a girl, Miller a boy.  Such gender confusion seems needless, well, confusing.Style consistency is also important.  Most of the examples here work really well, from the traditional Lucy and John to the quirky Juno and Rex.  The pairing of John and Juno would not be so sweet.  Here are some recent examples:

Twin Starbabies

ADELE GEORGIANA & ROMAN STYLIANOS  —Molly Ringwald

AVA & GRACE —  Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra

BOB & MAX —  Charlie Sheen

BRONWYN GOLDEN & SLATER JOSIAH —  Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance

CHARLENE RIVA & MYLA ROSE –  Roger Federer

CHARLIE TAMARA TULIP & DOLLY REBECCA ROSERebecca Robijn & Jerry O’Connell

COCO TRINITY & SAWYER LUCIA —  Diane Farr

DARBY GALEN & SULLIVAN PATRICK —  Patrick Dempsey

DEXTER HENRY LORCAN & FRANK HARLAN JAMES —   Diana Krall & Elvis Costello

EDEN & SAVANNAH —  Marcia Cross

ELI NICHOLAS & HUGO BERNARD —  Jeffrey Tambor

EMME MARIBEL & MAXIMILIAN DAVID —  Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony

GRACE & HENRY —  Norah O’Donnell

JAID THOMAS & JAX JOSEPH —   Gabrielle Beauvais-Nilon

JESSE JAMESON & JOURNEY JETTJenna Jameson

JESSIE JAMES (f) & D’LILA STARSean “Diddy’ Combs

JOHN & GUS —  Julie Bowen

JOHN DAVID & LUCY ELIZABETH — Nancy Grace

JOHNNIE ROSE & MILLER STEVEN —  Melissa Ethridge

JULIANNA TEX & HENRY BENJAMINEmily (Dixie Chick) Robison

JUNO & REX —  Will Champion (Coldplay)

KNOX LEON & VIVIENNE MARCHELINE —  Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

LUCAS & OLIVIA —  Wanda Sykes

MARION LORETTA ELWELL & TABITHA HODGE —  Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick

MATEO & VALENTINO —  Ricky Martin

NATALIA & SANTINO —  Adam Carolla

PHINNAEUS WALTER & HAZEL PATRICIA — Julia Roberts

SIERRA & SIENA—  Kurt Warner

THOMAS BOONE & ZOE GRACEDennis Quaid

WILL & JESSEWendy Wilson

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40 Responses to “Twin Names: Lessons from the Stars”

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SophieLiz456 Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 1:08 am

I think boy boy twins for me would be Israel Jonah and August Steel. Girl Girl twins Agnes Marina and Rowan Clementine. Boy Girl twins Arlo Tobias and Camilla Opal.

liz22 Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 1:16 am

I like:
ADELE GEORGIANA & ROMAN STYLIANOS –Molly Ringwald
AVA & GRACE – Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra
DEXTER HENRY LORCAN & FRANK HARLAN JAMES – Diana Krall & Elvis Costello
ELI NICHOLAS & HUGO BERNARD – Jeffrey Tambor
GRACE & HENRY – Norah O’Donnell
JOHN DAVID & LUCY ELIZABETH – Nancy Grace
JULIANNA TEX & HENRY BENJAMIN – Emily (Dixie Chick) Robison
LUCAS & OLIVIA – Wanda Sykes
PHINNAEUS WALTER & HAZEL PATRICIA – Julia Roberts
THOMAS BOONE & ZOE GRACE — Dennis Quaid

They go well together, the others range from ok to really awful.

devon7 Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 2:03 am

In an Agatha Christie book there were twins Charlotte and Letticia (sp?). Their nns were Lotty and Lettie. I thought it was kind of cool that they had matchy cute nns, but had distinctive first names to fall back on.

Holly Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 2:25 am

I’m a twin. I’m Holly Elizabeth and my brother is Nathan Robert. But if my brother was a girl he would’ve been named Heidi.

susan Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 2:53 am

My favorites are (I know, I’m boring):
Grace and Henry – love Henry
John and Lucy
Lucas and Olivia – love Olivia
Phinnaeus and Hazel (I know, now I’m getting a little more open-minded!)

Nephele Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 6:07 am

…but in our opinion pairings like Eddie and Teddy, Faith and Charity, or Nicholas and Nicole should be relegated to a time capsule.

But what great “evil twin” names they make! Hahaha!

I think my favorite twin names are those that have the same number of letters for each twin (Bob & Max, Grace & Henry, John & Lucy, Natalia & Santino). Such pairings seem comfortingly balanced, to me. (There’s my OCD talking, Haha!)

Plus, it always seems to me that the twin whose name isn’t as long as his or her sibling’s name, has somehow gotten shortchanged in the naming process. 🙁

— Nephele

Kitty Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 6:10 am

My favourites are Juno and Rex. Quirky, cool, yet classic.

Patricia Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 8:57 am

My 6-year-old twin grandsons are James and Andrew. James was the name chosen for a single boy. After the parents found out there were two, my daughter’s first thought for the second boy was Jacob. When I told her that James and Jacob are essentially the same name, she decided to choose something else and quickly decided on Andrew. I love these classic names together, especially because both are names of Jesus’ disciples, although that wasn’t why Andrew was chosen to go with James. James’ middle name is David, after his maternal grandfather, and Andrew’s is Leon, after his father.

Ashley Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I like a lot of these!
I had the hardest time naming my twins. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the baby name enthusiast in me, and it was difficult to decide how much to make them “match.” We ended up going with Isaac and Lila. We decided between Lila and Lily in the operating room.

JuliaGhats Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

My 2 year old twins are called Mariella Rose and Gracie Alys (pronounced like Alice). I tried to pick names that were both cutesy and a bit more sophisticated for when they were older. They go by Ella and CeCe.

mimija Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Good blog. But it’s so weird, I really think that I’ve read it before…have you posted it any other time?

???

linda Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Mimija–Perhaps you read the version in “Beyond Ava & Aiden”?

Annie Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I can’t imagine trying to name twins! I know twins whose names are Jonathan and Kelsey. Kelsey was going to be MacKenzie, but they decided at the last minute to change it. The 2 names go together really well, and they’re different from each other.

I also know of another set of younger (identical) twin boys. Jacob Adrian and William Hunter. William goes by his middle name Hunter, though. I think Jacob and William kind of go together a bit more in terms of style… But Jacob and Hunter are better in terms of sound. They’re both 2 syllables and fit the boys perfectly.

Angelle Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

twin names…I was a bit scared when I found out that I was going to have twins when I found out I was pregnant, partly because of the naming problem.
my SIL has twin girls named Charlotte and Tamsin which I like but those matchy matchy names for twins are the ones I’m more familiar with…
my mom, Linda, has a twin brother, Lyle
I have twin uncles named Christopher and Clinton and twin aunts named Kimberly and Kathy. there’s another set of fraternal twins in my mom’s brothers and sisters but I’ve only met them once about 20 years ago and can’t recall their names.

Kim Says:

December 12th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

If I got lucky and had twin daughters, they’d be named Susina and Skye (middle names undetermined, due to the unlikelihood of this happening!). Boy and girl would be Christian Stephen and Susina Skye…two boys, Christian Stephen and…well, I haven’t decided yet, but I like Nicholas very much, and I might end up adding the family middle name, Winthrop, since my brother (who would have normally used it) and his wife are not having children.

As for what works above…well, Henry and Grace really do go together. Most of the other names are a little too odd for my tastes, so I wouldn’t be a very reliable judge!

mersin web tasarım Says:

December 13th, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Hello, wanderful page. Thank you.

Lauren (lemon) Says:

January 5th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Of these, I think my favorites might be Eden and Savannah, Grace and Henry, and Lucas and Olivia.

1) I like Eden and Savannah because both are place names and both seem to have a natural touch to them. Eden is more of a unisex name with a decidedly feminine feel while Savannah, though it incorporates the feminine classic, Anna, isn’t overly frilly. I think that Edie and Savvy are sort of cute nicknames, too, and I think that Marcia Cross may call Savannah “Savvy.”

2) Grace and Henry work because they are traditional favorites. Albeit, they aren’t the most exciting, but I love Henry. If I were to have BG twins, they might be named Henry and Charlotte (if not Nathaniel and Lydia).

3) The ones of this list I would be most likely to use are Lucas and Olivia. Though not on my Top Favorites list, they used to be, and I love Lucas with the nickname “Luke.” However, I also like Olivia with the nicknames “Livvy” and “Liv,” but Luke and Liv are completely off-limits for twins in my opinion…

As an identical twin, twin names in the celebrity world, and in the Nameberry world, are always of particular interest to me. My name is Lauren and my twin sister is Sarah. Her name fits in with the Biblical, traditional feel of my brother’s name, Benjamin, whereas mine seems trendy in comparison. Within my family, my mother had a grandmother, Esther, who had a fraternal twin brother, Lester. My mom also had twin cousins, Gary and Larry. When we were about to be born, since my mom had picked Sarah for a single girl, my grandma suggested Cara for MY name! Luckily, my mom and I agree that rhyming names for twins just aren’t ideal… 🙂

Kelsey Says:

February 14th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I like the two names Cabel and Charly for boys. Lindy and Lucy for girls, And Phoenix and Fisher for boy/girl twins. Im not one for common names and want my kids to have something unique. 😀

Stephanie Says:

May 6th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

My father and uncle are Jay Lowell and John Ray. There haven’t been any other twins in our family, but I heard it skips a generation… so I’ll let you know…

Liliana Sparks Says:

June 5th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I think the cutest names for twins are:

Becka and Laney

Sarah and Emily

Katherine and Kane

Briggin and Denny

and Kyla and Jessi

heavenryle Says:

June 12th, 2010 at 7:18 am

I have identical twin girls.
Nobaly-Dai Annette and Noahly Jade. Both name’s start with no and end with ly.
There names are the same but different. My family calls them the NO,NO Girls. (In fact there 1st word was Mama and there 2nd was no no.)

Sandy Says:

August 27th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

We have fraternal twins. It was very imprtant for them to be named after my husband(Christopher) & his father(Nicholas) who had passed. We chose the names Christopher Nicholas & Christyn Nicole. We have never has any confusion from anyone with the names being so close. As a matter of fact it seems to make it easier for the teachers. The only time we had a problem was when they had the same toys so for ChristOpher I would out an O on his toy and a Y on hers…now there is no need somehow someway they can tell eachothers apart….

moxielove Says:

November 1st, 2010 at 6:37 pm

ugh, Sierra and Siena are AWFUL. At the very least, spell Siena with 2 Ns (Sienna) so at the very least they have symmetry going for them.

Followed closely by poor little Jesse Jameson and Journey Jett. Sigh.

I like Knox and Vivienne
I know twin set Peter & Cecilia which I think is lovely
I knew twins Brigid & Claire which I always thought worked nicely

brannon Says:

December 17th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Knox and Viv are fantastic. Know a Harrison and Hunter which I think work well. My twin girl names are Minnie and Eloise so they can go by Mia and Elle if they hate me when they grow up 🙂

AmberSammy&Sophie Says:

February 28th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I personally like twin name starting with the same letter as my sister and i (we aren’t twins but..) Have first names starting with the same letter I am Alex(f) and she is Ashley. My Grandfather also has a twin brother He is James and his brother is John. Same first initials are ok but i try to stay away from both initials being the same as they already have “matching” first names. My favorite names for twins right now would have to be Aaron Cooper and Avery Jasmine or Marco Gabriel and Micki Violet for B/G Twins Avery Jasmine and Amber Charlotte for twin girls and Aaron Cooper and Asher Michael or Marco Gabriel and Mateo Alexander for twin boys. (:

Kalee Says:

March 23rd, 2011 at 2:20 pm

my brother and sister were girl/boy twins named Aaron and Kaleena which I have always loved together and seperately!

Kalee Says:

March 23rd, 2011 at 2:21 pm

forgot to mention that their middle names were both M names so their initials were the same but different… Aaron Matthew and Kaleena Michelle (AMF and KMF)

Siena Says:

March 24th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love unusual names, and I do love my own name (yes it is spelled that way), I don’t know if I’ would have liked my name spelled the normal way, with the two “n’s” because of the fact I may have ended up being compared to the crayon color and who wants that?

I had twins and they are Savannah Rose and Autymn Rayne.

Cristina Says:

May 8th, 2011 at 1:59 am

my oldest children are twins Tyler Patrick (patrick being a family name on my husbands side, and also his middle name) and Kayla Marie (marie being a family name on my side and my middle name being maria….marie flows better with kayla in my opinion)

Jacqui Says:

May 11th, 2011 at 6:04 am

I have fraternal twin cousins who were Roland & Ronald and a set of friends who are trips Gregg,Shaun, & Douglas – their 2 pieces of advice when i became pregnant with twins was not to dress them the same and don’t give them matchy names. My fraternal boys are Jackson Kade & Roman Isaiah

DeOnna Says:

June 15th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

My 1 years young boy twins name is Sir & Sefin[7] in brackets is how you pronounce it, blame it on the father he came up with those names.

Emme Says:

August 8th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I Think that the cutest names for twins would be…
(BB) Calix Hudson and Corin James
(GG) Rosabelle Gail and Lucille Trinity
(BG) Thatcher Benjamin and Coda Delaney
I really love the name Coda for a girl. Calix is one of my favorites for boys. It’s Greek and means, “very handsom”, so let’s hope he wouldnt end up being conceited because of it!
~Emme

aunt_ning Says:

October 14th, 2011 at 11:20 am

I keep having this weird dream where i have sextuplets..3 boys and 3 girls…
Elijah Richard, Joseph Clark and Timothy Robert
Clara Rose, Julie Eleanor and Mary Amanda

IzzyQ Says:

October 15th, 2011 at 8:31 am

My favorite pairing on here would have to be Charlene Riva and Myla Rose, mostly because Myla is one of my all-time favorites.;)

kaydeegoesrawr Says:

December 1st, 2011 at 9:06 pm

My beautiful twins have the names

Lily Inaya Ali

and

Aili Nevaeh Ali

Lily and Aili…matchy but unique <3

atlaskatarzyna Says:

February 15th, 2012 at 11:31 am

Julia Roberts’ kids names are possibly my favourite in existence! Hazel, Phinnaeus and Henry make an adorable sib-set!

Asleigh Says:

April 22nd, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I have twin girls and they are called Olivia and Charley. My little brothers are twins and they are called Aaron and Robby so twins kind of run in our family( if that’s possible)because my elder brother and his wife have twin girls and are expecting another set of twins ( boy and girl) in 5 weeks. My fave celebrity twins are Knox and Vivienne because they are so individual.

LaurenDawn Says:

May 6th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

My dad (John) and his brother (Robert) are twins, their siblings are also twins, David and Susan.

My DH has friends who are twins, Michael and Patrick (nn Paddy) who also have siblings who are twins, Robert and Maria.

I think twins should have names that stand alone, not too matchy and have different first initials.

megjmaxwell Says:

June 23rd, 2012 at 1:54 pm

My twin sister’s names are Meredith Anne and Courtney Lynne and I think they go together perfectly.

HerMajesty Says:

November 21st, 2012 at 12:13 pm

The sets of twins I personally know are
Lakyn and Laryn
Hali and Bali
Lance and Lewis
Sandra and Saundra
Marcia and Amanda
Sarah and Hannah
Ross and Scott
Mina and Jeremy
Tammy and Gillyanne(she says its a different spelling of Jillian)
Colby and Cory
I do not really like matching names(rhyming, same first initial, varients of the same name, similar spellings) I would choose ones that would make them seem more as individuals than a unit. Such as Drucilla Selene and Remington Aurora, Percy Eugene and Nicholas Drew, and Yvaine Esmeralda and Percy Nathaniel.

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