Twins offer a rare opportunity for parents to choose two related baby names at the same time, but also multiply the potential difficulties of sibling names. 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 Roberts’ Phinnaeus and Hazel, Patrick Dempsey’s Sullivan and Darby, and Marcia Cross’s Eden and Savannah. Although each of these sets of celebrity twin 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 Star. Both 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 needlessly, 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: too close in sound, yet too far apart in style.
One idea: Look for twin names that are distinct from each other and yet have a unified meaning. For specific ideas, see our twin names blog.
The most popular twin names tend toward the matching sets. While most of these read like a list of Don‘ts, there are a couple that work: Gabriel and Michael, for instance, or Isabella and Sophia. Here, the current Top Ten for each kind of pair. For more popular pairs, see the Social Security site.
POPULAR TWIN NAMES