Twin Names: The Ultimate Guide

Twin Names: The Ultimate Guide

Twin baby names present double the naming challenge but can also be double the fun. Naming twins is a rare opportunity to choose two related baby names at the same time. With twins, it can be more tempting to use rhyme, sound play, and same initial names, but in our opinion, overly-cutesy pairings like Chloe and Zoey, Faith and Charity, or Oliver and Olivia should be relegated to a time capsule.

Twin names should be well-matched, but not similar to the point of confusion. Some celebrity examples that work: Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Rumi and Sir, George and Amal Clooney’s Ella and Alexander, Jonathan Tucker’s India and Hayes, Zoe Saldana’s Bowie and Cy, and Jensen Ackles’ Zeppelin and Arrow.

Although each set of celebrity twin names is very different in style and feel, they all embody the qualities that matter most in naming twins. 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. If you're expecting twin babies, here are our top considerations when naming twins:

Twin Baby Names by Style

The best twin baby names — and sibling names generally — are compatible in style. Most of the celebrity examples work really well, from Nancy Grace’s traditional Lucy and John to Will Champion’s 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.

What kind of styles might you consider for twin names that will work well together? Two vintage names such as Violet and Arthur would pair nicely, as would two sleek contemporary names like Sloane and Greer.

Pro tip: names that share an origin are often similar in style, like Maeve and Finn. Both names are rooted in ancient myth yet have a sleek one-syllable sound and are popular in the modern world.

Twin Names by Letter and Sound

Twin baby names that share the same first initial can work, but it is important that the names are clearly distinct from each other. Always keep style compatibility in mind (Garrett and Gianna would not be ideal, as they are too disparate in tone), but search for names that differ in other ways, such as syllable count or ending sounds. Mariah Carey’s Moroccan and Monroe are a prime example.

The opposite is also true — if you’d rather match the names on a middle or ending sound, it’s best to use names with different first initials. Aria and Ezra is a better fit than Ezra and Ella.

Gender Compatibility

Gender compatibility may be more important for twins than it is for siblings. Two unisex names can work, like Dylan Lauren’s son Cooper Blue and his twin sister Kingsley Rainbow. But a mismatch can be jarring.

As with style, you want to find some alignment with gender identity in twin names. So if your baby boy is given a classically male name like, say, John, you may not want his twin — sister or brother — to have a gender-neutral name like Jordan.

Names Matched by Meaning

One of our favorite ways to link twin baby names is by meaning. A unified meaning is a subtle way to enhance the connection between twin names, but just like with letter matching, the key is to choose names that are distinctive. Ari and Leo, which both mean “lion,” or Mira and Kai, which have watery meanings, are sets that work well. Madonna has well-named twins called Esther and Stella, both of which mean “star.”

Some twin names matched by meaning: 

Ada and Oberon — noble

Arthur and Orson bear

Asher and Felix — happy

Benedict and Winifred — blessed

Cyrus and Surya sun

Edwin and Ruth — friend

Frederica and Milo — peaceful

Esme and Imogen beloved

Laszlo and Orlando famous

Pallas and Ramona — wise

Names with Contrasting Meanings

Another way to go when choosing names for twins is to choose names with contrasting meanings, such as sun and moon, dark and light, birds and bees. Some specific ideas:

Brady and Teagan — big and small

Calixta and Hugobeautiful and intelligent

Clementine and Felicitycalm and happy

Cole and Biancablack and white

Deryn and Deborahbirds and bees

Edmund and Everett rich and brave

Gaia and Marinaearth and sea

Omena and Alani — apple and orange

Rex and Junoking and queen

Tarana and Shirinaday and night

Popular Names for Twins

The most popular twin names tend toward matching sets. Pairs that share sounds, such as Ava and Emma and Elijah and Isaiah are perennially popular, as are those that begin with the same letter, like Sofia and Sebastian. Other on-trend twinsets are connected in more subtle ways.

Luna and Nova are celestial names, and Luca and Mateo both have Italian origins. Mila and Liam are a rare set of compatible anagram names, making them all the more appealing for twins.

Here, the most popular names for twins:

Top Twin Girl Names

Amelia and Evelyn

Ava and Emma

Avery and Harper

Camila and Sofia

Charlotte and Elizabeth

Ella and Isla

Isabella and Victoria

Luna and Nova

Olivia and Sophia

Top Twin Boy Names

Alexander and Benjamin

Elijah and Isaiah

Henry and William

Julian and Sebastian

Leo and Max

Levi and Wyatt

Logan and Mason

Luca and Mateo

Luke and Owen

Noah and Jacob

Top Girl-Boy Twin Names

Abigail and Benjamin

Amelia and Oliver

Ava and Jackson

Charlotte and Henry

Emma and Jack

Harper and Logan

Isabella and Alexander

Mila and Liam

Olivia and Ethan

Sofia and Sebastian

Unique Names for Twins

Our top recommendations for unique twin names include those that are linked but distinct. Sheridan and Tierney are both Irish surnames for girls, and Gus and Ike are single-syllable retro nicknames. Zelda and Boaz is one of our favorite girl-boy twin sets, as both feature the attention-grabbing Z sound.

There are endless possibilities of unique twin name combinations. Featured below are a handful of ideas to get you started. And check out our page of even more unique twin names.

Unique Twin Girl Names

Amelie and Anais

Astrid and Greta

Athena and Penelope

Briar and Lark

Clementine and Tallulah

Clover and Della

Dixie and Poppy

Elodie and Sylvie

Lucinda and Marcella

Sheridan and Tierney

Unique Twin Boy Names

Alaric and Magnus

Anders and Soren

Auden and Rhodes

Beckett and Jensen

Bowie and Kenzo

Callum and Dashiell

Ford and Wells

Gus and Ike

Linus and Roscoe

Onyx and Zephyr

Unique Girl-Boy Twin Names

Aurora and Roman

Bellamy and Evander

Cleo and Otis

Coco and Ziggy

Faye and Lyle

Marlowe and Crosby

Palmer and Dempsey

Romilly and Lucian

Saoirse and Fintan

Zelda and Boaz

Popular Unisex Twin Names

Some parents want to find unisex names for twins, no matter what their gender. Some appealing gender-neutral twin names that can work for both boys and girls include:

Remy and Rory

Avery and Emery

Finley and Quincy

Riley and Brody

Lennon and Dylan

Max and Sam

Parker and Sawyer

Eden and Haven

Bellamy and Laramie

Ellis and Royal

Unique Unisex Twin Names

Domino and Indigo

Galilee and Creed

Ocean and Dune

Ellington and Keagan

Ripley and Raleigh

Pim and Lyle

Farrell and Guthrie

Merit and Drummer

Hero and Honor

Laramie and Romilly

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.