TWIN NAMES: Guide & Ideas

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, Zoe Saldana’s Bowie and Cy, Jensen Ackles’ Zeppelin and Arrow, and Ronnie Wood’s Alice and Grace.  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. Two unisex names can work, like Dylan Lauren’s son Cooper Blue and his twin sister Kingsley Rainbow. But a mismatch can be jarring. 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 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 the United States Social Security Administration no longer reports the most popular pairs of twin names every year, we’ve included a few combination that work from the 2011 list of favorites.

POPULAR TWIN NAMES

GIRL-GIRL

 

Olivia and Sophia

Isabella and Sophia

Abigail and Olivia

Ava and Emma

Ava and Mia

Ava and Ella

Abigail and Emily

BOY-BOY

Caleb and Joshua

Alexander and Benjamin

Andrew and Matthew

Alexander and Nicholas

Gabriel and Michael

Benjamin and Samuel

Logan and Mason

Henry and William

GIRL-BOY

Isabella and Alexander

Olivia and Ethan

Abigail and Benjamin

Sophia and Alexander

Emily and Matthew

Emma and John

Charlotte and Henry

Ava and Jackson

Emma and Jack

CELEBRITY BABY TWINS’ NAMES

ARROW RHODES & ZEPPELIN BRAM/Jensen Ackles

AVA & GRACE/Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra

BOWIE & CY/Zoe Saldana

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

CARTER STONE & CASH STEVEN/Robbie E

CHARLENE RIVA & MYLA ROSE/Roger Federer

CHARLIE TAMARA TULIP & DOLLY REBECCA ROSE/Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell

CHARLIE & POPPY/Stephen Moyer & Anna Paquin

COCO TRINITY & SAWYER LUCIA/Diane Farr

COOPER BLUE & KINGSLEY RAINBOW/Dylan Lauren

DARBY GALEN & SULLIVAN PATRICK/Patrick Dempsey

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

EDEN & SAVANNAH/Marcia Cross

EMME MARIBEL & MAXIMILIAN DAVID/Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony

FINLEY & HARPER (girls)/Lisa Marie Presley

GABRIELLA & JACQUES/Prince Albert & Princess Charlene of Monaco

GIDEON SCOTT & HARPER GRACE/Neil Patrick Harris

GRACIE JANE & ALICE ROSE/Ronnie Wood

HARTLEY GRACE & LYDON EDWARD/Mark McGrath

JAID THOMAS & JAX JOSEPH/Gabrielle Beauvais-Nilon

JESSE JAMESON & JOURNEY JETT/Jenna Jameson

JESSIE JAMES (f) & D’LILA STAR/Sean “Diddy’ Combs

JOHN DAVID & LUCY ELIZABETH/Nancy Grace

JOHN & GUS/Julie Bowen

JOHNNIE ROSE & MILLER STEVEN/Melissa Ethridge

JULIANNA TEX & HENRY BENJAMIN/Emily Robison

JUNO & REX/Will Champion

LEO & LENNART/Roger Federer

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

MAX & BOB/Charlie Sheen

MOROCCAN & MONROE/Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon

NATALIA & SANTINO/Adam Carolla

NELSON & EDDY/Celine Dion

ROMAN STYLIANOS & ADELE GEIRGIANA/Molly Ringwald

KNOX LEON & VIVIENNE MARCHELINE/Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

OLIVIA & LUCAS/Wanda Sykes

PHINNAEUS & HAZEL/Julia Roberts

PHOENIX & LENNOX/Chris Bosh

THOMAS BOONE & ZOE GRACE/Dennis Quaid

TRISTAN & SASHA/Chris Hemsworth

VALENTINO & MATTEO/Ricky Martin

VICTORIA & YSABEL/Michael Jordan

VIOLET MOON & KNOX BLUE/Sarah Shahi & Steve Howey

MORE BABY NAME ADVICE

TWIN BABY NAMES: Our Advice for the Stars

SIBLING NAMES: 7 Things Every Parent Should Know

BABY NAME BATTLES: 6 Ways Not To Fight

FAMILY NAMES: 5 Rules for Dealing With Family Name Choices

GREAT SUBSTITUTES FOR OVERUSED NAMES

MIDDLE NAMES: Complete Questions and Answers

HOW NOT TO NAME THE BABY:  Top Ten Baby Naming Don’ts

NICKNAMES: Complete Questions & Answers