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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    somewhere in Europe

    Naming twins IRL: my story

    I see a lot of threads on these boards about hypothetical twin names, and this has got me to thinking: as an actual mother of twins, it might be interesting for me to share a bit about the real-life naming process that my husband and I went through.

    I'll start by saying that I'd been a lover of names (and indeed a nameberry member) for many years prior to discovering that I was pregnant with twins. Thus, I had some long-established and somewhat fanciful lists that I was working from at the beginning of my name(s) search. When faced with the prospect of real babies and a frustatingly opinionated husband, however, I found that most of my old favourites weren't going to pass muster IRL. So we basically started from scratch with the name hunt. As an interesting sidenote, in the end, I turned out to be a far more conservative namer than I would have originally predicted.

    Regardless of your philosophy about whether twin names should/shouldn't be coordinated, it's undeniable that twins present a particular naming challenge for parents (I suspect this is what attracts so many nameberryites to threads about fantasy twin names).

    I have to say that I really dislike matchy or themed--no matter how subtly themed--names. Luckily, so does my husband. Don't get me wrong: I didn't want to give my boys names that explicitly clashed. I just didn't want them to be saddled with names that would be construed as a perfectly matched set, if you see what I mean.

    We discovered the genders of both babies at 20 weeks. After learning that we were having two boys, we knew from fairly early on that we'd probably name one baby Charles nn Charlie, as it was basically the only male name that my husband and I both seemed to like (his taste in names was/is unfathomable to me!).

    The trick after settling on Charles nn Charlie was finding a second name that went without going too well.

    Some of my other favourites were quickly eliminated due to pesky British royal family connections: William, Andrew, Henry/Harry.

    We also quickly eliminated James and all other ends in -s names as well as every other name on our list that began with a C, including Calvin which had been a personal favourite.

    Oliver and Edward were both family names that we really liked but also eliminated as a first name contenders because we thought Charlie and Ollie/Eddie were simply too matchy.

    Other names were nixed due to bothersome literary or cultural connections. Because of the Charles and Sebastian in Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, we took Sebastian nn Sabe off our list. Likewise, we discovered a problem with Charlie and Edgar after happening across old footage of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

    As you can see, we had a lot of things we didn't want to do when it came to matchiness! Things we determined that we did actually want for Charles' twin, however, were a name with: a classic/vintage vibe, a long history of usage in English, and some level of international usage. I also theoretically prefered non-biblical names, but that wasn't a dealbreaker for me in the end.

    Ones that were eliminated because I liked them but my husband didn't included Arthur, Julian, Milo, Victor, Quentin, and Max.

    IIRC, I believe that our final contenders were:

    Charles and Gabriel nn Charlie and Gabe
    Charles and Peter nn Charlie and Pete
    Charles and Alexander nn Charlie and Alex
    Charles and Samuel nn Charlie and Sam

    In the end, we went with Charles and Samuel, and thus far I have no regrets whatsoever! In my opinion, these names strike exactly the right level of coordination for twins without being themed or overtly matchy.

    Has anyone else actually named twins? Want to share your story?
    *Mother to twins Charles and Samuel*

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    South Australia
    I loved reading this! Thank you for sharing your story.
    My mum had twin boys after she had me, unfortunately they were born prematurely and passed away due to complications of being born too soon. I have always wanted to ask my Mum about how they went about naming twins but felt like it would still be a very painful thing for her to talk about, so your story was very informative
    The 3 Princesses in my life...

    Elizabeth Hope
    Annabelle Cadence
    Madeleine Pearl

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    We're in the process at 19 weeks and counting. Thanks for sharing your story! You're right, it's definitely harder than it sounds, especially when (in some ways) they have to live as much with each other's names as they do with their own. We'll find out genders in two weeks, so I'm looking forward to having more focus. I was a lot gutsier with names before I actually got pregnant, and I think I'm even less gutsy with twins now because naming a sibset all in one go feels like we're locking all future children's names into that same mould. No pressure there! Considerations we've had:

    - nothing matchy, recognizably connected, or funny
    - nothing that sounds too class-heavy one way or the other (this is important to my very English DH).
    - should both have the same ethnic origin, preferably the one we're from
    - should both be around the same level of uniqueness
    - should ideally have complimentary meanings (so, no Felix and Claudia... 'happy/lucky' and 'lame').

    So that's me. We've got di/di, so fingers crossed for a b/g set as somehow I think this will be easier.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I'm intrigued by this. I have twins in both my and OH's family - my dad has twin siblings, and OH's mum has a twin sister as well. Unfortunately both my dad's parents and my OH's grandparents are deceased, otherwise I would be asking them the same question after reading this thread. Neither set have 'matchy' names - names dated to the 60s, yes, but no matching letters or endings though. It's interesting to see how differently you go about naming two children together, as opposed to having a year or two at least in between. I know there are more Berries with multiples, and I'd love to read more responses on this.

    Anna Katherine * Lydia Ellen * Zoe Madeleine * Phoebe ___ * Imogen ___ * Emilia ___
    Samuel * Thomas * Charlie * Reuben * Oliver * George

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    A close friend of mine had twin boys last year, the middle names were set really early on as being one after each of the grandparents but I remember she got really close to her due date before she had it finalised, she was really stressing out about it because the names they liked were either too matchy or too different, or they didn't work with the middles. In the end they didn't even use the name they had been planning for a single son but the boys did end up with really lovely names in the end, Joshua and Elliot. She said she was glad they were her first and not her second pregnancy because that would have made things even more difficult than it was.

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