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Written by The Twin Source

Naming Baby Twins

Twin Mom Carrie consults with the Nameberry cofounder on
picking monikers for your duo.

Hi Pam! Thank you so very much for delving into baby names with The Twin Source. Nameberry is one of our favorite naming sites, so it is an honor to talk about twin names with you!

My pleasure, Carrie. We love The Twin Source too! And naming twins is certainly challenging and exciting.

Naming two babies can be overwhelming. How do you suggest parents-to-be get started?

It can be useful to start with your thoughts about how you want to raise your twins in general. Do you see them as a unit that you will treat pretty much the same? How close do you hope they'll be? Will you dress them alike? Will they share a room and a teacher, or will you try to separate them?

Like sibling names, twin names should be compatible in style and feel. There are many approaches in terms of matching. For example:

  • Names that are variations of each other, like Emma and Emmett or Mia and Maya.
  • Names that are distinct from one another but that start with the same letter, such as Owen and Oliver.
  • Names that have the same feel but that are further apart in sound and don't start with the same initial, like Sarah and Catherine.

Shall we talk trends? What are the top five most popular names today for boys and girls? Any surprises?

The top five girls names are mostly feminine and traditional, really beautiful names with long regal histories whose only downside is their popularity: Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia, and Ava.

The top five boys names are more of a combination of traditional and modern: Jacob, Mason, William, Jayden, and Noah.

Mason is the biggest surprise, catapulted to Number 2 because of its choice by Kourtney Kardashian.

What are the top five most popular names for twins?

The Social Security Administration came out with a few lists recently.

For girl/girl twins, the top five pairs of names are Olivia and Sophia; Gabriella and Isabella; Ella and Emma; Faith and Hope; and Makayla and Makenzie.

For boy/boy twins, the most popular pairings are Daniel and David; Jacob and Joshua; Isaac and Isaiah; Jayden and Jordan; and Ethan and Evan.

For girl/boy twins, the most popular combinations are Madison and Mason; Olivia and Owen; Jayda and Jayden; Emma and Ethan; and Isabella and Isaiah.

More details can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/babynames/twins.html.

With twins, there can be a lovely opportunity to subtly unite their names through symbolism, first initial, or some other means. Can you speak to that idea and how one might go about researching possibilities?

Nameberry explored some of these opportunities in a recent blog post called "Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link."

You can pick names that have the same first initial but a different starting sound, such as Patrick and Philip, or different first initials but the same sound, like Chloe and Keira.

Finding distinct names with a shared meaning can be fun: Clara and Helena both mean bright, for instance.

Or you can look for names with a similar reference, like Stella and Luna, which mean star and moon.

Nameberry believes in style consistency when naming twins. How can parents-to-be choose names that "flow" and have a consistency to them?

Trying too hard to find flow can make names too matchy-matchy.

Look for names that are consistent in one area—that fall into a similar place on the popularity list, for instance, or that have the same number of syllables, or that end with the same sound. But then make sure other important aspects are different, like maybe they start with a different letter.

Think of it like modern clothing style: Most of us don't match all the colors of our outfit or wear exactly matching jewelry or bag and shoes anymore, and you don't want your twins' names to match exactly either.

Monograms are all the rage these days. Is it important for parents to be mindful of monograms when considering names?

You want to avoid initials that may prove negative or embarrassing, like P.I.G.

How can a couple navigate baby names openly and honestly together without ending up at a standstill?

It can be important to realize that choosing a name brings up a lot of deep and important feelings about things like family obligations, ethnic and gender identity, control, and our sense of ourselves vis à vis our own names growing up. Rather than fighting over the names themselves, it might be helpful to try to explore the feelings and issues behind why we love or hate certain names. That could bring about a deeper understanding of what our name choices symbolize about our hopes and dreams for our children.

Pam, thank you so very much for taking the time to chat with The Twin Source. It has been a pleasure!

Thank you so much, Carrie!


Nameberry is a baby name site created by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz based on their 10 best-selling books about names, including "The Baby Name Bible" and "Cool Names for Babies." Twin-related blog posts on the Nameberry site include "Twin Names: 8 Fresh Ways to Link," "Twin Names: Guide & Ideas,"and "Twin Names: Choosing Names With Contrasting Meanings." 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/nameberry

Twitter: @nameberry

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