Naming a child is a rite of passage for parents the world over. No matter where, or when, a new baby is added to the family, the choice of a name can be a thorny problem. And with twins, it's double the dilemma!
In fact, having said that, it is more than double. Not only do you have the traditional “I like that name, but you hate it” and “If we use that name, it will upset your mother” type issues, you have an entire slate of things to think about that you only have to consider with having two babies at once.
Starting with the same letter may sound like a great idea, to begin with, but you might end up stuttering over or mixing their names if they both begin with the same sound. For example, “Jayda & Jayden” might sound like a good choice but after a couple of years calling one and having both answer, you might all be having second thoughts.
You might think about giving your dynamic duo paired names such as “Faith & Hope” which feels like a lovely idea, to begin with, but you may be unintentionally condemning them to live as a pair who end up losing their individual identities.
It is also a good idea to avoid the stereotypical twin names like “Luke & Leia” or names from popular culture like “Fred & George.” Not only do they single out your little ones for being named after something their parents love but, again, it re-enforces the “pair” issue that many twins embrace, but many want to avoid.
Of course, the easy(ish) way out would be to name your twins as you would any two singleton babies, but where’s the fun in that? Not many people have the twin experience so, if you want to make the most of it by choosing “twin” names, here are a few suggestions that, hopefully, doesn't condemn you and your precious bundles to a life of regret. Well, regret over the names at least.
25 Dorothy and Theodore
These are possibly my favorite twin boy & girl names because they are like the gift that keeps on giving.
Dorothy is a more modern version of Dorothea, the feminine form of the Greek name Dorotheos, which means "gift of God.” It is made up of two elements from Greek, doron which means "gift" and theos which means "god" so Dorothy means “Gift from God.”
The name Theodore is composed of the same elements in reverse order making the meaning “God's Gift.” Not only are they excellent matching names that do not immediately sound as if they go together, but they are also especially meaningful for babies that have been a long time coming.
Add to this the fact that they are both cute kiddie names and “proper” grown-up names, you can shorten them to great nicknames, and they are part of the current trend of using names from the turn of the last century. If that doesn’t make them pretty much perfect, I don’t know what would.
24 Aidan And Nadia
If you are looking for something cute, contemporary, and clever, then Aidan and Nadia could be the perfect names for your twins. Why Aidan and Nadia? Because Aidan is Nadia in reverse, or the other way around, depending on how you want to look at it.
Aidan is several steps along the name evolutionary ladder from the old Irish name Áed, which meant "fire." At its peak of popularity, in the early 2000’s it has become less frequently used, so you have the advantage of not sentencing your son to a life of being one of several Aidan's in his class.
Meanwhile, Nadia is another name that is several steps removed from its origin. It began with Nadezhda, a Slavic name meaning “Hope.” You are not likely to bump into any other Nadias in the schoolyard unless you live in an area with a significant Slavic population, but it is mainstream enough to not raise an eyebrow.
23 Thomas And Tamsin
Tamsin is traditionally used in Cornwall, England, as a contracted form of Thomasina which in turn, unsurprisingly, is the feminine version of Thomas.
Why give both of your twins what amounts to the same name? Because both names mean twin, that’s why. OK, you’ll essentially be saying “Hello, these are our twins, Twin, and Twin,” but that can be your private inside joke that only other people who have read this article will understand.
Both names have cute diminutive forms to pick from, with a choice of Tom or Tommy, and Tam or Tammy and they are easy to say, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce - result!
22 Sisko And Veli
If you are after something a little bit more exotic for your twin names, how about looking towards our cousins in the Nordic countries and stealing a couple of fabulous names from Finland?
Sisko is Finnish for “sister” and is a name used across Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Meanwhile, still in Finland, we can also steal Veli, which means “brother.”
The disadvantage is that you will be forever repeating your kid's names two or three times whenever you first encounter new people and explaining what the names mean, where they’re from and why you chose them might also get a bit old.
21 Primula And Kato
Some parents of twins and multiples like to consider names that reflect the birth order which is where Primula and Kato come in.
Primula is from the name of a genus of several species of flowers, including the primrose. It is derived from the Latin word primulus meaning "very first". Meanwhile, over in Uganda, Kato means “second twin” in Luganda, the Bantu language of the Baganda people.
Be prepared for people to think you are a Green Hornet fan if you choose Kato and if Primula is not to your liking then Mona means "one" as well. However, your daughter will no doubt grow up tormenting her brother that she is number one, her name says so you might want to spare him that.
20 Hazel And Hugo
A quirky take on the “give both twins a name that starts with the same letter” theme, Hazel and Hugo could be just what you are looking for.
It would be unfair to give one child a short, snappy name like Eric for instance and then lumber the other with something like Emerencian. With both Hazel and Hugo having two syllables and a similar level of novelty you will be bestowing your son and daughter “equal” names.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Hugo is an anglicized form of Hugh which is from the Germanic element hug, meaning "heart, mind, spirit" and Hazel is from the English word hazel for the tree or the light brown color and the nut.
19 Ignatius and Isolde
If you are looking to walk a path less well trodden in your quest to name your babies, but you still want to stay on the traditional twin naming technique map, these are the names for you.
Unusual names that nobody else will choose? Check. Beginning with the same letter? Check. A clever hidden meaning? Check.
Ignatius is from the Roman family name Egnatius, the meaning of which is unknown, but the spelling was later altered to resemble the Latin ignis "fire."
The actual origins of Isolde are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic, perhaps from a hypothetical name like Ishild, composed of the elements is "ice, iron" and hild "battle."
Therefore you could have twins who are Fire & Ice.
18 Amber And Margot
How about a pair of beautiful gem names for your little gems?
Amber is from the English word amber that denotes the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin. It is also the name of the orange-yellow color of the gem. The word ultimately derives from Arabic عنبر 'anbar, and it began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century.
Margot is the French form of Margret which is derived from Latin Margarita, which was in turn from the Greek μαργαριτης (margarites) meaning "pearl," probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari).
You could also use Gemma if one of these two does not appeal.
17 Freya And Phoebe
Freya was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war, and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. This is not the usual spelling in any of the Scandinavian languages, in Sweden and Denmark it is Freja and in Norway it is Frøja, but it is the standard spelling of the goddess's name in English.
Meanwhile, Phoebe is a Latinized form of the Greek name Φοιβη “Phoibe,” which meant "bright, pure" from the Greek word φοιβος “phoibos.” In Greek mythology, Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis.
16 Winona And Imogen
Winona is sometimes said to mean princess but in the traditional Dakota language, "Winona" is not a personal name, but is instead a general term for a first-born child of any class distinction who happens to be female.
Meanwhile, Imogen is a misspelling of the name Innogen. When Shakespeare used this name in his play Cymbeline, there was a mistake in the printing process, and the name was spelled with an m instead of two n’s. The original name has the same roots as “inghean” a now-obsolete Irish and Scottish Gaelic word, meaning "daughter.”
Just make sure you point out that Winona is “firstborn” and not “number one.”
15 Cara And Mia
If you are looking for some names that are short and sweet, then look no further than Cara and Mia. Although they both end in an “ah” sound, the beginnings are different enough not to have them regularly mixed up.
Cara is from an Italian word meaning "beloved." It has been used as a given name since the 19th century, though it did not become popular until after the 1950s. Mia is a Scandinavian, Dutch and German diminutive of Maria but is also the Italian word meaning "mine.”
Therefore, when the names are combined, in the “correct” order, they mean “My Beloved” How gorgeous is that?
14 Lilith And Layla
Not everyone interprets the word adorable as something that is pink, fluffy and cutesie. If you are one of the people who lean towards the less girly interpretation, then Lilith and Layla might be the names you are looking for.
Derived from the Akkadian word "lilitu" meaning "of the night,” Lilith was the name of a demon in ancient Assyrian myths. In Jewish tradition, she was Adam's first wife, sent out of Eden and replaced by Eve because she would not submit to him. The offspring of Adam and Lilith were the evil spirits of the world.
Layla means "night" in Arabic. This was the name of the object of romantic poems written by the 7th-century poet known as Qays. The story of Qays and Layla became a favorite romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
13 Säde And Lucy
If your daughters have come along to light up your life, then you can travel around Europe for some luminous names.
Säde pronounced SA-de means "ray of light" in Finnish, but be careful because Sade is not the same as Säde. In Finnish "Sade" means "rain" and "säde" means "ray of light” so you could end up with precisely the opposite meaning than the one you intended.
Lucy Is much more straightforward. The English version of the Italian name Lucia, which was derived from Latin lux "light.”
You will have two rays of light or one daughter who is a ray of sunshine and one who is sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy.
12 Esther And Selene
The meaning of Esther is not entirely clear but possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively, it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess Ishtar who was the Babylonian and Assyrian mother goddess who presided over love, war, and fertility. So this name also matches well with Freya.
Selene stays with the celestial bodies theme but goes off at a slight tangent. This was the name of a Greek goddess of the moon, sometimes identified with the goddess Artemis. If pronounced in the classical Greek you would say it SE-LE-NE, but the more common English pronunciation is si-LEE-nee.
Hence your daughters will be your moon and stars.
11 Ruby And Scarlett
Derived from the Latin “rube” which means red, Ruby is not only the name from a precious stone, but it is also a vibrant red as well as a girl’s name. It was first used as a given name in the 1800’s when flower and gemstone names became popular with the Victorians.
Scarlett was once thought to come from a Persian root but is now thought to come from Arabic siklāt (later siklātūn), denoting very costly, luxury silks dyed scarlet-red using the exceptionally expensive dye kermes.
If you are lucky enough to have a pair of ginger girls, what better names could you give them?
10 Alexandra and Charlotte
Many of these name pairings have been chosen because of their meanings, but this set is entirely different. Alexandra and Charlotte have been selected purely because you could then shorten your daughter's names to Alex and Charlie.
Alexandra was the alternative name used by the ancient Greeks in the last stages of their empire, for Cassandra, which means “to excel,” or “to shine.”
Charlotte is the female form of Charles, from the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning "man." However, an alternative theory says that it is derived from the common Germanic name element hari meaning "army, warrior."
9 Vincent and Victor
An equally balanced set of names, this double V pairing was chosen because of their associated meanings.
From the Roman name Vincentius, which was from Latin vincere "to conquer" Vincent is a name that hovers consistently around the end of the top 100 boys names.
Victor meanwhile, is a Roman name meaning "victor, conqueror" in Latin. It was common among early Christians and was borne by several early saints and three popes. It was rare as an English name during the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Vincent and Victor, the perfect choices for a pair destined to surmount any obstacle in their paths.
Meaning: These twin brothers would be set to take over the world. Vincent means "to conquer' in Latin and comes from the Roman name Vincentius. Victor is also Latin in origin and means "winner" or "conqueror."
8 Jasper and Jett
We had a pair of precious stone girls names, so we had to do the same for your little gem boys.
Jasper means "treasurer" in Persian, and the name was traditionally assigned to one of the wise men who was said to have visited the newborn Jesus. It has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. The name can also be given in reference to the English word for the gemstone.
Which brings us to Jett, with two t’s which is taken from Jet with one t, a black gemstone from which we derive the phrase "jet-black," meaning as dark a black as possible.
7 Flannery And Rufus
If you want to give your redheaded boys a pair of names they can wear with pride, try Flannery and Rufus.
Flannery is from an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Flannghaile meaning "descendant of Flannghal," and the given name Flannghal means "red valour." My son points out that he thought Flannery was a girls name because it is the name of one of the trainers in Pokemon, but I think you can still safely choose it for your son.
Rufus was a Roman word name which meant "red-haired" in Latin and was initially used as a nickname before evolving into a surname, and then into a first name.
6 Archer And Hunter
The reason for this pairing should be pretty apparent. Archer as a name comes from an English surname meaning "Bowman, archer," of Old French origin while Hunter comes from an English occupational name for a hunter, derived from Old English hunta.
By picking these names, you can tap into the “surname as a first name” trend, give both of your son's occupational names, and have “similar at the end but different enough at the beginning to be easily distinguishable” names.
Just be sure to try these two out a few times with your surname first. They sound better with the more bland surname to balance them out.
5 Matthew And Jesse
If you look at your little angels and see nothing but a pair of beautiful gifts, then why not choose names to reflect that?
Jesse comes from the Hebrew name יִשַׁי Yishai which possibly means "gift." Popular in English speaking countries it is also well loved in the Netherlands and Finland. It is often shortened to Jess and is not the same as the female version which is Jessie.
Matthew is the English form of Ματθαιος or “Matthaios” which, in turn, was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu) meaning "gift of YAHWEH." This in itself came from the roots מַתָּן (mattan) meaning "gift" and יָה (yah) referring to the Hebrew God.
4 Henry And Eric
If your sons are destined to rule the roost, then you should name them Eric and Henry.
From the Old Norse name Eiríkr, which is made up of the elements ei meaning "ever, always" and ríkr which means "ruler" Eric literally means “Forever Ruler.” This common Norse name was first brought to England by Danish settlers during the Anglo-Saxon period, but it was not especially popular during the Middle Ages. It was it was revived in the 19th century, after which it became much less of an unusual name.
Henry is from the Germanic name Heimirich which meant "home ruler," composed of the elements heim which means "home" and ric which means "power, ruler” making little Henry “Ruler of the Home.”
3 Lucius And Orion
At one time the most popular given name among the Ancient Romans, Lucius comes from the Latin word Lux, meaning “light." Never an overly popular name it is ripe to make a comeback hot on the heels of some of the other old-fashioned boy's names filling up the charts. The only downside to this one is if you are a Harry Potter fan and cannot get past the negative connotations the name has left you with.
The exact meaning of Orion is unknown, but it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna meaning "light of the heavens,” and it is the name of the legendary Greek hunter who met his fate as a result of the sting of a scorpion sent by Gaia, as well as the name of the constellation named after him.
2 Idris And Balder
Two Princes, they’ll even have their own song!
As an Arabic name Idris possibly means "interpreter.” In the Qur'an, this is the name of an ancient prophet, and he is also traditionally equated with the Hebrew prophet Enoch. The name has made this list though because of its meaning in the Welsh usage where it means "ardent lord" from the Welsh word udd meaning "lord, prince" combined with ris which means "ardent, enthusiastic, impulsive."
In Norse mythology, Balder, which means “Prince” was the son of Odin and Frigg. He had disturbing dreams when he was young, so his mother extracted an oath from everything in the world not to harm him. However Loki, the evil fire god saw that she had overlooked mistletoe. Being jealous, Loki tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder, which killed him.
1 Reuben And Benjamin
Reuben means "behold, a son" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, he is the eldest son of Jacob and Leah and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Reuben was cursed by his father because he slept with Jacob's concubine Bilhah.
Benjamin is also a Hebrew name, this one meaning "son of the south" or "son of the right hand.” In the Old Testament Benjamin is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named Ben-'oni which means "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel, who didn't survive shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father.
References: pastemagazine.com, girlwithherheadinabook.co.uk, dadsguidetotwins.com, ssa.gov, nameberry.com, twinsuk.co.uk, behindthename.com, mumsnet.com, closeronline.co.uk, and nordicnames.de.