PARENTING
01/08/2015 01:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Ways To Choose Baby Names For Twins

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There are lots of ways to link twin names, from the obvious -- sharing a first initial -- to the so-subtle-it’s-nearly-invisible. Here, we look at the seven major ways to link names for twins, with examples of specific names that work ... and a few that don’t. Even if you’re not expecting twins but want to link your children’s names in some way, this is a good general guide to the possibilities.

By First Initial

The most popular twin names are linked by first initial: Madison and Matthew, say, or Taylor and Tyler. And certainly, that's the easiest and most obvious way to link. But if you choose twin names that start with the same first initial, vary the rhythm or sound: Cecilia and Caroline, for instance, are more distinctive than Cecilia and Celeste.

By Syllable or Sound

Less obvious than matching the first initial of the twin names are choosing two names with the same number of syllables or similar sounds. You might pick two one-syllable names such as Bea and Max, for example, or two names that share a middle or and ending sound, such as Oliver and Everett or Aiden and Carson.

By Style

Style is a subtler way to link twin names. You can make compatible pairs of classic names such as Catherine and Alexander, or fashionable names like Daisy and Theo (which also have a nickname theme going on), or unusual exotic names such as Ramona and Pascal. You can also link by style via middle names, by giving both babies two middle names, for instance, or family surnames in the middle.

By Meaning

Meaning can be an interesting way to quietly link twin names. Some common name meanings offer a wide range of names to choose from. There are 440 names on Nameberry with a meaning that includes the word God, for instance, so you can find pairs that range from the fashionable (Caleb and Amos) to the sedate (Elizabeth and Jane). More specialized meanings offer fewer options but a closer link: Aurelia and Cressida both mean gold, for example, while Ariel and Leo share a lion meaning.

By Origin

Names linked by origin can be quiet or more obvious. Many people would recognize that Duncan and Malcolm share a Scottish heritage, for instance, but fewer people would identify Blair and Cameron as sharing the same Scottish origin. Either direction works.

By Theme

Theme is related to a lot of other qualities like style and sound and origin, but at the same time transcends them. You might choose names with a children's book theme, for example, such as Matilda and Alice, or two names with secret nature meanings, such as Yara (which means butterfly) and Paloma (dove). Other theme examples might be place names, surname-names, or names that relate to the sea.

By Popularity

Finding two names with similar standing on the popularity scale can be a simplified way to identify a compatible pair. These might be Top 50 favorite like Nathan and Isaac (which also share a Biblical theme and a Hebrew heritage) or a more unusual pair such as Freya and Lilia, side-by-side at Numbers 908 and 909.

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