PARENTS

Choosing Baby Names For Twins

20/03/2015 11:09 | Updated 20 May 2015

Twin boys looking at each other

Choosing a baby name can be a headache for prospective parents. For everyone who had their perfect name picked the moment the pregnancy test came up positive, there's someone battling 10-foot-long lists of choices, their partner's vetoes and a mother-in-law who is set on your newborn being named after Auntie Ethel. Things can get especially tricky if you're expecting twins. To outsiders, they are going to come as a pair. For better or worse, until they reach adulthood most people will always refer to them jointly as 'X and Y', so it's extra important that their names sound good together.

Here are our top things to consider when it comes to finding harmonious names for your twins.

Famous duos

Eric and Ernie, Tom and Jerry, Mel and Sue... It might seem obvious to steer clear of names which are already firmly associated with a well-known double act, but some can slip by unnoticed.

Imagine innocently calling your twins Charlie and David, completely oblivious to the fact that they will spend the rest of their lives being referred to as Chas and Dave, doomed to a lifetime of friends miming 'rabbit' signs over their heads.

Alliteration

This is really up to personal preference. For some, giving twins alliterative names like Ethan and Evan or Alex and Amelia is a nice way to emphasise their special bond without being too in-your-face.

For others, the idea calls to mind grown-ups in matching outfits and those creepy girls from The Shining.

There's a practical benefit to avoiding alliterative names, too, as the Twins and Multiple Birth Association points out: "Try to choose names that begin with different initials. This will make it easier to label children's belongings and sort out their post when they are older."

Rhyming

Not generally advisable unless you want your kids to sound like lost nephews of Donald Duck. For newborns, it might seem temptingly cute, but your teenagers will not thank you for naming them Minnie and Ginnie.

Male/female versions of the same name

Again, not recommended. Inverted gender names like Michael and Michelle or Oliver and Olivia can reinforce the idea that twins are a two halves of a whole rather than two separate people.

TAMBA explains why names like this can be a bad idea: "Names are very important and help develop a person's sense of individuality. This is especially important for multiples, who grow up with a strong sense of being one of a pair or group."

Theme

Do your chosen names have a similar theme? It can be jarring if the names of your twins don't 'match' - for example, pairing a traditional name like Henry or Elizabeth with a very modern one like Brayden or Chantelle might sound a bit strange.

Similarly, choosing to honour your Italian heritage by calling one twin Giovanni might not work if you're going to call his twin something clearly not Italian, like Chloe or Lucy (this applies to any siblings, not just twins).

Of course, there's room to be flexible here - if you love the name Rose, don't feel obliged to call her twin Poppy or Lily!

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