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Selecting Names for Multiples

Multiple Fashions


Try to resist the temptation to be cute when it comes to choosing multiple names. Such adorable combinations as Billy and Millie or Rex and Lex may not be appreciated by your little darlings as they grow older.

As can be expected, there are some naming fashions that pertain to naming twins, triplets, quadruplets, and beyond:

  • Alliterative combinations or names that begin with the same letter
  • Names that relate to each other in some way besides alliteration, such as in form or meaning
  • Dissimilar names

These fashions have been in place for a long time and they really don't change much, although, like other naming fashions, some will always be more popular than others at any given time.

Which fashion is right for you? It's a good idea to give some consideration to each one, even if you have a strong preference for one form over another. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and the only way to fully determine what will work best in your situation is to try them all.

Alliteration Angles

Name Dropping

Giving similar names to multiples can be fun, but you can avoid a lot of confusion in the years ahead if you don't make them too similar. Remember, names that are closely alike also often yield pet names and nicknames that are very similar. Your darling Frances and Francis could end up as Frankie and Frank, which can again make it difficult to distinguish one from the other, especially when their names are being called. On the other hand, very similar given names like Michelle and Michael can turn into Shelly and Mike, and that's not bad.

This is considered a classic naming fashion for multiples, and it's certainly one of the easiest to work with, as the combinations are virtually limitless. All you have to do is come up with a first initial that you both like—parents often choose one from their own names, but this isn't necessary either—and you're off and running!

This was the naming fashion used by NBC newswoman Jane Pauley and husband Garry Trudeau (of Doonesbury comic strip fame), who named their twins Rachel and Ross. While their children weren't multiples, entertainer Bill Cosby and wife Camille also used it for all of their children. Building on the letter E, the Cosbys named their kids Erika Ranee, Erinn Charlene, Ennis William, Ensa Camille, and Evin Harrah.

Other alliteration combinations include:

Amanda and Adam Felice and Fiona
Brianna and Bryce Grace and Gregg
Colin and Caitlyn Haley and Hanna
Denise and Daniel Iris and Isabel
Ethan and Evan Justin and Jack
Kayley and Kyle Sabrina and Samuel
Lindsey and Lily Taylor and Tyler
Michael and Mallory Ursula and Uma
Noah and Nicolas Virginia and Vincent
Ophelia and Olivia Wynona and Wyatt
Paige and Patrick Xavier and Ximena
Quentin and Quinn Yvonne and Yvette
Roseann and Russell Zachary and Zoey

See, I told you the list is endless!

Next: Page 3 >>

More on: Choosing a Name


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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