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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baby Boy/Girl Twins Winters

Abigail writes:
'Ello, my dear life/marriage saver. You really have no idea how much we need your help. If I was a producer for FOX, I would make you a show called "Baby Naming 911".

I'm Abby, he's James, and our surname is Winters.

My husband and I are expecting our second and third on October 24--yup, we're having fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. I'm freaking out, because I'm HUGE and my three-year-old son, Leo Sebastian, just poked my stomach asked if he's "getting hippos" (his favorite animal) for his baby brother and sister. Yeah. Insert very irrational run/waddle to the mirror while scaring the you know what out of my son and husband with a crazy, pregnant with twins, hormonal woman sobbing fit here.

And worse is that my dear, dear husband and I can't agree on any names, which is stressful and a bit disorienting because we decided on Leo's name literally right when we found out we were having a boy.

We have very similar taste (kind of a vintage, British-quirky kind of thing) which I think is making it difficult because we both have our own favorites and while we like each other's names we like our own better. Having twins just makes it worse, because while the ideal situation is where I pick one twin's name, he picks the other's, or where he picks a name from my list, I pick a name from his, we really want to absolutely love both of their names.

We do NOT want their names to be matchy, but it would be nice if they were complementary style-wise.

My favorites (not in order):

Elsa (Elsie)

Maxwell (Max)
Edward (Teddy)

His favorites (not in order):
Penelope (Nellie)

Dashiell (Dash). Yes. He only likes one boy name. Sigh. Husbands.

I'm pushing for Ivy and Jasper, he's pushing for Penelope and Dashiell. He thinks mine are slightly boring, I think his are a tad too flamboyant. We both want a name that's not popular, though that might be the destiny of most of the names on my list.

We're thinking that maybe the best thing to do is scrap both of our lists and try to find two names that we both love. That's where you come in.

Could you suggest some names that we could both adore?

And if worse comes to worse, could you pick and pair some names from both our favorites?

Thank god you exist. Thank your parents for us.

I think you should come around to his idea of Felicity, and he should come around to your idea of Oliver. Oliver and Felicity Winters! Or he could come around to Henry and you could come around to Penelope: Henry and Penelope Winters! I love the repeating vowel sounds: the i-as-in-igloo of the first set (especially with the same sound in your surname), and the e-as-in-elephant of the second set. (I'd love to suggest HE come around to some of YOUR great girl names, but I don't like Dashiell with anything.)

No, no, actually I agree with you: it would be even better if neither of you had to come around to a name. Fresh meat, then:

Boy names:

Hugo (maybe too much O with Leo)
Louis (maybe too much L with Leo)
Milo (maybe too much O with Leo)

Girl names:

Lorelei (maybe too much with Leo)

And this is the challenge of twin names: heaven help us, now we have to COMBINE. There is just no way to do a thorough job of this without having it be a two-step process where FIRST you guys chop those lists down and THEN we combine what remains. But alas. And so I will just assemble some SAMPLE combinations, and perhaps others would also like to assemble some sample combinations.

Aidric and Bianca
Elliot and Camilla
Everett and Anastasia
Felix and Minerva
Hugo and Elodie
Milo and Emmeline
Phillip and Cecily
Rufus and Imogen
Simon and Clara

And may I say, I SO ENVY you your surname. It is wonderful with almost everything. Clara Winters! Minerva Winters! Reid Winters! George Winters! It makes almost every name sound MORE wonderful than alone.

Name update 10-23-2010! Abigail writes:
The twins were born last week, which was totally awesome because they almost went full term. It was such a HAPPY experience and both James and I feel extremely LUCKY to have had such healthy babies.

So yeah. Hint hint...

We chose Felicity Iris for the girl, and right now we call her Fliss (but when she's not so baby-like we'll start calling her by her full name). I actually ADORE her name, so much. I don't know why I didn't love it before, but your email [note from Swistle: I sent an email pushing for my top choice. Yes, that is cheating. No, I'm not sorry.] cemented the name into my head and my heart (yay for cheesiness) and I swear that the moment after I finished reading the post and your email I turned to my husband and told him we were going to name our daughter Felicity.

He was like, "cool," and then since he got the name that he wanted he told me that he relinquished all naming powers and that I was in charge of finding the boy name.

And so I got a list of names that I really, really liked and took them with me to the hospital, because I couldn't narrow it down to just one before the birth. When the whole caesarean thing was finally done and I was stitched up, I took a moment to call our son each name on the list, and only one fit. He ended up being named Oliver August, and we're calling him Ollie at the moment.

It's funny, actually, because that's one of the twin sets you suggested. Thanks again!

So our wonderful children are now Leo, Oliver, and Felicity. We did worry that there was too much "L" floating around in their names, but we decided that we rather like the connecting "L" sound in each of their name.


M.Amanda said...

So many adorable names, I'm having trouble narrowing down from your list. (I won't suggest more because I think you have winners right there. You just have to decide which.) I will say that if your husband must list only one, I LOVE Dashiell. I sometimes wish I lived across the pond so that I would meet more Dashiells. My favorites, in order:

Beatrix and Dashiell
Alice and Henry
Alice and Oliver
Beatrix and Oliver
Ivy and Jasper
Nora and Maxwell

When I said Violet Winters aloud, it sounded a bit like "violent winters," which made me think of blackout blizzards. Maybe just me?

Alison aka Baby B said...

So many lovely names! I do have one boy's name to add: Alastor/Alistair.
Alastor and Phillipa. Great nns, Al and Pippa.

I love Beatrix! Edmund is such a good name, surpassed by it's brother Edward in popularity stateside.
Edmund and Beatrix. Ed/die and Bea.

I like Aidric. It has a familiar beginning and end (Aidan and Eric), but it is a) distinctly not either of those names and b) definitely not a made up name (saint name from way back when). I find it quite distinguished sounding. Dr. Aidric Winters. Senator Aidric Winters. Yeah!
Aidric and Iris. They sound totally different but both two
syllables and very good together.

I think my vote would be for Aidric and Iris. Nice sib set: Leo, Aidric, and Iris.

Good luck!
(Any typos brought to you courtesy of tiny phone keyboard.)

Amber said...

You have a lot of good choices here! I have two names to throw in the hat for your baby girl: Hattie and Etta. Or, the longer versions of which the previous could be nicknames: Henrietta, Lisette/Lisetta, Marietta.

Ivy and Simon -- Leo, Ivy and Simon Winters

Charles and Marietta -- Leo, Chase and Etta Winters

Maxwell and Cecily -- Leo, Max and Cece Winters

Good luck, beautiful choices!

Patricia said...

Annbel and Duncan
Matilda and Lewis

Those are my favorite non-matching twin names right now. Another baby name website recently asked participants which names they'd choose for quads -- 2 boys and 2 girls -- if they absolutely had to choose the names from a specific list of 200 names (100 boys' names, 100 girls' names) ranking at the same level in the SSA Top 1000. I fell in love with the 4 above from the 700s. I think each would meet your criteria of "quirky British". Wait... your son is Leo, so maybe scratch Lewis. But Duncan and Matilda or Duncan and Annabel would be compatible names for your twins. If you want to look through the quad names that posters came up with, start here and then go forward through the Top 1000 groups, 100s, 200s, etc.:

You and your husband have great lists of names and Leo Sebastian is superb!

My favorite pairings:
Matilda and Edward (Teddy)
Matilda and Henry
[Matilda and Duncan]

Clarabella said...

I am just SO. GLAD. Swistle put Imogen up there, bc it was the FIRST one I thought of when I read Abigail's post.
I would like to suggest Rupert & Imogen. I LOVE Dashiell (it's on our list) but Dash Winters just sounds...too...something to me.
OH! Or Imogen & Oliver. LOVE!
Good luck!

d e v a n said...

What about Dashiel and Elodie?
Dash & Ellie? Cute. :)

I loooove Penelope & Oliver too.
Penny and Ollie.

Ivy and Oliver. CUTE!

Oh, this is a hard one. Good luck!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

It's a slight stretch but how about naming your son Jasper with the nickname Dash? It has enough similar sounds to work, I think. Or even just pushing the name while saying, "Honey, we can call him Jas which is almost like Dash!"

I love a lot of Swistle's suggestions, especially my favorites off of my own personal list, Gus (Augusten, although I prefer August) and Clara.

Patricia said...

Another way to approach this might to be to settle on the boy's name first, one that coordinates well with Leo. I'm wondering if Dashiell does. Baby name expert Laura Wattenberg sees Leo the way I think you may -- "Antique Charm", while Nameberry has Leo in these lists:
# British Names for Boys
# Yupster Names for Boys
# Classic Boys' Names
# Vintage Baby Names

On the other hand, Wattenberg views Dashiell as "Exotic Traditional, Literary and Artistic", while Nameberry's website includes Dashiell in these lists:
# Hot Celebrity Baby Names
# Names All Your Friends Will Think Are Cool
# Yupster Names for Boys
# Author Names
# Hipster Baby Names

Dashiell really isn't "vintage" (unless you're thinking of Dashiell Hammett"s birth year -- 1894 -- when he was named Samuel Dashiell Hammett, Hammett being his mother's maiden name), and it isn't "quirky British" (only 4 baby boys born in England and Wales in 2008 received the name).

It seems to me that if you could agree on your new baby boy's name, individually, then you could move on to choosing his twin sister's name.

I think any of the names on mom's list, except Jude, would meet the vintage criteria, while Jasper, Oliver and Henry seem to meet your British quirky critera. Definitely Rupert, suggested above, would meet that criteria, as well as Duncan.

StephLove said...


I see the stylistic difference between you but I also think it's a very slight difference. Do you think you could learn to love the names on each other's lists if you gave them to your baby? My guess is yes. And since he's so set on Dashiell as to like no other boy names, maybe Ivy and Dashiell? Or if you really can't come around to it, is Jasper and Penelope a better option?

Some more ideas:



Good luck!

Patricia said...

Correction -- Dashiell was Hammett's mother's maiden name. I've come across no evidence that Dashiell was being used for others until Dashiell Hammett's name became well-konwn.

Relatives named their baby boy Dashiell two years ago. The parents are artists, individualistic, urban; I wasn't surprised they chose that name and think it's very cute on their very cute little boy (whom they do not want called "Dash").

Patricia said...

Yet another suggestion:

Leo Sebastian
Ivy Penelope
Maxwell Oliver

Leo, Ivy and Max

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster above that, given your husbands lack of boy name suggetsions, it might be easier to pick a boy name you both love first, and then choose a girl name.

And be careful of pairing Violet with Dash--makes me think of The Incredibles: )

Perhaps you both would like one of these names:


I really like the suggestions of Miles, Felix, and Henry, too.

sara m said...

I agree, start with boy name. I really like Cabot from Swistle's list. Cabot and Chelsea if you want to do a same initial. Also, Britist expat Grandma gave my dad the middle name of Edwin. I like it and you don't hear it often nowadays. Edwin and Annabel.

beyond said...

You and your husband have great names on your lists. I think you can pair them up nicely.
My favorite pairings:
Jasper and Ramona
Oliver and Mathilda
Dashiell and Juliet
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wow, props to you and Swistle for comming up with one of the best posts I've read in a long time! Rufus and Imogen Winter??? Not only are those names FANTASTIC on their own, but as twins? Amazing. They sound like they came from a wonderful fantasy novel, like the Chronicals of Narnia or something. These to, both individually and as a set, are BY FAR my favs...

I also like Everett and Anastasia, Oliver and Felicity (would actually be my second choice, I too thought of Hugo and Elodie before I saw that Swistle had put them together. I think having that heavy O ties them all together so well and makes Leo and Hugo sound better. I think they work well though, not too much O, but Elodie balances them. You could also change the order that you say them in...Leo, Elodie, and Hugo to break it up.

#1-Rufus and Imogen Winters
#2-Oliver and Felicity Winters
#3-Hugo and Elodie WInters
#4-Everett and Anastasia Winters.

The Mrs. said...

Fabulous lists, you two!
Here are some combos with your names and a few other suggestions:

Beatrix and Edward (Bea & Teddy)

Nora & Theodore (Nora & Ned)

Elsa & Edgar (Elsie & Ed)

Penelope & Franklin (Nellie & Frank)

Matilda & Martin (Tillie & Martin)

Best wishes to your growing family!

Cayt said...

I love Rufus and Imogen. Wonderful!

The thing that struck me about Penelope is that it's a great name, but it's about to go zooming up in popularity.

Frazzled Mom said...

I love Phillip and Cecily! Swoon. Felicity and Oliver would be my second choice. Iris and George? Fern and Graham? Reid and ????? I just like Reid.

KMW said...

I love Rufus and Imogen and Penelope and Oliver. But all of these are fantastic! Good luck!

Kate said...

I love Swistle's suggestion of Phillip and Cecily! Some other suggestions:

Harriet (could nn Harrie or Hattie)
Josephine (Jo, Joey, Josie)
Charlotte (very British and absolutely adorable nn options--Lottie! Charlie!)


My favorite combination, I think, is Charlotte nn. Lottie and Theodore. Have fun choosing!!

Patricia said...

Congratulations on the birth of your excellently named twins Felicity and Oliver. Those are first rate names and amazing together and with Leo -- a very British sounding threesome you have!

And applause for Swistle for suggesting these two names together. You must be one happy baby-namer!

d e v a n said...

Awesome update.

Leslie said...

Felicity Iris and Oliver August?! *SWOON!* What spectacular names! Congratulations to you and your family!