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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hurry, Hurry, Babies Already Born! Baby Twin Boys Darling, Brothers to Charlie

K. writes:
I really enjoy reading your blog and hope you can help make some good suggestions for us. This February we are expecting twin boys. Total shock for us but super excited about it. My husband and I have a fair amount of names that we like, but can't seem to agree on a solid pair of names that we just love. I would describe our taste in names as traditional with a strong pull towards names that are Irish/English sounding. We dislike strongly names that sound made up (like your Caydens and Neveahs), nature sounding names (no Willows or Ivys please) and anything super trendy. Our last name rhymes with Darling and we have an older son named Charles (we call him Charlie). Had Charlie been a girl, he would have been Nora, Claire or Mary Kate. Here is a list of what we're working with so far:

Brendan -like
Thomas -love nn Tommy
Eamon- my personal fav, husband not sold on yet.
Peter-husband hates, I like
Liam-husband likes, I don't
Andrew-husband likes, too popular for me, but I think Andy is cute nn.
Quinn-like but worried might be more of a girls name/ gender neutral name
Graham-almost used instead of Charlie, but now my MIL wishes to be called Gram so for me it's out.

Names we can not use because friends and family have used them recently: Henry, Jack, Connor, Colin, William, Michael, Kevin.

We are not so worried about middle names for now.

We want the pair to sound nice together and flow well with Charlie. I am not sure if I love or hate the idea of twin names that are matchy-matchy. For example Timmy and Tommy are cute together for a minute, but I fear after awhile it would sound a little too sugary sweet. I feel like we are on the right track but just kind of stuck on ideas. Interested in your suggestions, Swistle. Thanks for your help!

My boys were born yesterday, very early, and are twin a and twin b for now.

Congratulations on your two new sons.

I am in favor of slight extra-coordination for twin names. With my own twins, I was hoping for a small connection such as same first initial, or reverse first-middle initials (for example, one J.E. and the other E.J.), or same number of letters, or repeating sounds (Emily and Liane was one of my favorite girl-twin combinations, for the same number of letters and the repeating "lee" sound), or similar endings, or initials A and B for twins A and B, or anything like that. It happened that the two names we liked best had nothing in common at all, and I am still a little sorry about that.

Working with your list, here are my favorite combinations:

Peter and Thomas; Pete and Tom
Eamon and Liam
Thomas and Andrew; Tommy and Andy (same number letters/syllables for 1st names)
Liam and John (same number of letters)
Andrew and Brendan (share the -an-, and also are A and B initials)

Along with John, James is one of my favorite classic/traditional names. James would go nicely with some of the other names on your list. Thomas and James would give you Tommy and Jimmy, which is significantly less matchy than Tommy and Timmy, while still giving a pleasing additional level of coordination.

It seems to me that Daniel would fit in well with the rest of your list. I think the nickname Dan sounds like such a nice guy.

Daniel and Thomas; Dan and Tom
Daniel and Andrew; Dan and Andy (repeating sounds/letters)
Daniel and Brendan (both have "dan")
Daniel and Benjamin; Dan and Ben

If Andrew is too common, would you like Anderson? You'd still have the nickname Andy.

To go completely off-list, I like the idea of combining two of the boy names in the longer-names-with-short-nicknames category (and I love it extra when the nicknames also have the same number of letters!) (I know, but I just DO love that kind of thing. I also love Christmassy names at Christmastime):

Benjamin and Jonathan; Ben and Jon
Nathanial and Nicholas; Nate and Nick
Nicholas and Christopher; Nick and Chris (subtle Christmas theme)
Anderson and Harrison; Andy and Harry
Alexander and Nicholas; Alex and Nick
Theodore and Alexander; Theo and Alex
Alexander and Benjamin; Alex and Ben (twins A and B)
Anderson and Benjamin; Andy and Ben (twins A and B)

Malcolm and Callum are names that are similar to Liam, and may have too MANY sounds in common---but maybe not. Mal and Cal are probably too cute---but maybe not.

Callum and Liam also share many sounds, without having possibly-overly-coordinated nicknames.

Davis and Harris would make a nice set: matching endings, and yet the names are so different.

Elliot and Miles go together nicely without matching.

Miles and James share the same number of letters and the same ending. Is that too many -es boys for your family, or is it an additional plus?

If your husband is not quite sold on Eamon, I wonder if he would prefer Ian or Owen or Evan or Ethan?

I love Owen with Liam.

Ian is one of my favorites, but I'm not sure what to pair it with. Ian and James? Ian and Eli? Ooo, that's kind of fun, to be three letters together! Charles, Eli, and Ian?

Ian and Leo might be better because they have the 3-letter thing but they don't share as many sounds. Charles, Ian, and Leo. I love that.

Ian and Isaac would give you matching initials but with non-matchy sounds.

John and Isaac are nice together without being matchy.

Simon and Isaac share the same number of letters, and also that nice strong I-sound.

Simon and Oliver are nice together without being matchy.

Elliot and Oliver share the same number of letters and syllables, as well as the L-sound, and I love how they also tie in to the L-sound of Charles.

Oliver and Jasper share the same number of letters and also the -er ending.

Asher and Felix don't quite seem like they'd fit in with your style, but both of them mean lucky.

Isaac mans "she laughed," and I think the implication of surprised delight (the meaning comes from the Bible, where a woman barren and now also post-menopausal finds out she's pregnant at last) makes it a particularly good name for an unexpected child: it would make a good name for the second twin, since he was the surprise.

Felix and Isaac share the same number of letters and mean, respectively, luck and surprised delight. It's a nice combination for twins.

Asher and Bennett have good meanings (lucky and blessed), and also work nicely for twins A and B. (Plus, as with all the other A&B combinations, your children's initials would be A, B, and C. But I don't recommend this if it would make you feel pressured to continue it with the next child.)

Two of my favorite Celtic names are Declan and Cormac. Dec and Mac are adorable nicknames.

Some of these pairings might also make a nice first-middle combinations: Isaac Simon. Asher Bennett. Oliver Simon. Miles Elliot. Oliver Elliot. Ian James. Etc.

Since you don't have particular middle names in mind, I love the idea of using one twin's first initial as the other twin's middle initial. So for example, if you went with Andrew and Brendan, it would be fun to name them Andrew Bennett and Brendan Asher (if those initials don't spell anything awkward with the surname). Or Nicholas and Christopher could be Nicholas Cormac and Christopher Nathan. Or Ian and Leo could be Ian Lachlan and Leo Isaac.


vanessa said...

oh this is exciting! and I hope you and the babies are all doing OK!
i LOVE the idea of matching endings for twin names. for example twins in my novel are named Oliver and Connor. I wouldn't repeat a letter, so I would't go with that, but I love:
Milo and Hugo
Hugo and Nico
Jasper Owen and Oliver James! Oh I see Swistle already suggested it!)
Beckett and Harriet (OK, I know, this is b/g twins. But I really want someone to use this!)
Bennett Eli and Elliot Bram
Felix Matthew and Max Frederick
Alexander Malcolm and Maxwell Anderson (Alex and Max! LOVE!)
Thomas means twin, I believe, so that could be kind of cool...Thomas and Joseph, Tom and Joe, nice S sounds. Or even better, Nicholas Troy and Thomas Neil.
Owen and Ian--this might be too close. It probably is. But I;d leaving it because I love it.
Enzo and Hugo--way out there, but awesome.
John and Ewan (I think Ewan is a form of John. Is this also too close? Maybe....)
Hmm. My favorites are Thomas and Nicholas, Bennett/Beckett and Elliot, Alexander and Maxwell.
let us know!

Swistle said...

Oh, Vanessa, I forgot about Thomas meaning twin!!

I'll add Thomas and Isaac, then: Thomas meaning twin, and Isaac meaning a happy surprise. Charles, Thomas, and Isaac.

Claire said...

I'm definitely anti-matchy-matchy - I think Swistle's suggestion of Jonathan and Benjamin with the nicknames of Jon and Ben is perfect. Congratulations on your new additions!

Anonymous said...

Pete and Tom are my brothers' names and I love it! We call them Pedro and Tomas a lot, Tom, my father, and I are all fluent in Spanish. Tom is 18 years older than Pete and my parents had him choose Pete's name. Pete and Tom get my vote! Best of luck and I hope your babies are healthy!

Joanne said...

Thomas and Isaac has sort of stolen my heart. Best of luck to you and your sweet babes!

StephLove said...

I do like Thomas for one of the names because of the meaning and I liked the Thomas and Isaac suggestion.

I'm going to mix and match a bit from your list. I like Brendan and John for firsts for you since you don't have any negatives associated with them. I like Andrew, Eamon and Quinn as middles, since one parent or the other has a reservation about it.

Brendan Quinn and Thomas Eamon
John Andrew and Thomas Quinn

StephLove said...

One thing to consider: I'm not sure if it matters but one of Wendy's brothers in Peter Pan is named John Darling. I definitely wouldn't use both Peter and John together with your last name.

Karen L said...

Congratulations! I hope you are all doing well.

I think you've had lots of great suggestions. And as to matchiness, I'm okay with a little "extra coordination" but almost so little extra that it is imperceptible to everyone but the parents. Because ... My mother was in Charles' position (older siblings of twins of the same sex) and she felt totally left out and felt reminded of it every now and then for her whole life upon hearing her sisters' names, always spoken in one breath, of course. Imagine Katherine, June and Jane. So I submit that Charles, Timmy and Tommy is a bad idea. If anything, extra coordination with Charles is called for.

If you are looking for something cute - ABC is nice. Alexander, Benjamin, and Charles. Alex, Ben, and Charlie.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion would be Maxwell and Thomas - Max and Tommy.

Marjorie said...

timothy and thomas! tommy and timmy! :)

Alison said...

Welcome to the world, baby boys!!

In my head, all twin names should have some subtle link. Given that I am a twin with a matching initial to my sister, I have a somewhat unique perspective. :) I always enjoyed sharing an initial. Also, stuff could be labeled "A. Lastname" no problem. It's practical! But the names I like the best here for this set are Thomas and Isaac (the meanings, same number of syllables), Andrew and Brendan (Baby A and Baby B, same number of syllables), and Ian and Leo (shared "ee" sound and three letters long).

Anonymous said...

Don't use Tommy and Timmy! For one it gives the twins the same first intital. If you ever use shorthand, as in 'C' for Charlie, 'T' for Tommy, and 'J' for Jimmy, you would be confused by the two 'T's. This coming from a twin who shares the first intital with her mom 'R' and her nickname with her twin, 'B'.

I like Thomas as it does meant 'twin'.

Tommy and Jimmy sounds matching without being too matchy-matchy.

If one name has a nickname, such as James/Jimmy the other should too.

Jimmy and Nate.
Tommy and Andy.

I would love Eamon as a middle name.

beyond said...

I dislike matchy-matchy. I would probably choose names to 'match' with Charlie, forming a group of three, if you will. You have a great list. (The hard part is narrowing it down, with so many good names...) Here are some pairs I love:
Andrew and Thomas (Charlie, Andy and Tommy)
I liked Eamon and Liam, but then it was a bit of a tongue twister to say out loud. (I just like the IDEA of it.)
I love Swistle's suggestion of Theodore, and would pair it with Thomas, perhaps. Charlie, Theo and Tommy. I love that the nn don't all end the same...
(Thomas and Graham would have been lovely, too.)
As you can see, I think Thomas would be an excellent choice for one of your twins :)
CONGRATS and all the best!

Hope T. said...

Thomas and John - I thought of John right away and was happy to see it on the list and I always thought I would use Thomas if I had twins.

I hope the babies (and parents) are doing well.

e said...

I have three boys, Jack, Charlie and Sam so I vote for Jack and Sam! :)

Their formal names are John, Charles and Samuel but they are never called them.

Hope your boys are growing well and that the shock of the early delivery is manageable for you and your family!

Natalia said...

I love all the ideas Swistle gave, this will be a good post for every parent of twins to visit, full of ideas to combine names without the matchy matchy result.

I personally love Thomas and Andrew,. I like how it goes with Charles, and also love the nicknames Tommy and Andy. The meaning of Thomas is also a plus!

I also think that you should use the other names you liked as middle names. I like Andrew Eamon and Thomas Liam.

Please share your decision! Hope you and the babies are fine! Happy holidays with the new babies!

The Mrs. said...

The combo of Charles, James, and Thomas feels cohesive... all end with 's', are classical, royal, masculine, and come with great nicknames! (Charlie, Jimmy, & Tommy)

Best wishes to you and your charming new bundles of baby cuteness (and the rest of the family, of course)! So excited for you all!

Anonymous said...

My favourite pair from your list is Thomas and John, though I have heard people refer to the male *member* as John Thomas (esp in England as it's from a DH Lawrence novel), so that would give me pause! I adore the nicknames Tommy and Jack, though, especially with Charlie.

I'm going to stick with Thomas for one of the twin names, because I adore the name. Even better that it means twin!

I really like the names Thomas and Samuel and they sound great together, as do Tommy, Sam, and Charlie, but Samuel isn't on your list. Nor is Isaac, but I like that suggestion as well. Thomas and Isaac. Tommy, Zack, and Charlie.

Eamon, Liam, and Quinn are all great names but seem to be a different style than Charles/Charlie and Thomas/Tommy. Andrew is closer but it seems a little bland to me. Do you have any Scandinavian heritage? If so, would you consider Anders?

Oh, one more suggestion that's not on your list: Joseph. I like the repeating "o" and "s" sounds in Thomas and Joseph, Tommy, Joe and Charlie.

Good luck! I hope that those wee little baby boys are doing well.

Anonymous said...

p.s. following one of Swistle's suggestions, if you went with Tommy and Joe, you could name them Thomas James and Joseph Timothy and have a TJ and JT!

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your two little boys. I hope they are doing well. I really like the suggestion of Owen and Liam. I love both of those names. They aren't overly common but aren't "out there" either. I think that they work together and work with your older sons name too. Good luck!

KWILY said...

I think Benjamin is THE absolute best brother name for Charlie! It's a great, great name and Ben is such a natural nickname and sounds wonderful with Charlie too. That being said I would go the ABC route and pick an A name. Andrew sounds great and you said you loved Andy. Other options I like: Alex or Abe.

Anonymous said...

I love Thomas and James. Charles, Thomas and James - Charlie, Tommy and Jimmy.

I love the way Charlie is just as much part of the set, with Thomas and James.

Plus Thomas and James have great grown-up nns too Jim and Tom.

Patricia said...

From your list, I especially like Andrew and Thomas. They meet your criteria and go well with Charles/Charlie too.

My twin grandsons, age 8, are James and Andrew, both called by their given name (no nn). I love those two names together!

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love Brendan Thomas & Andrew Quinn!!

I would use Thomas as a mn for twin A, and Quinn for twin B. > Thomas meaning twin and Quinn also representing 5 - as twin B brings your family to 5 people.

I think Aidan (little fire) is also very beautiful, but may be too popular for you.

Jonathan & Lorcan (god's gift + little fierce one) are also really nice imo.

gail said...

I love the above suggestion of Thomas James and Joseph Timothy!

VirginiaMom said...

Jonathan and Josiah (or Joseph)--Jon and Joe or Jonny and Joey!

vanessa said...

Oh I like the above idea of using Quinn or variation as one of the middles! OK, my top choice now is:
Thomas Eamon and Nicholas Quintan.
Charles, Thomas, Nicholas. Charlie, Tommy, Nicky. Love it! Use this!

liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liz said...

James and Thomas or Isaac and Thomas.


Rayne of Terror said...

I agree that Benjamin is a super star name here. I like Thomas and Nicholas very much with Ben.

-R- said...

If you like Quinn but think it might be too girly, would you prefer Finn? Thomas and Finn.

Sarah A said...

I like at least a subtle link for twin names and I would lean toward more than less matchy. I also think it's important to incorporate the older sibling name.

Of everything suggested I really like Thomas and James for you. Charles, Thomas, James.
Charlie, Tommy, Jimmy.
Charlie, Tommy, Jamie.
I think Jamie for James sounds a little more current than Jimmy.

If you want names that are a bit more overtly Scots-Irish, I like Liam and Malcolm. I like how the m-endings tie the names but they aren't too matchy.

Good luck and I wish you and the babies well!

Laura said...

We also have twin boys who came early!

I love Jonathan / Benjamin.

We went with Benjamin Henry for Baby A, but because my husband's name is Jonathan, we chose Jonah Alexander for Baby B.

(and our third son is Silas Gray)

Good luck with those little preemies :)

Angie said...

I hope I'm not too late to chime in!

Before I read Swistle's response, as soon as I saw Thomas on your list, I thought it was wonderful and that James would go fabulous with it.

So I suggest Thomas / James.

The only difference between Swistle and I is that she suggests Tommy & Jimmy and I was thinking of Tommy & Jamie - but either way I like the set.

My second choice would be:

Thomas / Edward - Tommy & Eddie - I just love Eddie

Thomas / Fredrick - Tommy & Freddie - ditto Freddie

Edward / Louis - Eddie & Louie

Sorry for any repeats, but I was in a hurry to respond before reading the 33 replies you got! The Hurry, Hurry in the title sort of upped my sense of urgency.

Good Luck!

Diana said...

Congratulations on the birth of your sons! sorry I couldn't read through all the suggestions at work, but I felt like I had to chime in since I have two boys named Eamon and Brendan!! They are fantastic names, and we are really happy with both choices. Other names we like/liked were Declan, Liam and Nolan. I think Eamon and Nolan go really well together especially. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

My ID twin boys were born 11 weeks early- the NICU is a roller coaster ride, so hang in there!

My twins are Dylan and Tyler (and have singleton brother Colin)... We liked that all three names came from somewhere in the British Isles, where our families are both from and that they went together, but weren't totally matcha-matchy.

vanessa said...

Oh, final idea--Henry and John, aka Hank and Jack.
Charles, Henry, John; Charlie, Hank, Jack. Henry Josiah, John Harrison. Nice! I still think Thomas Eamon and Nicholas Quinlan are my top choice, but I like Hank and Jack, too.

AmiN said...

Love, love, love Thomas and Isaac together. Tom and Ike. I also like Nathaniel and Nicholas. Good luck!

Andrea said...

Awwww i bet you are excited to meet the little ones.
I quite like the names ashley and luke for twins or josh and james. i think josh and james go well together tho i have my names already picked out for my little uns if i have any that is

Jacke said...

I love the idea of John and Isaac (nn for Isaac Ike?) as twin names!! or you could go with John and Josiah (both have "Jo" and a nn for Josiah could be Jo or Si)

I have 3 sons and their names are John Henry IV, Isaac Jackson and Josiah Thomas.

Anonymous said...

how are the boys doing?