FAQ After they are born
Naming Your Twins
Will it be Michael and Michelle? Jennifer and Janet? Moe and Joe? Or something along the lines of Adam and Eve, George and Gracie?
There is a temptation with twins to go the cutesy route when it comes to naming them, picking monikers that share the first initial, rhyme or have a natural association in order to highlight the unique nature of a twin relationship. Then there are parents who, citing concerns about instilling individuality in the kids and in how the outside world treats them, go in the exact opposite direction picking names that share nothing in common.
According to a poll of more than 1,200 sets of twins by Twinstuff.com, about a third of the parents surveyed, 193, gave their twins names that had the same first initial, while only 25 chose rhyming twin names.
The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (NOMOTC) urges parents to be mindful of the future impact of the name selection on the twins’ views of themselves. “Choose your babies’ names with care; they are theirs for life,” club organizers write on their web site. “Avoid rhyming names which may seem ‘cute’ at the time of birth, but confusing later.”
When I’ve asked moms of twins about how they went about selecting their children’s names, I got a variety of responses. One woman said she specifically decided to pick names with different initials so her twins’ paperwork at school, at the doctor’s office and elsewhere wouldn’t get confused with one another. Another extensively researched historically famous twins and selected names that emphasized the strength of the twin bond. Most simply chose two names they liked that bore no relation to one another, reasoning that even though they are twins, they’re two distinct people with distinct names.
For our twins, my husband Scott and I agonized over name selection. Because we didn’t know the babies’ genders in advance, we had to pick four names to cover all possible combinations. Though at first we thought about using the letter “z” to start off the names of potential fraternal, boy/girl twins – as in Zoe and Zack – we decided against it. Too cutesy, we agreed. Instead, we picked names that had nothing to do with one another. Had we had two girls, they’re names would have been Abbey and Zoe. Two boys would be Jonah and Zack. A boy and a girl, which we had, would be Abbey and Jonah.
So before you make that final decision, just remember, a kid’s name has a big impact on a child’s life. Choose carefully.
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