Name Help: Twin Siblings for Clara EvelynName Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.

We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!

Melissa writes:

We came up with our daughter’s name, Clara Evelyn, on our honeymoon, three years before we even started trying for a baby.

At the same time, we agreed on Jack Matthew for a boy.

Now Clara is almost three, and we’re expecting for the second time. We were shocked to learn we are expecting twins. (As far as we know, we’re the first in our families!)

Choosing names is harder this time, probably because there are so many more kids in our family/friend group.

Here are my questions:

  • We still want to use Jack, but is it too popular? It feels like we hear it a lot.
  • If not Jack, our list is Henry, Max (maybe?), Cooper (but our last name ends with R, so it doesn’t really sound right), Parker (same problem), Wesley, Adrian (maybe).
  • For our daughter, we like Lydia, Vivian, Josie/Josephine, Daisy, Eloise, and maybe Madeline, but probably only as a middle. (Clara was almost Clara Madeline.)
  • Should we try to make their names match somehow? My mom and sister keep suggesting same first initial or something like that. I can get how that might be easier, but it feels like it doesn’t help.

Our last name is Raker with a B.

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your twins!

Let’s start with the easy question: should you name your son Jack Matthew?

If it’s still your favorite name, then that’s an easy yes.

After all you know lots of kids, but it doesn’t sound like you know any one single kid – a nephew, a best friend’s son – that rules out using it. It’s just a general feeling that Jack is Very Popular, right? And it is! But even the most popular names are less common than they used to be.

So if you still love Jack, use it!

That means we’re actually looking for only one name: a sister for Clara Evelyn and Jack Matthew.

Should twins’ names match?

Let’s address the possibility raised by your sister and mom: naming Jack’s sister Jane. Or Jill or Juniper or Jerusha.

If it just so happened that your favorite girl’s name started with J, then maybe matching initials would be worth considering. And you do have Josie/Josephine on your list, so maybe that’s an obvious choice.

Matching initials is pretty subtle, and there probably lots of non-twin siblings out there called Jack and Josie.

But I love Swistle’s advice to expectant twin parents. (She’s the parent of twins herself.) Proceed as if you’re naming your next two children. What’s your favorite boy’s name? Jack Matthew. Great. Now what’s your favorite girl’s name? How does it sound with Clara Evelyn and Jack Matthew?

So let’s proceed that way.


I think all of the names on your current list have potential. Rather than focusing too much on them, let’s see if there are some fresh ideas worth considering.


If Madeline is your go-to middle, a shorter first name makes sense. And Ada sounds very much like a sister for Clara and Jack.


Daphne is an up-and-comer kind of name, boosted by Bridgerton, but also by Chloe and Penelope. It has the same vintage vibe as Clara.


Eloise made me think of Eliza. It’s about as popular, but maybe a smidge more classic, since it comes from Elizabeth.


Daisy makes me think of other flower names, and Lily is one of the best.


If you love Madeline, would another M name appeal?


Like Ada, it’s a short name. And while Clara means clear, Stella means star – that feels like they’re almost connected, in the sense that both suggest the sky.


Vera shares Vivian’s Vs, but it also has a great meaning: faith or truth, depending on the language.


Another flower name, but with that sharply stylish V.

My favorite might be Lily, particularly because Lily Madeline is so pleasing. And it strikes me that Jack Matthew and Lily Madeline share very similar middle names, which might be subtle enough that no one will notice – but that you can feel like you’ve checked the “connect the twins’ names” box, too.

If you’re concerned about popularity, though, Lily isn’t the right choice. It’s hovered in the US Top 50 for nearly two decades. And that’s not counting Lillian and other Lily names. In that case, I’d probably suggest Daphne.

Though, from your original list, I do love Eloise as a sister name for Clara and Jack.

Readers, over to you – what would you name boy/girl twins to go with big sister Clara Evelyn?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I definitely don’t think you need to match twin names or sibling names at all, but it’s a fun challenge. Clara and Jack both have a C, so what about Lucy? The meaning, light, matches well with Clara meaning clear or bright. I think Madeline and Matthew connect the twins names well, but if you really want to connect twin names, Eliza, along with Elise and Elsie, also match nicely with Jack by their meaning, “Pledged to God”, while Jack means “God is Gracious”.

  2. I know a couple Clara/Jack sibsets and they work so well together it is no wonder! They share the same tailored, all American, slightly vintage feel. And they both have a c.

    Lucy Madeline ‘Raker’ – Clara, Jack and Lucy

    Darcy – Clara, Jack and Darcy

    Or without the c,

    Emily Josephine Raker
    Elsie Josephine Raker

    One of the Clara/Jack families we know has a third called Birdie, short for Elizabeth. It reminded me of Daisy from your list. What about..

    Margaret “Daisy” Eloise Raker

    Clara Evelyn, Johnathan “Jack” Matthew, and Margaret “Daisy” Eloise – Clara, Jack and Daisy

    Best of luck!

  3. I love your style. To me a sister set of Clara and Josephine/ Josie is irresistible. I also really like Rose (maybe not with Jack) or May/Mae for you. And Lydia is one of my favorite names. Jack is ubiquitous where I am, but that would probably not discourage me. Names that appeal in a similar way: Edmund nn Ned, Leo, Samuel nn Sam, and Benedict nn Ben and William nn Will.