Name Help: Twin Girls!

Name Help: Naming Twin Sisters

Name 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!

Kellie writes:

Our twin daughters will be here soon – due in early March, but I’ll be lucky to make it to Valentine’s Day! Because we’ve had so many scares with this pregnancy, we’ve been a little shy about choosing names. But it’s time now, and we need some help with our long, long, LONG list!

We have a son named Duncan Elliott [email protected]!s0n and a daughter named Colette Marlowe [email protected]!s0n. I don’t like frilly, but I’m not into names like Harper, either, at least not as first names.

We mostly agree on all of these, but choosing two that sound right has us stuck.

  1. Ada
  2. Annika
  3. Anouk – maybe just too out there?
  4. Blair
  5. Carter – but don’t like the idea of one daughter having a boy name
  6. Daphne
  7. Edie (or maybe Eden, but not Edith)
  8. Eloise
  9. Ember – but we’re not outdoorsy AT ALL, so nature names feel a little try-hard, maybe?
  10. Esme
  11. Gemma
  12. Gwen
  13. Iris – not sure about the way it sounds with our last name
  14. Juno
  15. Lane/Laine
  16. Lucia (but only pronounced loo-sha)
  17. Lux
  18. Maeve
  19. Margot
  20. Nola – almost Colette’s name, but I felt like Colette was more of a “real” name
  21. Persephone – but too much for us?
  22. Phoebe – but I think “Feebs” would bug me
  23. Pippa
  24. Remy
  25. Rory
  26. Sabine
  27. Simone
  28. Sloane
  29. Vera
  30. Vida/Vita – not sure if we like the spelling, but we like the sound
  31. Zelda
  32. Zora


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

Dear Kellie –

Congratulations on your new daughters!

Here’s my take on twin names: we say them together all. the. time. At least in early childhood. Yes, we say siblings’ names together, too – sometimes a lot. But twins, well … it’s different, I think. Because your girls will share so much, it’s important that their names feel balanced. And because they’ll often be said together, it’s good to think about how they sound as a set.

It seems like you have lots of options on your current list, so instead of adding new possibilities, I’m going to mix and match a few great combinations.


Because Duncan and Colette are two-syllable, nickname-proof names, I wonder if you’d like the same for these daughters? I love Daphne and Gemma together, two  names that are slightly outside of the mainstream, but still familiar. And the middles – Carter and Laine – echo the surname-style middle Marlowe.


Just like above, Esme and Zora are both two-syllable, nickname-proof names. Anouk is something of a wild card as a middle, while Eden feels a little more expected.


Rory and Gwen are both brisk, upbeat names with a lot of spirit. (I put them both on this list.) And Simone and Eloise both feel gently French.


I’d call Margot and Vera relatively traditional, while Ember and Lux are much more unconventional. It makes for a great name formula. Plus, I love the subtle link between fiery Ember and all the light of Lux.


Blair and Sloane feel nicely paired, relatively uncommon choices, and both surnames. Daphne and Persephone both come from Greek myth, and have a fanciful, feminine appeal. The combinations are surprisingly, but well balanced.


I love the idea of Lucia and Annika as sisters. They strike me as traditional picks with a twist – Lucia instead of the more popular Lucy or Lucille; Annika as an unexpected Ann- name. The middles are two from your list that feel nicely international – just like the firsts. Though it’s kind of a crazy quilt of pan-European name origins – but I think that’s why they work so well together.

I’m having a hard time narrowing it down to just one favorite set! I’ll go with Daphne Carter and Gemma Laine, if only because they seem like such a perfect parallel to Colette Marlowe.

But let’s open it up to the community, because I feel like there are so many great combinations possible.

Readers, what would you name twin sisters for Duncan Elliott and Colette Marlowe?

Name Help: Twin Girls

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Iris and Juno (mithology)
Esme and Maeve (simple and sweet)
Margot and Sabine (French like Colette)
Ember and Gwen
Ada and Vera
Lucia and Isla (Isla isn’t on the list, but I think it goes well with the others)

You mention Nola not feeling like a real name, so what about Magnolia nn Nola?
You could do Nola and Juno for Magnolia and Juniper.

What a great list! You have so many names that would go well together.

Ada and Iris, Annika and Gemma, Blair and Gwen, Anouk and Lux, Daphne and Eloise, Edie and Pippa, Ember and Esme, Juno and Margot, Laine and Maeve, Lucia and Persephone, Remy and Rory, Sabine and Sloan, Vera and Zelda, Zora and Vita

Ada Lux and Iris Anouk

Persephone Lane and Lucia Maeve

Edie Eloise and Pippa Daphne

Ember Blair and Esme Gwen

Margot and Vera are my favorite of Abby’s suggestions.
I love the idea of Ada and Maeve together, and I think they sound great with Colette and Duncan.
Ada Lux and Maeve Carter.

I couldn’t read past Daphne Carter and Gemma Laine because I loved it so much! All the rest couldn’t compare. Congrats on your baby girls.

I like that there is a double letter in each current sibling, but not specifically the first name.

I love Gemma and Daphne with the sibset, but I’d pick:

Gemma Simone
Daphne Pippa

If willing, I actually like:
Gemma Daphne
Philippa Simone
the best though.

Daphne is probably my favorite of all the names on your list but I hate to repeat a first initial in a sibset. So, from Abby’s suggestions, Margot and Vera get my vote. Maybe Daphne could be middle name if you don’t use family middles?

The only names I don’t care for on your list are Ember, Persephone, Lux, Carter and Lucia (plus, think it’ll be mispronounced a ton).

Other faves are Phoebe, Laine, Blair, Gemma, Zelda and Remy. And I love Gwen but think it’s best as a nickname with Gwendolyn or Gwenyth.

With Colette and Duncan, the pairs I love the most are:

Margot and Phoebe
Gemma and Margot
Laine and Phoebe

Another option that sprang to mind is Ainsley. I esp love it with Duncan. Or perhaps Sybil or Meredith?

I agree, I LOVE Daphne Carter and Gemma Laine. I also think Blair and Sloane are great twin names and well paired with Duncan and Colette. I liked Rory and Gwen but it sounds very British Isles to me next to Colette.