They’re here! Welcome Maisie Marin and Georgia James! Kara writes that Georgia was almost Hattie, but they decided three names ending in the y/ie sound was a little too matched for them … but now they call Georgia Georgie most of the time!
We have a daughter named Cecily Kate, and she has twin sisters coming this fall.
I feel like we’ve read every baby name list on the internet, but nothing seems to stick!
We like less common names that still feel timeless, and it’s a bonus if they have a strong meaning behind them (we tend to lean towards water, nature, or light).
At the top of our list right now are Laurel, Marin, Lux, Iris, Hannah, Georgia, and Evangeline, but we also like Portia, Harriet, Emilia, and Maisie.
I’d love for one of the girls to have my dad’s middle name, James, but if it doesn’t pan out, that’s okay, too.
I think if the twins were b/g instead of g/g, it’d be easier. Everything on our list just feels like a singleton name.
Our last name starts with P, and has a double L in it, so we’re trying to avoid singsong names like Ella/Stella.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
Please read on for my response, and leave your helpful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Kara –
I have three pieces of advice, all of which sound like they conflict, but I promise they work together. All of these might apply to naming siblings in general, but twin names tend to be said together more frequently. Plus, issues of fairness and individuality may come up more often.
The lovely C in DC – a twin mom herself – said it best. Twin names need to have equal “weight.” Both have a family name (or deeply meaningful name), or neither does. Both have a similar number of syllables, or both have a formal name with nickname, or … you get the idea. There’s no right way to do it, but it’s important to find balance.
So that’s the first principle. The second piece of advice comes from Swistle, also a twin mom: name your twins as if you’re naming your next two children. In other words, don’t get too hung up on finding names with a clever hook, or even two names that share the same initial. If it happens naturally, great! But no pressure.
And yet, I think that advice depends on whether you’re a cohesive namer in the first place. I’ve worked with twin parents who had two older children; they chose to stick with a very similar style for their twins. It helped narrow the decision process. But I’ve also talked with plenty of twin parents with older children who didn’t have an obvious style established, so it can present a challenge.
Now, to the names.
Your list is packed with great possibilities, and yet, some of them don’t pair as well with Cecily. Cecily strikes me as somewhere between traditional and romantic. It’s very different in style than Lux. Or Marin.
Lux and Marin might make great middles, though, especially if the other sister has the family names James.
That leaves Laurel, Iris, Hannah, Georgia, Evangeline, Portia, Harriet, Emilia, and Maisie. They’re all promising, but I’m not sure I could choose two from that list.
I’d group them like this:
- Because your surname has a strong ‘l’ sound, I suspect Laurel might prove challenging. (Too bad, because it’s a great name. But when I say them together, all I hear is Laura P …)
- Iris, Georgia, Evangeline, Emilia, and Maisie all seem like mainstream choices, though they’re all relatively underused.
- Portia and Harriet both seem much rarer than most on your list; Hannah, on the other hand, feels slightly more common.
Let’s look for more names like the middle set.
Adelaide – Like Evangeline, it’s long and lovely. It also hits the familiar, but not too common, mark.
Emmeline – This strikes me as a promising Emilia-Evangeline.
Eliza – If you like Emilia, I wonder if you’d consider Eliza? It has the same traditional, but romantic feel as Cecily.
Genevieve – Evangeline reminds me of Genevieve, but I think they’re slightly too close to use as twin names. Or maybe not?
Hattie – Hattie started out as a nickname for Harriet, but it often stands on its own today. (In fact, Hattie ranks in the US Top 1000, while Harriet remains off the list.)
Helena – Harriet, Hannah, and Emilia together make me think of Helena. It’s a pitch perfect sister name for Cecily, and I like Helena James quite a bit. One drawback: people pronounce Helena at least three different ways.
Vera – Vera shares some of Evangeline’s sounds, but is a little bit on the shorter side, like Iris.
Okay, time to mix and match.
Eliza and Evangeline – Both sound like sisters for Cecily; they’re linked by the shared first letter, but still sound distinct.
Emilia and Helena – Emilia and Helena feel traditional but slightly unexpected, just like Cecily.
Iris and Vera – Two shorter names, Iris and Vera feel every bit as vintage as Cecily.
Iris and Georgia – They’re almost two noun names, and yet both have such long histories of use that it doesn’t seem obvious at first. Visually, Georgia looks much longer than Iris – but sound-wise, they’re both just two syllables.
Hattie and Maisie – Two nickname names, Hattie and Maisie are often bestowed as independent names. That makes them very similar, but still distinct in sound.
I like pretty much all of these combinations. My favorites are Eliza James and Evangeline Lux, with Hattie James and Maisie Lux coming in at a close second.
But this is one of these moments when it’s great to have a community of name enthusiasts available, because I know I haven’t exhausted all of the options.
Readers, what would you name twin sisters for Cecily Kate?
I think Lily, Laurel and Ivy might work.
I have two cousins name Cecily and Gabrielle, so there’s another idea
Emilia James and Georgina Lux
Cecily, Emilia, Georgina
Iris James and Vera Lux is my favorite combo.
I recently met a Lux for the first time, and she was adorable. Totally changed my view of the name! I actually really like it with Cecily.
For you, I also like:
Maia (specifically spelled this way)
Hattie (as a nickname for Harriet)
Anthea (or just Thea)
May (or Mae)
I also love the other recommendations people have given you–I really don’t think you can go wrong!
C in DC says
Thanks, Abby, for the kind words. My girls’ names had similar weight in shared sounds, Lydia and Audrey.
Kara – Marin makes me think Marina, a water name and closer to Cecily. I love Marina James. Cecily Kate, Marina James, Ramona Blake? Maris/Marys would match Cecily in a different way: Cecily, Marys, Isla?
If you go with Kate and James as middles, I’d suggest either another long A name (Blake, Rae, May, Lane, etc.) or another long vowel (Eve, Rose, Sue, Jo/Joseph, Luz or Luce).
Cecily was in my top 5 names for my daughter, and here are the rest, in case our styles match:
Margaret nn Maisy (the winner)
I love Iris and Vera, and I would steal it for my own twins…if I didn’t have an adverse reaction to the name Vera due to a family “friend with the name who was a whack job! Oh, and if I was having twins at all.
Secondly, Iris and Georgia. Love it!
Eloise and Eliza sound so sweet with Cecily Kate!
Eliza James and Eloise Lux?
if you’d rather have different first initials, maybe Eloise or Eliza and Beatrix or Imogen ?
Cecily, Eloise and Beatrix
Cecily, Eliza and Imogen
Erin Beth says
I LOVE Cecily Kate!!!
Possible combinations I like for you:
Cecily, Emmeline, and Annabelle
Cecily, Beatrice, and Louisa
Other names that sound like sisters to Cecily to me:
Erin Beth says
Millicent and Lucinda also occurred to me as possibilities.
I love Abby’s suggestion of Eliza, too!
I love the suggestions of Emmeline, Adelaide and Aveline.
What about Rosalie, Gemma, Aurelia or Anastasia?
It would be great to have two formal names with similar nicknames:
Emilia & Margaret :: Millie & Maisie
Vivienne & Evangaline :: Viv & Evie
Emmaline Lux and Eugenia James
I love Florence and Vivienne. Both sound timeless and romantic. The fact that the syllables don’t match doesn’t matter to me. The two names together flow so well and are similar in length. And I think finding another one-syllable family name as a middle name shouldn’t be too hard. Vivienne James and Florence (______). Good luck!
So many good suggestions!
Love Cecily, Harriet & Louise
Also Cecily and:
Harriet & Flora
Willow & Evangeline
Marin & Bridget
Love Cecily Kate <3
My friend has a Cecily. Her other girls are Adelaide and Elinor (and brother George- best sibset ever)
Other names I love with Cecily:
Florence (nn Flossie <3)
Cecily Kate and:
Eloise James & Jemima Lux (Elsie & Jem)
Adelaide Lux & Florence James (Della & Flossie)
Thea James & Imogen Lux
The Mrs. says
Cecily, Sabrina, and Felicity.
Cecily, Junia, and Phoebe
Cecily, Marina, and Beatrice
Cecily, Marissa, and Samira
Cecily, Eulalia, Antonia
I wrote this without reading any other comments, so sorry for any repeats!
Best wishes on your beautiful ladies!!
I like Lux, Marin, Laurel, Hannah and Iris, but I’m not sure they fit with Cecily.
I like Abby’s suggestion of Emilia and Helena with Cecily. More suggestions using at least one of the names you like:
– Cecily, Portia, and: Beatrice, Matilda, Florence, Imogen, Rosalind/Rosaline
– Cecily, Emmeline and: Adelaide, Beatrice/ Beatrix, Imogen, Rosamund, Lucinda (nn. Lucy? Lux?)
– Cecily, Harriet, and: Louisa, Phillipa, Lucinda, Georgina, (or Georgia but I think that’s much more common if you’re in the USA. Perhaps as a nn for Georgina? Cecily, Hattie and Georgia/Georgie)
– Cecily, Evangeline, and: Cordelia (although Evangeline is much more popular than Cecily or Cordelia), Aurelia, Annabel
-Cecily, Rosalind & Delphine
-Cecily, Beatrice & Penelope
If you don’t mind about ‘matching’ with Cecily, I think Marin & Laurel work together, as do Hannah and Georgia.
I really like the suggestions of Daphne James to replace Laurel. Iris as a match for that is a great suggestions as well. But I really love Portia from your list, and think it is a gem. Cecily, Portia, and Daphne are an unexpected yet surprisingly fitting set of sibling names. It reminds me of the names in Downtown Abbey and Atonement. Sophisticated, romantic, under used in modern day (except for Daphne which has floated in the top 1K for a while), yet not unknown or strange.
What ever you end up picking I think your naming style is amazing.
Jean C. says
I feel like Evangeline is so perfect with Cecily that it needs to be one of the names. Maybe Ophelia as her twin sister? They all have a nice “L” sound in the middle but start and end with different sounds.
Cecily, Evangeline and Ophelia.
I was also thinking the name Lumen perhaps?? It might work for a middle name maybe.
I love the idea of Veronica and Evangeline nn Vera and Eva for twin sisters for Cecily! Veronica James and Evangeline Iris.
Beatrice – bringer of joy
Florence – prosperous and flourishing
Cecily, Beatrice and Florence ❤
Cecily Kate is gorgeous!
I think Harriet from your list complements Cecily nicely, and I think Louise is another good match for the set! Cecily, Harriet and Louise.
The first two that came to mind were Margot and Vivian (or Vivienne). Margot James (MJ!) and Vivian Lux would be darling (or another family middle…mom’s maiden even?).
Also like the suggestions of Iris and Vera and Daphne and Phoebe.
I love Harriet and Georgia together. Harriet James and Georgia Iris. I also like Harriet Iris (does HIP initials bother you?) and Georgia Lux. If you are looking to cross things off of your list, I suggest you cross off Maisie, as it seems more like a nickname than your other choices.
My suggestion is Maude Iris and Zelda James ! Cecily, Maude and Zelda – gorgeous !
I think Daphne might be a good choice because it means laurel but avoids that L issue. Daphne and Iris are both nature names so you have a tie in for the twins without being overly matchy or cutesy.
I love the suggestion of Phoebe! If you have another person to honor you could go the route of using the letter: Harriet Jay and Phoebe Elle/Em/Kaye etc.
Iris and Vera are my favorites followed by Hattie and Maisie. I think either set works together and with Cecily. Best of luck!
Cecily is my hands-down favorite girl name, so maybe some of my other favorites will strike a chord for you, too:
Twin girls! The dream and the challenge. I love how Cecily is so very rare (not in the Top 1000) but still fits in these days and is familiar enough. If you’re trying to repeat that, I recommend you to discard Georgia, Hannah, Evangeline, Iris, Emilia. (That being said, I have a Georgia myself and while it’s much more popular than I’d like, I still LOVE it, so if you’re using Georgia, I’ll echo the others in saying my vote is Iris for her sister as it’s also gorgeous and doesn’t repeat an ending.)
Harriet and Portia fit the bill so perfectly for your twins! What I love about Portia is the literary tie, like Cecily. Neither are the most common characters that come to mind from classics, but they’re there. I think Harriet fits in nicely here too, maybe an ode to Beecher-Stowe or to bring the Shakespeare – Wilde – journey to the current – Harriet the Spy 🙂 I like that all of the names are strong, familiar and uncommon today. I’m not sure if you go for nicknames and whether Cecily has one but I’m swooning over Cece, Hattie + Poe / PJ!
As for the middles, I agree with the PP that Kara (or Kay to fit in with the one-syllable theme or some other name that honours you) would be great for the other twin should you use James. Portia James (PJ!!!) and Harriet Kaye.
Good luck! Can’t wait to hear your update.
i love iris and georgia.
What about Daphne? It is Greek origin and means laurel. I like Iris and Daphne together. Maybe a bit matchy with origin and floral meaning but I think it’s just right. Daphne James and Iris Julian? Having a really girly name for one and James for the other is off balance. Julian is sort of the same style to me as Cecily and it is the name of a female saint so it has been used for women before.
Ha! I didn’t even read your comment before posting mine.
From your list, I like Iris, Georgia, I agree that if you are using James as a middle name for one of your twins, you need to find a family name for the other twin. Without knowing more, I wanted to suggest Kara or Kay as a nod to mom. Lux is a major outlier in terms of style in my opinion and I wouldn’t use it. Lucia has a similar sound and meaning, but fits in better with Cecily.
Cecily Kate and twin baby sisters:
Coraline and Georgia
Iris and Lydia
Eleanor and Felicity
Vivienne and Frances
Aurora and Adeline
Lucia and Juliet
Cecily Kate: I love your daughter’s name!
For your twin daughters’ names, I would suggest:
Eliza James and Georgina Rose
Cecily, Eliza and Georgina (or Georgia)
I’m guessing that Kate is not a family name, but if it is, then I’d give each of the twins a family middle name too.
I also like Phoebe for you.