Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Twins and Multiple births

With the increased use of fertility treatment making multiple births more common, many people have to find names for not one, but several, babies at a time! Although many have advance warning that they are about to have more than one baby, for those who have twins or triplets naturally it may not be until quite near to the birth that it is discovered. This may explain why so many people tend to give their twins very similar pairs of names - if they have one ready-chosen, it is easier to think of something to match in a hurry rather than a totally different name! There are fears that children named in this way, especially if they are identical, may grow up to have problems developing a sense of themselves as separate individuals. Recently, it seems as if more parents are choosing names that are no more similar than those they would have used for children born at different times.

The names can match in several ways. They may simply begin with the same letter or sound (Peter + Penny) or alliterate in some other way, perhaps with a similar ending (Carla + Marla). Two forms of what is essentially the same name may be used such as Natasha and Natalie, the Russian diminutive and French forms of Natalia. Other connecting factors might be characters in literature or film - Sebastian and Viola, from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, or Charlene and Kylie, named after a character in the Australian soap opera 'Neighbours' and the actress who portrayed her. The names might have a similar meaning but be from different languages such as Deborah and Melissa, from the Hebrew and Greek for 'bee'. Sometimes the connection is between the bearers of the names rather than in the names themselves. Charles and George were named after two English kings and Glen and Chris were named after the footballers Hoddle and Waddell.

For the larger multiple births, such as quads, quins or more, few people seem to choose matching names, probably because of the difficulty of finding four or five similar names that they like. However, I have heard of a family of identical quadruplet girls who have the same four first names arranged in a different order.



Alexander + Andrew Andrew + Allen Aodhan + Evan
Ashton + Clayton Bob + Brian Bruce + Bryce
Charles + George Chris + Glen Colin + Cory
Curtis + Lewis Damon + Damian David + Devon
Declan + Lorcan Donnie + Lonnie Doug + Don
Eugene + Gene Garry + Larry Gary + Larry
Hasan + Hussein Jack + Jim Jordan + Justin
Julian + Justin Kerry + Terry Logan + Lucas
Loren + Lorenzo Mackenzie Shamus + Griffin James Marc + Mike
Mark + Mike Matthew + Michael Ralph + Ray
Ray + Roy Rhano + Rheji Richard + Robert
Rick + Rod Roger + Ron Tim + Tom
Victor + Vincent    


Alison + Amanda Amanda + Amy Ann + Jan
Anne + Lynne April + Adria Brandi + Candi
Bryana Shawnelle + Shawnelle Bryana Carla + Marla Carole + Constance
Carolyn + Robyn Charlene + Kylie Chelsea + Charlotte
Colleen + Kathleen Darcy + Deborah Deborah + Melissa
Deirdre + Dorcas Della + Stella Donita + Marita
Ella + Lila Jackie + Jennifer Jacquelin + Jocelyn
Janessa + Jillain Janette + Jeanette Janie + Jenny
Jasmine + Joanne Jennifer + June Jennifer + Juniper
Julie + Jill Kaitlyn + Kristin Kara + Karen
Karma + Karina Katie + Kirsty Kay + Fay
Kaylissa Keli + Kelsie Kimberli Kelly + Kerri Kerri + Kim
Kerry + Kirsten Lara + Tara Lauren + Lindsay
Lisa + Lynette Madalyn + Rosalyn Marcia + Marla
Maria + Monica Monica Lee + Maura Lynn Natalie + Natalya
Natalie + Nicola Natasha + Natalie Neena + Veena
Nikki + Noelle Pamela + Pandora Rashida + Rhyana
Sandy + Sheri Sharon + Sherry Vanessa + Vivienne

One Male, One Female

Andrew + Addie Avery + Aspen Cody + Kelsey
Donald + Dawn Hunter + Heather Jan + John
Jasmin + Jacob Peter + Penny Sean + Shannon
Sebastian + Viola Tim + Kim  



Carter, Bryson, Garrison Chase, Chandler, Connor Ivan, Lovro, Dario
Timothy, Tyler, Terence    


Allison, Meghan, Jillian Amey, Abagail, Amanda Ami, Brandi, Cristi
Amy, Ashley, Amanda Ashlyn, Courtlyn, Jadyn Blair, Brooke, Bailey
Celeste, Chloe, Chelsea Ellery, Helana, Allegra Grace, Caitlin, Charlotte
Jaelyn, Madelyn, Lauryn Kiersten, Kelsey, Kaitlyn Margaret Rose, Hannah Michelle, Madeleine Jenny
Poppy, Hollie, Lucy    

Two Male, One Female

Alfred, Albert, Alberta Anton, Austin, Ashlyn Austin, Connor, Kennedi
Austin, Micah, Mckenzie Christian, Jordan, Claire Dustin, Dylan, Breanna
Dylan, Ryan, Jessica Elijah, Ethan, Hanna James, Justin, Juliana
Paul, Peter, Jennifer    

Two Female, One Male

Ashlyn, Alexa, Austin Dominique, Desirae, Dallin Kegan, Kylie, Logan
Kendall Kathleen, Carter Cathrine, Robert Steele Mariah, Sierra, Isaiah Mckenna Kae, Sydney Rae, Trevor Justin
Ursula, Muriel, Lowell    



Kayne, Layne, Shayne, Wayne

Michael, Nicholas, Joseph, Christopher


Nicole, Alicia, Kelsa, Lauren

Joan, Joyce, Jeraldine, Jeanette

Three Female, One Male

Christa Chelsa Charla Casey

Three Male, One Female

Max, Marc, Matthew, Alexandra


Emilie, Marie, Cecile, Annette, Yvonne (Dionne)

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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