Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Naming of Twins

We have lived life with pretty common names,  Catherine and Rebecca.  There had never been a plan behind naming us in some creative way like some twin parents do since our parents did not know they were having twins.  They found out there were two of us when our mom was in the operating room having a C-section.  One doctor said "you get the first one, I'll get the second".  My mom responded "Don't even joke guys, we know I already have two at home".  Well, those "joking" doctors then held up over the separation sheet 2 little bundles-of- joy.  Oh what joy my mom felt...NOT...She passed out.  At least that's what she said happened when she saw us.  We think the medical staff in that O.R. just decided to pumped her full of some serious "Sleepy" meds. to knock her butt out so she wouldn't have a nervous break down on them.  
(We will go into how she did not know she was having twins in another post.)  But you can imagine that this experience was quite a shock to these young parents of ours.  They already had a 3 year old boy and a 4 year old girl at home so adding TWO more babies to the bunch was gonna be quite a crazy experience.
Our dad was told about this surprise finding in the waiting area of the hospital (Remember, this was the olden days, when men still paced in the waiting area while their wives gave birth in sterile O.R.'s with medical peeps all around). Our dad, needless to say, was overcome with joy...Oh wait, No....Got that reaction wrong too...We meant terror.  But soon he swallowed down his terror and headed out to the local baby store to buy some additional baby items for unexpected baby #2.  Good Daddy.   
Of course there was another, more pressing issue to address, what to name this second little bugger.  Well, the story that we were told about our naming goes something like this...
Dad worked at a local college and had some close colleague friends.  When they heard he had had his bundle of joy, now known as his "BundLES" of joy, they wanted to post this joyful news at the office building on campus that our dad worked in.  They posted a big sign announcing our entrance into the world, that state thatmy dad was the proud father of twin girls.  They then proceed to announce our names on the sign as Rebecca Colby and Catherine Colby.  And there it was.  They had taken the original name that our parents had chosen for us when they thought "us" was just a singleton baby, which was Catherine Rebecca Colby, and split it into 2 names.  Our parents thought, "hey, this just might be a nice solution to the naming problem we are facing right now as new parents who are sure to be sleep deprived over the next few months and in no shape to be effectively naming two newborns."    And so it was.  Our parents went with it, and officially named us Rebecca and Catherine.
Because of the way our naming occurred, we did not grow up with middle names. This was always a little weird to explain to our friends when we were younger since most of them couldn't understand how we did not have that center name, but it worked out well in the long run.  We are both married now and so we happily slide our maiden names into middle name position and we then were able to share our birth family's names with our new family's names.  So, we say well done to those coworkers of my dads.  They picked some nice names for us and saved that young couple some tough hours discussing, arguing and negotiating through the process of naming that second, unexpected little bugger.

Out of curiosity, we wanted to research what some parents of twins are naming their little one these days.  So we looked up celebrity families to see what they named their twins. Some have been...

  • Tabitha and Loretta - Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
  • Emme and Max - Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
  • Vivienne and Knox - Angelina and Brad
  • Charlie and Dolly - Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell
  • Hazel and Phinneas - Julia Roberts and Danny Moder
  • Valentino and Matteo - Ricky Martin
  • Eden and Savannah - Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney
  • Ava and Grace - Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra
  • Darby and Sullivan - Patrick Dempsey and wife Jillian
  • Dexter and Frank - Diana Krall and Elvis Costello
  • Rodney and Ryan - Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete
( also tells you about some of the reason why these names were chosen)

While researching recent twin names, we happened up one website that gave examples of paired twin name.  Some of these pairings cracked us up. Would you or did you dare to name your twins shared names like these...?

  • Abbott and Costello      Abercrombie and Fitch      
  • Adam and Eve              Amethyst and Topaz      
  • Bonny and Clyde          Baskin and Robbins     
  • Chip and Dale               Ebony and Ivory  
  • Fife and Drum               Hearts and Spade
  • Jekyll and Hyde            Block and Tackle
  • Jessie and James           Jack and Jill     
  • Jedi and Yoda               Julius and Caesar     
  • Mai and Tai                  Ozzie and Harriet     
  • Possum and Blossum    Reno and Tahoe      
  • Sailor and Soldier          Smith and Wesson  
  • Spock and Kirk             Star and Sky     
  • Michael and Jackson    Thelma and Louise     
  • Zoey and Joey              Yogi and Bear     
  • Yankee and Doodle     Garth and Brooks     
  • Wilma and Betty          Tom and Jerry     
  • Hewy and Dewey        Anna And King

(You can check out the whole list of combos at

So tell us...

*What was naming experience like for your twins/mulitples...(How did you come up with you twins names?)
*Would you... 

      ...rhyme your twins names since they are twins?
      ...choose unique combinations that may be seen as a little "different" for your twin babes.
*Did you know you were having twins ahead of time and if not, how did you decide on 2 names instead of 1?


  1. HEY! I thought your middle name was Buckley! Did I make that up? Where did I get that from???

  2. We named our twin girls Alanndra Cadence & Lyric Renee. That way they both have musical words in their names but not too "twinsy" Had we had one girl her name was going to be Alanndra Lyric so we sort of did what your parents did.

    @craigswife29 on Twitter

  3. thanks Mary for the great comparison story - And fabulous names, especially for musical parents.

  4. We just went for names we liked however my friend then told me that all three of my children when you add up the first and second name have 5 syllables! That was not intentional but quite cool!

    The twins are: Florence Emily and Zachary Henry and their brother is Noah William

  5. Our twin girls are:
    Hallelujah Hanaka Shim-Mi N----
    Hosanna Yoshika Jung-Mi N----

    We wanted them to have a name from each of their ancestral lines - Jewish, Japanese & Korean, plus we wanted names from our church hymnal.

    Hallelujah (Halle for short) is Hebrew for praise to the Lord
    Hanaka (which is like a two-fer 'Hanukkah' the Jewish Holiday :) ) is Japanese for Flower's Scent
    Shim-Mi is Daughter of Love in Korean


    Hosanna is Hebrew for a song praising the Lord (Zanna for short)
    Yoshika is Japanese for Flower of Joy
    Jung-Mi is Daughter of Heart in Korean

    We actually have an old family friend who had twin girls about 20 years ago and he named them Shim-Mi & Jung-Mi, so I 'borrowed' those names for my girls also to remember him by.

    It took us a couple of months to agree on all of that, because some of the names I thought were cute meant strange things in Japanese, or some of the names my husband liked just sounded awful, and so on..

  6. We wanted classic, timeless names for our twins. We chose William and Vivian. But ultimately, we named Vivian while sitting in the back of a cab stuck in a Bangkok traffic jam. Better naming her there than making her there. ;)