Twin Baby Names: Dos and Don'ts
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CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Every parent is given this challenge, how to choose a name for another person which they will keep for 75 plus years? That’s a long time and a lot of things change in that time. What’s cool now becomes like flip clowns overnight. For twin parents, you have to do this for two people at once. Is it a package deal or should you treat them like regular siblings, or not related at all. Today, we’re talking about the Dos and Don’ts of naming twins. This is Twin Talks.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin Talks, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Twin Talks is your online on the go support group for expecting a new parent to twins. I'm your host, Christine Stewart Fitzgerald. If you love Twin Talks as much as we do then please tell other twin parents about us. We’d also love for you to leave a review for us in iTunes which helps other listeners find our show. So here is Sunny with more information about how you can get involved with Twin Talks.
SUNNY GAULT: We’d love to hear from our listeners. We want you guys to become a part of the show. Obviously, you can be a panelist on the show but if that’s little too much for you, if you just want to dip your tail on the water, something like that, you can submit for one of our segments. If you go to www.newmommymedia.com and you go to the Twin Talks portion of the website, you’ll see all of the segments but I'm just going to highlight a few right now. We have a segment where we talk about the funny things, mistakes that we’ve made with our twins. We call it “Twin Oops”! Mostly, these are pretty funny stuff that we can just get a laugh at because we’re not perfect, we try to be but with twins, it’s a little tough to be the perfect Pinterest mom with twins.
That’s one on the segments. We have another one where … the segment called, “We’re expecting what?”That’s like the question. We all internally say to ourselves when we weren’t expecting twins and we found out we’re pregnant with twins and we’re like, what is going on here? My whole world just change. So if you have a funny story or interesting story that you want to share about that. Those are just a couple of the segments that you can respond to, be part of our shows. The way that you submit to those is if you go again to the website, everything is on the website. There’s a common denominator here. Go to www.newmommymedia.com, click on the contact link and you can type out your response there.
I'm personally not a big fun of typing if I don’t have to, so another way you can submit is via our voice mails. So if you call 619-866-4775, you can just leave a message and then I will grab that and we can put it in a future episode so everyone can hear you telling your own story as supposed to me or Christine, giving our version of your story, right? So check us out on the web and you can learn more about our different segments.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: All right. Well, before we get started, let’s do a round of introductions. We’ve got Angel on the phone with us, can you tell us a little about your family and yourself?
ANGEL GILMORE: Hi, my name is Angel Gilmore. I am a wife of eight and a half years and a mother of three beautiful boys. I have a six year old singleton Marcus and I have two twin boys who are seven months old and just as chunky as they want to be. And on top of being a mom and a wife, as the host of the Mommy’s View which is the online mom show, as well as an actress and a blogger of my own channel called, The Chicago TV.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: All right.
SUNNY GAULT: So you’re not busy or anything?
ANGEL GILMORE: Oh, no, I'm getting a lot of the outcome, a lot.
SUNNY GAULT: So awesome.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Our expert on the phone with us today, Jennifer Moss, you can tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been doing.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah, I'm Jennifer Moss. I'm the founder and CEO of www.babynames.com that launched 18 years ago. We were the first baby name site online and still are very popular. We get over 2million unique visitors a month, and in that time, I’ve help thousands of families, helped name their babies.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Wow.
SUNNY GAULT: I love that.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: You’re responsible for thousands of people who have names right now and say, “Hey, it’s because of me. Let me just lay it down.”
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, hundreds of thousands of babies.
JENNIFER MOSS: It’s awesome when I meet somebody and I’ll tell them what I do and they said, “I think I used that site to name my guy.”
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: It sounds pretty cool.
SUNNY GAULT: It’s awesome.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: All right, and Sunny.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Okay, so, I'm Sunny, I'm producing today’s show and I have four kids of my own, two singleton, my singletons are age five and age three, both boys and they do everything together and they might as well be twins, I kind in my head. I feel like I’ve two sets of twins because they literally do everything together. They’re just a year and a half apart. And then, I have my real twins, who are girls and they are about to turn two. Yeah, naming them … we’ll dive into this but my husband and I went back and forth. We had some different approaches to naming but we’re definitely in the category of we like unique names and we’re just going to have to figure that, okay, how is that work with twins then.
We wanted to be easy of spell but what, you know, what do you do. I definitely have some insight on this and plus, my name is Sunny, and Sunny, usual name. Not as unusual actually. I’ve met a few Sunnys but I kind of wanted that kind of flare too as being something that everyone sees it and you know how to say it and it’s still unique, and I wanted that for my kids, so yes, fun stuff.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: And I'm your host, Christine Stewart Fitzgerald. My identical girls are six years old now and they are Alexandra and Julia, and of course, Alexandra, she goes by Alexa, I think just because it’s shorter to write. She doesn’t have to write as many letters, just more being lazy. And then, I do have a singleton, she’s three and she’s Michaela and we spelled it the traditional way of Michael with an A. That was a little homage to my husband. His middle name is Michael.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so we are going to talk about an app before we get really deep in to today’s conversation. I thought it mean tons of sense to actually talk about an app involving baby names, and www.babynames.com has their own app. It’s called the “Baby Name Finder”. Jennifer, tell us a little bit more about it.
JENNIFER MOSS: We do have an app for droid and for iPhone. It’s called the Baby Names Finder by www.babynames.com . If you search by your site name, you’ll find it because there’re a lot of baby names apps out there. What it does is gives you complete access to our names database. You can browse by letter or you can search. You can save to a favorite names list. You can shake the sound and a random name if you’re just like at all odds and not knowing what to do. You can also see our name of the day and also our trending names, and that’s in almost real time. You can see which names people are adding to their favorite name list in real time and what is trending as of this minutes.
SUNNY GAULT: Is this people that are on www.babynames.com , they have their own free account to there and they’re like updating information there and then it updates on the app, is that how I understand it?
JENNIFER MOSS: Yes.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay.
JENNIFER MOSS: Exactly. That’s where we find our baby name trends. It’s what names are being added to our users’ different name list and we get obviously like I said, millions of users a month who are doing this. It’s a really good indication of what names are trending and becoming popular and will be use for babies, nine, twelve months in advance.
SUNNY GAULT: I like it. I just love the idea of baby names being on in app because it’s one of those things, I don’t know when you guys were having your kids like if you actually sat down in a computer and really looked at names. Baby names are more of I don’t know, an on the go kind of think on the air like a one on one conversation but I didn’t really do a lot and just sit down on a computer. This is a good like you know, I'm waiting for the elevator or I'm waiting for an OB appointment or I'm waiting, you know, what I mean?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Or you might be inspired by something.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, that’s true, yeah.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah, exactly. If you’re out in about and you’d see a street name that you love, and say that’d make a great baby name, you can add that to your favorite list on your phone without it having to be a name in our database, so it can just be free text.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I see that on here now. Okay, so just have to be something. It’s in the database but if you do see stuff that you’d like whether it’s the random name that you’re talking about or something that’s trending, all you have to do is like you know, hard it, favorite it, and it goes in your own little separate list. If you do that on the app for your favorites and you also have an account on www.babynames.com , does it go back and forth between your own personal account or is the app kind of separate?
JENNIFER MOSS: The app is kind of separate.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, got it.
JENNIFER MOSS: Just save on your phone, yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: But still, it’s good for on the go stuff. I like in it.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah, so I was going to say, in sharing too.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, of course, and sharing with your friend, because you’re like post it to Facebook and stuff, you’re like, “Hey, what do you guys think of this name.” And everyone shoots it down. You’re like, “Oh, crap.” I guess that didn’t work. All right. Okay, so check it. We’ll put a link up on our website so you guys can download it and check it out. There is a fee like $1.49 or something like that for it?
JENNIFER MOSS: It’s $0.99.
SUNNY GAULT: Oh, it is. Okay, sorry about that. I thought I saw something about $1.49 which, that was a kind of a weird price but anyways, so check it out on a website, $0.99 up and well worth it because finding names is tough, and so you might as well make every moment count when you’re out and about.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Well, we’re here today with Jennifer Moss who has helped thousands of expectant parents navigate the challenge of baby naming over the years and she’s helping us identify special considerations for twins, so thank you Jennifer. We have Angel on the phone as well. Before we get started, I want to say, I think naming is such a personal unique creative thing that you know, we’re talking about our thoughts and opinions. I'm sure we’re probably going to offend somebody out there, maybe we say, “Oh, I don’t like this.” And you know, so putting this out there, we’re not going to be politically correct but we hope, we don’t offend you but please, if you’re really in love with the name, then stay on it because we all know, right?
Not everybody is going to love a name but if you love it, then stick with. Let’s just talk about some of the current trends that are going on in naming babies. I’ve been looking out there and I’ve seen a trend of using place names like I’ve seen like Brooklyn and Austin and London and I think of the group of the Mariah Carey, right?
JENNIFER MOSS: Right.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Her son is Moroccan.
JENNIFER MOSS: Moroccan, right.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: And of course, we have Paris, Paris Hilton. What do you guys think about the place names? What’s the strength in that or would you avoid it?
JENNIFER MOSS: In my opinion, I think it’s a great way to like think of a place that means something to you and your make, and it fits a name or a memory that you have. It might be somewhere that you make propose. I think it’s a great way to honor that as long as it’s not too outlandish. It all depends.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Right. I can say my brother and sister-in-law, they were proud to say that their son was conceived in Yosemite, and so as a joke, they told everybody, we’re going to name him Yosemite. That would be interesting.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, it would.
JENNIFER MOSS: That would be a little crazy. I live right near in the Yosemite and I love the park, but I'm not sure I’ve use that as a name.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Let’s see, so have on another trends. We have characters in film and in TV.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yes, characters are huge now as you know, Twilight had a big effect on baby naming, Jacob and Bella shot to the top of the chart as well as the lesser characters like Jasper and Esme. That’s kind of started the trend and now, we see a huge inflect of like A Song of Ice and Fire which is Game of Thrones baby names. Characters especially strong characters do have a big effect on baby naming lately.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: I think we do here of some else says and I'm not sure on cattiness, are there cattinesses out there?
JENNIFER MOSS: I haven’t heard of them lately but yes, Walter definitely jumped on to the chart after Breaking Bad which is interesting because he was almost an anti-hero same with Dexter. It doesn’t even have to be a good person but it reaches a lot of people now. Entertainment is huge with streaming and everything and you’re getting to in a large amount of people that you didn’t quite reach before.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: All right. Here is another trend of naming kids after current celebrities. Let’s see, Mariah Carey, her daughter is Monroe. I think after Marilyn Monroe, right? Some of the other celebrities kids, let’s see, Beyoncé’s, her daughter is North.
SUNNY GAULT: No, it’s not Beyonce.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: It’s Kardashian has North.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Oh, sorry.
SUNNY GAULT: Beyonce, that’s Blue.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Blue, okay, that’s right, the color. I'm getting them, it mixed up.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, she’s got Blue Ivy.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Blue Ivy, yes. Okay, sorry. That was the other one, so a little bit more abstract. I think we’ll talk more about this more abstract names but the idea that they are named after it’s kind of a celebrities. The kids now are being named after the celebrity name which I find interesting, I mean, it’s a little more avant-garde, right? Or heap.
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I see like Lennon or the rock and roll names. I’ve seen Hendrix, especially if it’s a twins, yeah, sing a lot of like music legends, use as names of twins.
JENNIFER MOSS: But they’re using last names if you notice. They’re not using like Bob.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: That’s a good point.
JENNIFER MOSS: Just to make sure that it should definitely that person that they’re referencing. So, Lennon is obvious, Jagger is obvious.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes. That’s a good point. Now, how about talking in sort of like the old borrowing from the old? I’ve also seen like reinventing the old names. I’ll use this example, my grandmother’s name was Evelin and you know, grandpa thought, “Oh, it’s kind of an old lady name.” But then, I’ve actually met a few little girls named Evelin which really surprised me.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah. My grandmother’s name is Hazel, so that’s coming back around and style as well. I think this is due to the internet. We now have immediate access to our family trees, going back generations and generations. People are discovering these cool old names back from their family and they’re using them, so I think that’s really what affected this whole old passion name trend coming back into style.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Well, I never thought I’ve been doing genealogical research and I have stumbled across some interesting names, so maybe…
SUNNY GAULT: Time to have another baby? So what you’re telling your last name.
JENNIFER MOSS: I also think that’s effect to the surname trend too like Harrison, Jackson, you know, because people have a way of honoring a whole branch of the family tree by using an old surname for example.
SUNNY GAULT: See, we did that with our kids. We did a last name thing but it wasn’t because you know, we had a family name that we are trying to keep alive or something like that but I don’t know, I like themes in all areas of my life for some reason. I like to categorize things.
I like themes, and so we ended up doing ... so four kids and we ended up doing all names that could be last name so it’s how I categorized it, so I have Sayer, Sayer is typically a last name, it’s not a first name. I have an Urban like Keith Urban but it wasn’t because of Keith Urban, I promise you but I’ve really like the name Urban, and then I have an Ainsley and an Addison. They’re my twins, Ainsley and Addison. We’re kind of doing the last name thing and then also before I knew it was twins when I thought we were just going to have three kids, I was trying to spell something with their names, which is who’s going to like to, I mean, whatever.
But like in my mind, I was like, “Oh that’d be kind of cool.” I have an Urban, so that’s a U. I’ve Sayer which is an S, and so I was planning to have one A to make USA. And then, two As came along. I'm still stock with it. I'm like, “I am still having an A baby or two A babies.”
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: That’s cool. I never thought of that. Be patriotic…
SUNNY GAULT: I'm not, well, my husband is a marine whatever, you got to do what to do.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: How about another trend? What about unisex or crossover names. We’ve seen some of that like the Madison, Evry, Carson, Harper, Skyler, I know I forgot some other one, where they could use for either a girl or a boy? It’s a little bit of gender ambiguity, I mean, when they’re young because you know, then we have a little baby who has no hair and they’re just probably wearing yellow or you know, and people go, “Oh, what a cute little boy.” And you’re like, “No, it’s a girl.”
SUNNY GAULT: Well, Sunny is one of those names. It goes either way too.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: You say, I'm not…
SUNNY GAULT: No, yeah. There’s Sunny with the S-O-N-N-Y, so I am an S-U-N-N-Y but yeah. Usually well, kind of went back I think as far as it like used to be use in place of junior like you call your son Sonny for boy or whatever.
JENNIFER MOSS: And you’ll notice that names, if you do crossover, they usually cross from boy to girl. It doesn’t usually cross the other way. You won’t see a boy name Jennifer but Ashly for example was originally a boy’s name and then it crossed over the girl side.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: I do not know that.
JENNIFER MOSS: Because there’s still little stigma of a boy being thought of as feminine but there’s not stigma anymore about a girl being strong or masculine.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Interesting. I came across to few lately I think like Payton. I’ve seen that as for the boy and the girl as well. Sometimes I wonder if you know, we grow up with a certain image in our head of you know, seeing it a movie or character who had that name and it sort of sticks as either masculine or feminine but maybe just we need to open our minds a little bit more.
SUNNY GAULT: True.
ANGEL GILMORE: I also found that with my name is depending on the culture will tell you whether that is a feminine name or male name because typically people don’t see me they just see the name Angel. They think I'm a Latino male.
JENNIFER MOSS: I had, yeah.
ANGEL GILMORE: No, this is the last name? And then automatically no but I'm not Latino, they assumed that I'm a girl but I know definitely flip-flop depending on the culture you’re in.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Wow.
SUNNY GAULT: See, totally.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: You know what, I didn’t even know that. I knew Angelo but I didn’t know Angel was a masculine Latino name.
SUNNY GAULT: Or I mean, An-hel or you know.
ANGEL GILMORE: Yeah, it’s An-hel.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Wow. Okay, how about shorten names? Because that’s been coming … like I have a friend and instead of naming her son Jacob, she just want with Jake or I think that you mention earlier, now Bella is the hot name which I think is really an abbreviated name of Isabela, right?
JENNIFER MOSS: Usually, I recommend that the parents given them the full legal name and then let the child choose whether they want to use the nickname or not because sometimes, they might want the choice of using a formal name or nickname and you’re removing that choice when you give him the name Jake. You don’t give him the choice of using Jacob if they want to later in life.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: More options, options are good.
SUNNY GAULT: Very true.
JENNIFER MOSS: Right.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Okay, let’s see, last little trend we’re going to cover here is nature. I’ve seen a few and I have some friends like Willow and Autumn, Winter and Spring and Summer of course, and then for boys like Stone, Maverick, Reed, Steel, Sage, you know, River.
JENNIFER MOSS: I have to say those are some of my favorite names. I like nature names, but that’s a personal choice of mine. I live in the woods, so you know, I'm just that kind of a person. If I had another child which is not going to happen but if I did, I would probably use a nature name.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Very cool. I think we’re going to take a break. When we come back, we’re going to talk about some of the difference options we have when we’re choosing twin names.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Well, welcome back. Today, we’re talking about the Dos and Don’ts of naming twins. Some parents aside they want to have matching or cordy names and other parents want to give names that are completely different from each other. Let’s look at some of those options for naming twins and creating a pair or not creating pair. If you do want to kind of have them more matching, one option would be to begin with the same letter. I think Sunny, in your case, yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: I did that. But I want to make sure they weren’t too matchy-matchy for me just because I already had two other kids and it’s hard for me to call my kids by the right names as is, and not calling the name of the dog or whatever. I did want them to sound a little bit different but also that similarity with the first initial is the same. I liked it.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Another idea would be you can have the same cultural origin. If you know, you have like Germanic background, maybe you want to have very German sounding names or if you have a Latin background. It’s pulling from your cultural heritage. Let’s see, have the same ending sounds. In my case, my girls are Alexandra and Julia, instead of having the same beginning we thought okay, we want to have kind of the same ending sound, so that’s somewhere to that. Another option, use the same trend. If you’re going to go all out and be creative, then be creative with both of them, right?
SUNNY GAULT: Or you don’t want like Cattiness and Bob, you know, like that that doesn’t work for you.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Just yeah, be consistent.
JENNIFER MOSS: I think there’s no problem with that.
SUNNY GAULT: Hey, we want our twins to be different, right?
JENNIFER MOSS: Could I use Robert?
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, use Robert, don’t use Bob.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Now, you could use a recognize pair, maybe you ran some risk in doing that but you know, something like literary figure or places they go hand to hand or real life people given the current trends.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah, I would be careful with that that you don’t make your names a joke.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes.
JENNIFER MOSS: Because that’s one thing that we recommend is you know, might sound cute and people might laugh at first but they have to bare this their entire lives. So if they’re Fred and Bernie for example, you might not want to do that and burden that your child with that for the rest of your children, for the rest of their lives.
SUNNY GAULT: It would be Frederick and Bernard I think or something.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah. I'm sure there’s somebody out there, a big Star Wars fan, maybe he got to look on Leia…
SUNNY GAULT: Look on Leia?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: Save it for the dogs people, save it for the dogs.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes, or for the younger said, like maybe Anna and Kristoff or Anna and Elsa.
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I was pregnant with my twins when I first saw Frozen in theater, just a tiny little part of me when, sort of do Anna and Elsa is so good because I’ve no idea that they’ll be a super popular movie because this before really exploded, so glad I didn’t do that.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Now, another creative idea is to use them like an Anna Graham, so I think we’ve heard of like Haven and Eva or here’s a boy girl, Nadia and Eden, and another one I just recently saw was Ericka and Sierra, so you’re using the same letters, either completely either reversing them or just taking the same letters and mixing them up a little bit, maybe not so obvious. I think that’s a cool way of doing … it’s somewhat unique, right?
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I like it.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah. Now, taking a different approach, if parents say, “Hey, you know what, I don’t want to do anything that’s related.” What are some of the reasons to have completely unrelated names for twins?
JENNIFER MOSS: What we say to parents who keep asking us for matchy-matchy names is we say, listen, we would name them as if you would just name siblings because look, they have to share a birthday. They have to share clothes. They’re probably going to share room. They’re going to share school friends and they’re going to share their face. Give them something that’s individual. Don’t name on Hazel and Dazel for example. The rhyming names are just out. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using the same first letter or the same last letter or having so same to your twins name but make sure that they’re individual enough so that they’re separate children.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes, separate and unique. Now, I’m off for that. What are some of the Dos and Don’ts of naming twins like a few different kind of ideas I think maybe one rule as you were just saying, it’s just give your twins like actual different names, I mean I heard of some pairs where it’s like maybe the difference is one letter off.
SUNNY GAULT: That would be so confusing to me.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: Can you imagine? And then, like when you know, it’s a twin, when you hear your mom call your name, you’re like, “Wait, was that me or was that you?” “I don’t even know who that was.”
JENNIFER MOSS: Exactly yeah. So make it…
ANGEL GILMORE: That’s what I did. That’s what exactly what I did because I want to be let’s say one name, and everybody gets up...
SUNNY GAULT: That was cute.
ANGEL GILMORE: This is matter of convenience I broke all the Don’ts. [inaudible] one, there’s only a one letter jet plane and then…
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Oh no.
ANGEL GILMORE: I was like, “Because I’ve to carry two of you, I'm going to have some fun with it.” I'm going to have to stretch my body up to Syria. I was going to make to set out. Back his names are Kie and Stie, so their names are very close but they’re also not identical twins so I feel like they have a strong identity on their own like nobody gets them confused.
JENNIFER MOSS: That’s a good point, right.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: What’s the first name? Yeah, the first letter is different. It’s a hard consonant, right? So, Kie, Tie, yeah.
ANGEL GILMORE: Yeah, exactly. You can see the difference. And we also added some uniqueness in their middle names. They’re both named after two men that were very important to me and my husband. Their middle names are completely different. If they decide it later in life, they don’t want to have that close of a connection to their twin, they could go by their middle name if they wanted too but I was like mamma’s going to have fun.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah, that’s smart.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: I was also thinking about just different names. Now, I'm just going to throw this out there. I recently saw on article about Michael Jackson’s children, three children. I mean, we know them as different names but their official names, actually they all have Michael Jackson in their names.
SUNNY GAULT: What?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes.
ANGEL GILMORE: Wow.
JENNIFER MOSS: Yeah, Blanket is not as named as his nickname.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes.
SUNNY GAULT: I knew that but they all have … so Jackson is the last name, right?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes, so the first one, the oldest is Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., so he’s known as Prince Michael. The second child is Parish-Michael Katherine Jackson, the girl. And then, the youngest is Prince Michael Jackson II and he’s the one known as Blanket. But they all have, I mean it’s Michael Jackson…
SUNNY GAULT: So that’s their legal name that nobody knows them by…
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes.
SUNNY GAULT: I said, I don’t understand the point of that either. I don’t. I'm almost at the point of just throwing out middle names too because who knows anybody’s middle name, so that has to be a legal thing just to separate people.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah.
ANGEL GILMORE: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: Remember saying like it’s like, it’s an homage to a family member really, it’s what it is, right? Most of the time.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: I'm glad that the kids have decided to use like their nicknames or something that makes them unique and I think they’re not twins but gosh, I mean, for twins, that’s even amplified like you really need something that’s different.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: How about names that are a little bit tough to pronounce? I mean I would say that it’s pretty important for them to have a name that they can pronounce and other people can pronounce. They don’t get enough called, oh, it’s you know, let’s say, Joe and the other twin.
SUNNY GAULT: So here is my take on this, is that we’ve had so many people take “Normal names in the U.S.” Right? Regular names that have been around forever, and twist them a little bit so that the spelling is different that now, the people that have regular names get their names misspelled, like Sunny, like everybody wants to spell it in some weird way.
My son Sayer is just S-A-Y-E-R, like I'm like, you know, what we are going to really sound this out fanatically here, right? Everyone calls him Sawyer. I'm like, “Do you see a W?” “Do you see or Sawye or some crazy French thing or something.” They do it with all of us and I'm just like (thrilling), and then like, I don’t know but people that do that. I know why there’s a unique factor and I get that but then, on the flip side, your child … no one is ever going to spell your child’s name right and quite frankly, you’re messing it up for the rest of us.
JENNIFER MOSS: Well, what if they need tell parents to do is do the coffee shop test. Next time, you go to the coffee shop and you’re considering a name. Give them the name and see how they pronounce it.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: I love that.
SUNNY GAULT: You know what so funny as I always, I'm like I'm Sunny, S-U-N-N-Y, so I’d have to cut out the second part of my speech at Starbucks.
JENNIFER MOSS: Right.
SUNNY GAULT: Really, I could just figure it out. What do you think it is?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: That’s a grey one.
ANGEL GILMORE: And some people just aren’t smart. It doesn’t matter how simple the name is. I have been spelled Angle, I have been spelled Angela and I'm like, “Angel, is that fine?” Letter name, pretty simple, but you know, sometimes, I feel like you can’t worry about those people can’t spell it or pronounce it because we are push around by people that aren’t the brightest sometime.
JENNIFER MOSS: That’s so true.
ANGEL GILMORE: We can’t really do it awful, what other people capability though. We’re going to be step for the bunch of Sam and Amy and that’s it. That’s all…
SUNNY GAULT: And then they’ll spell those wrong too or Amy will be A-M-E-E or something like that.
ANGEL GILMORE: Yeah, exactly.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Now, you know what I think in going on that idea, I think it’s just you know, it’s about consistency, so I think one of the Don’ts would be, so don’t give one twin like a super traditional name and spelling and then give the other one a really creative name because then…
SUNNY GAULT: With the different spelling?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: With the different spelling, yeah. I mean, either go or out and be creative on both or be traditional on both because I think that would be…
SUNNY GAULT: Harder?
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: That just harder, yeah. I would say a Do would be try to have a similar length or syllables so you don’t have one kid with this really long sort of elaborate name, I mean, like let’s say a boy with Alexander and then the other kid is Will. I mean, I know they doesn’t match exactly but I think there’s something maybe said about just … I mean, I don’t know if I say not equality, you know, I think twins are always asking for sameness and equality and you want to have different but I don’t think you want to have like supper differences.
SUNNY GAULT: Right. Well, and to go along with that too when you’re parent with the middle name too, so for my Ansley and Addison, we knew we wanted to use the middle names from my grandmother and my great grandmother, so that’s Elizabeth and Marian, so I know I did it with Addison with three syllables to go with Elizabeth because that’s three and three and I was like, “Oh, that’s crazy, can’t do that.”
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah, too much, yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: So then I kind of offset it where it’s Addison Marie. Marie is my middle name, and Ansley Elizabeth, so we kind of get…
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: It balances, yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: Balance it a little bit, and that was just my own retentiveness, it made sense in my head.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: I like that though, it’s balanced.
JENNIFER MOSS: I think rhythm is really important in any baby naming and you kind of have to say it out loud and introduce yourself as the child to say if it’s just kind of flows off the tongue and I think you did very well with both of those lanes.
SUNNY GAULT: Thank you. I’ve been endorsed. I love it. I hit myself on the back right now that Jennifer endorsed my names.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Okay. Now, here is I think another Don’t is I know a lot of families want to carry on traditions of passing down family names but I think if you have twins, is it fair to give one twin the family name and the other one not and if you’re doing it out of obligation more than you really want to. I think like boys, and we see like the doubles of James, Robert or something like that and then the other one is something…
JENNIFER MOSS: I definitely wouldn’t name a child after a parent one of them because that’s the most like favoritism almost.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yeah, absolutely.
JENNIFER MOSS: I would say that for a single child if you’re going to do that but maybe after distant relatives that’s just not that much been issue.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: If they’re both probably in the same, let’s say cultural tradition or spell it if there’s other things then it’s probably not a big deal?
ANGEL GILMORE: I think as long as if you do a family relative and somewhat and then give one child that, then still maybe the child after somewhat important, that’s what happen with us. Both of our as done, we’re going to be named after family relative. One with my husband’s grandfather and the other one was going to be named after his father, the middle name. I'm sorry it’s the middle name. But then, our best friend has passed away the day before they were born, so we gave one of our sons that middle name. So they still both hold a lot of weight even though one is outside of our family, so I don’t think when they try and get elders, they’ll be like why didn’t I get a family name because they both have the same amount of importance and weight and I think it’s all because you do that in the name then it’s not a bad thing but yes, you give one an important name, the other one is exempted, you may have a stereo box. I feel like he might . . .
SUNNY GAULT: There’s going to be issues.
ANGEL GILMORE: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: We’ll warp this up and I just want to say thank so much to everyone for joining us today and I hope you gotten few ideas to help you in the process of naming twins. Be sure to check out our website for links to additional resources. This conversation continuous for members of our Twin Talks club and after the show, we’ll continue our discussion with Jennifer and Angel and talk about some famous twin to have unusual names. And for more information about the Twin Talks club, visit our website www.newmommymedia.com .
SUNNY GAULT: Hey, Twin Talks, we have a comment from one of our listeners, and we love to get comments from you. I'm always so excited when we get one. This one comes from Joanne Brockington. Joanne posted this on our Facebook page because whenever we release new episode for Twin Talks, I always promote it on our Facebook page and this was for the episode, Fairness and Equality For Your Twins. Joanne writes;
“Just listen to this one, it’s excellent. My twins are only four months old but this has made me realize I should start taking them out separately and passing the message to family too. Never too early to start, and it feels easier than trying to take both babies out together all the time, great advice throughout this episode. Thanks.”
Hello Joanne, thank you so much for sending this in. We really do appreciate it. We love hearing from our listeners. After an episode, if something really helped you, we would love to hear that or if you have any advice, you know, sometimes we received comments from listeners were they’re not so happy with the episode. We really do want your feedback overall. And of course, if there are episode ideas that you have, maybe there’s a topic that you just want to more information about and there’s not lot of information online, tell us, send us an email and we’ll get working on possibly creating and episode for that.
The best way to reach out to us is through our website at www.newmommymedia.com . Go ahead and click on the contact link there. You can also send us a voice mail straight through the website, real easy to do. There is a grey banner on the side, so send voice mail and you never have to pick up a phone, just use the microphone right there on your computer and you can send it that way.
CHRISTINE STEWART FITZGERALD: That’s wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Boob Group for moms who breastfeed
• Parent Savers your parenting resource on the go
• Newbies for new parents.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: How would you like to have your own show on the New Mommy Media network? We’re expanding our line up and looking for great content. If you are business or organization, interested in learning more about our co-branded podcast, visit our website at newmommymedia.com.
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