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Alliteration in Baby Names for Twins

Guest Author - Nancy Man

Alliterative words share a particular sound, usually their first letters. They make attractive pairings because, together, they are catchy and memorable. Jane Austen knew this, so she called two of her novels "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice." Walt Disney also knew this--he named two of his animated couples Mickey & Minnie and Donald & Daisy.

We find the same thing for twin names--from the mythical Remus and Romulus, to the fictional Luke and Leia, to the fashionable Jacob and Joshua. In fact, most of the 100 top twin names of 2008 employ alliteration. The majority of these names start with the same letter (as with Hailey and Hannah), while the rest have sounds that repeat elsewhere (as with Jacob and Caleb). Notably, all 10 of the top 10 twin names in the U.S. are alliterative:

1. Jacob & Joshua
2. Daniel & David
3. Jayden & Jordan
4. Ethan & Evan
5. Taylor & Tyler
6. Gabriella & Isabella
7. Isaac & Isaiah
8. Madison & Morgan
9. Elijah & Isaiah
10. Ella & Emma

The audible connection is obviously a big draw for parents. And, for some sets of twins, alliterative names are a fun perk. But other sets of twins would see names like these as a curse. So I think it's important that alliterative names be chosen wisely. Here are two things to keep in mind when searching for alliterative twin names:

Restrict the Resemblance
Moderate your use alliteration. Names that have too many sounds in common run the risk of sounding silly or cartoonish. Pairings that I think cross this line include Taylor and Tyler (#5), Makayla and Makenzie (#32), and Jada and Jaden (#52). I think it's smarter to choose names that share sounds but that clearly differ in other ways (e.g., length, rhythm) so that the names are similar, but not too similar.

Note the Nicknames
Longer names that incorporate the same word elements can be shortened into identical nicknames, and identical nicknames will cause confusion. Name-pairs that stray into this territory include Christian and Christopher (#25), Alexander and Alexis (#87) and Natalie and Nathan (#80). A better idea would be to pick names that can't be truncated into the same nickname.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Nancy Man. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Man. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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