A reader named Melanie has a daughter named Calla, and she is expecting twin girls in a few months. She writes:
We like the names Eliana, Isabella, Evangeline, Elia, Adeline, and many, many others, but are having a tough time with combinations. Also, name meaning is very important to us (our first daughter full name means, collectively, “beautiful pure light”). We would prefer names that are not very common, but are willing to make sacrifices if the family meaning and name meaning take precedence (family names are also important, i.e. Isabella and Evangeline are grandmother names – but they are both fairly common, so it’s a tough call). Thoughts? Suggestions?
Quite a bit to think about! Here are two ideas…
Have a Plan of Attack
A friend of mine is expecting twin girls a few months after Melanie. The method she’s using is basically this: focus on one set of names (either the firsts or the middles), make a decision, then focus on the other set of names. Right now, she’s got the middle names chosen and is pondering a handful of possible first names.
Having a system has simplified things a lot for her. This same system might not work for everyone, but I think having a system would help most people. So that would be my first suggestion — if things get overwhelming, take a step back and break the process down into steps. That way, you’re dealing with one or two unknowns at a time, not all four at once.
Use Calla as a Guide
Ideally, the twins’ first names should be on par with Calla. Names that are much longer, or shorter (or plainer, or more exotic, etc.) could be a cause of contention later on. You never want a child to feel short-changed or singled-out because of her name.
So I was slightly surprised to see names like Evangeline, Isabella and Eliana on the short list. I realize two are family names, but I think they sound a bit formal for the sisters of Calla. Names that I think come closer to the style/formality of Calla include:
What other advice would you offer to Melanie?
UPDATE: The babies are here! Scroll down to the last comment to see what their names are…