Need middle names for twin boys

We are expecting twin boys this spring and are having a hard time with names!  I THINK we've agreed on first names - Samuel and Jonah but are looking for middle names.  I'd preferable like an "H" middle name for Samuel and a "D" middle name for Jonah - but i'd consider a switch or maybe something different altogether if we can't agree.  We have a five year old daughter - Jordan Elyse.

Other suggestions for boys names starting with S, J, D or H would be great!  But my husband is picky so I'm just glad we both like Samuel and Jonah!!  Thanks!!


November 25, 2012 5:18 PM

Wow, congrats. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Samuel Hale

Samuel Henry

Sameuel Harrison

Samuel Hiram

Samuel Hudson


Jonah Daniel

Jonah Dashiell

Jonah Dean

Jonah Dominic

Jonah Douglas

Jonah Duncan


Other J or S names: Jeremiah, Jericho, Josiah, Jude/Judah, Julian, Seamus, Sebastian, Seth, Shepherd, Silas, Simon, Solomon.


Can you tell us a little about your last name? Is it long or short, what letter does it start with, etc?

November 25, 2012 8:25 PM

Thanks!  Jonah Douglas actually got an "ooh" response from both me and my husband!  And I like Samuel Harrison though my husband wasn't sold...we are finding boys names so much harder than girls names!

November 25, 2012 8:26 PM

Samuel Henry, Samuel Heath, Samuel Hugo & Samuel Howard.  My favorite is probably Samuel Hugo.

Jonah David, Jonah Douglas, Jonah Doyle & Jonah Dylan.  My favorite is probably Jonah David.



November 25, 2012 8:40 PM

Hmmm...Samuel Hugo is cute - I never would have thought of Hugo.  I've liked Jonah Dylan all along, Jonah David is good too.  Thank you :)

November 25, 2012 11:46 PM

What do people think about Jonah and Derek for first names?  Are they two different?  I don't want real matchy/matchy names but I do want them to have some kind of flow.

November 25, 2012 11:53 PM

Those sound like fine twin names to me. 

By hyz
November 26, 2012 1:35 PM

I think they sound fine together, although I personally prefer Samuel over Derek (both in general, and as a sibling for Jonah).  This may be kind of out of left field, but for H names after Samuel, Hart jumped to mind.  It is an interesting and unusual nature name with some history of usage and nice imagery, and I think it sounds rather dashing and sharp after Samuel, particularly if your last name is 2 syllables or more.  I also like the suggestions of Heath, Henry, and Hudson.  Jonah Douglas has a distinguished and classic feel to it--I like it a lot, even though Douglas is not typically one of my favorite names.  Dylan sounds more trendy to me with Jonah, so I don't care for that quite as much.  I'll throw Dean and Drake in as possible D choices that haven't been mentioned yet.   

November 26, 2012 9:04 PM

I agree, I'm not 100% sold on Derek, especially with Jonah. Its one of the only "D" names that my husband and I both like.  My daughter and I are both "J" names and my husband is a "D" so I was thinking it might be nice if one of the twins was J and the other D.

Hubby did not like Hugo, he doesn't like anything too out of the norm.  He really likes Aaron as a first name even though it isn't one of our letters.  The "H" is for my grandmother who was Helen, I also decided to through Eli in the mix as it is a variation of Helen - and I like it!  

So combos I thought of today:

Jonah Samuel and Aaron Douglas

Jonah Samuel and Eli Douglas

Jonah Samuel and Derek Eli

Jonah Sid and Derek Henry


Our last name is two syllables, similar to Palmer 

November 26, 2012 10:16 PM

In what sense is Eli a variation of Helen?

November 26, 2012 10:42 PM

According to this list, it is!  I had planned for Elena for a girl which I know comes from the same origin as Helen - thought I'd check on Eli....

November 27, 2012 1:12 AM

Sorry, Helen is a Greek name, derived from a root meaning bright.  Eli is a Hebrew name with a root meaning ascend (compare with Aliya(h) which means to go up in both Hebrew and Arabic and/or my God.  Eli as a male name has nothing to do with Helen.  Eli as a female name can be a diminutive of Elin which is a form of Helen.

The vast majority of baby name books and websites (including Nameberry) are unreliable when it comes to meanings and derivations.  Many of them are complete nonsense, useful only to the extent that they provide lists of names from which something appealing  may jump out.  Behindthename is the most reliable one I have found so far, when it comes to name meanings, derivations, histories, cognates, and so forth.

Eli is a perfectly fine name, but if you want something that honors a Helen, it doesn't.

November 27, 2012 8:00 AM

My grandmother wasn't that picky, if I decided to use the name to honor her, she'd be honored!  They will have Hebrew names as well that can follow the rules a little more closely.  thanks for the input though, I will check out behindthename.

November 27, 2012 10:12 AM

Another tack to take to honor a Helen is to choose a name with similar meaning.  Helen is associated with light, most probably the light of a fire, candle, torch, lamp, possibly moonlight, but light of some type.  Since you seem to like biblical names, Abner fits the meaning of Helen fairly closely.  Other non-biblical names would be anything with Bert- or -bert, Lucius/Lucian.  A Hebrew (well, Aramaic) name that fits the meaning of Helen pretty exactly is Shraga (candle).  It is just as acceptable in Jewish naming customs to choose a name similar in meaning as it is to choose a name similar in sound when selecting the vernacular name, so that gives additional possibilities.


November 29, 2012 10:35 AM

It looks like Aaron also translates to light, no?

By EVie
November 29, 2012 11:28 AM

Nope, unfortunately. Here's what Wiktionary says:

From Hebrew אהרן (Ahărōn), of unknown meaning, possibly meaning "bearer of martyrs", or perhaps also, or instead, related to the Ancient Egyptian "aha rw" ("warrior lion"), though it has been suggested to also mean "elevated", "exalted" or "highmountain", or "woe to this pregnancy".

November 29, 2012 11:40 AM

Moses and Miriam are both of Egyptian derivation, although they have been etymologized erroneously as if they were of Hebrew origin, hence the erroneous meaning of 'bitter' attached to Miriam.  The origin of Aaron is unsure, although it is likely also of Egyptian origin.  Take everything you read about name "meanings" with a huge boulder of salt. 

By EVie
November 27, 2012 3:12 PM

The best Internet resource I've found for checking name meanings and etymologies is actually They don't have as many names as the dedicated "baby name" sites, but they have most of the traditional ones (including both Helen and Eli), and they include the actual etymological derivation instead of the creative interpretations that most of the "baby name" sites give you. For instance, for Helen it says "From Ancient Greek Ἑλένη (Helenē), possibly connected with ἥλιος (hēlios, “sun”)." For Eli it says "Hebrew עֵלִי "ascent"; cognate to Arabic Ali."

November 27, 2012 12:09 AM

I like Jonah and Derek together.  They sound nice and make a visually appealing set.  I also noticed they both have 5 letters, which is a nice, subtle connection.  

Jonah and Samuel are also very nice together.  They do make for a very Biblical set and I do think the "matchiness" of this pair is more obvious, but I don't think they are matchy in a bad/overdone/too cutesy kind of way.

November 27, 2012 8:05 AM

Thanks.  I think I just need to sit with it for awhile.  Fortunately I have some time!  I know my husband is going to want to see the babies to see what they look like before committing to names, but I'm more of a planner so I'm glad our short list is growing!!

November 27, 2012 9:49 AM

I'm going to go against the consensus so far and say I'm not a fan of Jonah and Derek together.  Derek has stronger, harsher sounds, while Jonah is much softer, so they just don't feel like a good match to me. I do like Jonah and Samuel together, and I also like Eli and Aaron with Jonah.

By hyz
November 27, 2012 12:08 PM

I also really like Aaron and Eli with Jonah (along with Samuel still, of course).  I agree that Derek has harsher sounds, but I think it still sounds ok with Jonah, just more dated/trendy somehow than classic (maybe I'm biased because most [all?] of the Dereks I know are about my age, not much younger or older).

November 28, 2012 12:17 AM

I feel like Jonah is too close to Jordan...and sort of leaves Samuel as an outlier.  I would pick either another S name or simply a different first letter altogether.  Just my two cents!

November 28, 2012 11:29 AM

dresdendoll (great name BTW) raises a good point.  Jonah and Jordan are a bit close, and would leave Samuel the odd man out in the sibling group.  This makes me lean slightly more towards Derek I think.  That way, all the siblings would have their own initial.

November 28, 2012 11:52 AM

That is true. Would you consider Noah and Samuel?

November 28, 2012 4:28 PM

Honestly, I just love Jonah.  It's the one name we have that I'm really attatched to!  I have thought about the issue of two of the kids having J names and I really don't want them all to have J names, which is why I was thinking of a D name so that he would share a letter with my husband.  I feel like the twins will have each other and the fact that they are twins to keep them united. 

By hyz
November 28, 2012 6:20 PM

I think you have the right approach.  Jonah and Jordan are a bit close, but not too bad, and I would definitely stick with Jonah if it is the one you love (I happen to love it, too).  The D name is a nice idea, but like you say, he will be a twin, so I doubt he'll ever really feel like the odd man out in any significant way.  And I would also definitely avoid a third J name, as you've mentioned. 

November 28, 2012 9:39 PM

Also, you could tie in a "J" middle name if you wanted a "J" tie for all of them. However, I'd stick with an Old Testament/Biblical name like Samuel or Noah or such as that has a tie in and of itself. :-)

November 28, 2012 8:59 PM

Technically, my (twin) sister was the only one in the house without a J name, but I don't think she ever noticed. It's something that only really occurred to me very recently -- and we turned 40 this year! So I wouldn't worry overmuch about the odd-man-out initial. I think for siblings the holler test and having different initials for twins (or children close enough in age that they'll intersect on "stuff") are really the only important considerations. Jordan and Jonah are borderline for me on the holler test, because the vowels are so similar for me, but your pronunciations may be different.

November 30, 2012 6:04 PM

Your favorites noted.  Just some more grist for the mill...


November 30, 2012 6:22 PM

Samuel Harrison

Samuel Henry

Samuel Heath

Samuel Harris

Samuel Harvey


Jonah Daniel

Jonah Drew

Jonah Drake

Jonah Dimitri

Jonah Darren

Jonah Derrik