Same Name Twice

I don't know why, but lately I've been noticing instances of "same name twice" in many different contexts. They fall into one of three categories:

1) Same-named siblings: Jacob and James.

2) First and middle the same: Lisa Beth.

3) First and last the same: Luke Lukacs.

So what repeating names have you encountered? I debated putting this in the Celebrity Names forum instead of Name Games, because I'm looking for actual, real-life examples (although I'll take hypotheticals, too, if they're names that parents actually considered).

I'd also like to know: did the parents bestowing the duplicates know that they were duplicates, or did they just have very consistent taste in names?

For my examples above: Jacob and James are actual brothers, and I don't think their parents are aware that they gave both of their sons the same name. Lisa Beth's parents were not aware that they gave their daughter the same name twice; they wanted a B middle name, and thought Beth sounded good with Lisa (for some reason!). Luke Lukacs was deliberate: his parents were perfectly aware that their surname is the Hungarian form of Luke.


August 8, 2014 12:05 PM

I know sisters: Isabella and Elizabeth (their mom didn't know, just wanted two "queen" names)
Brothers: John and Ian. Same thing--didn't know.

I don't know any with same first and middle though off the top of my head. 

I went to high school with a Michael Mikhail Michaelson. He went by Mike. They did it completely on purpose. It was bizarre to me even in 5th grade.

August 8, 2014 3:17 PM

Oh! Forgot I went to college with an Andy Anderson (real name is Andrew).

October 15, 2016 4:47 PM

My dad went to college with a Mary Derryberry (she went by Melissa) and to high school with a Beige Brown and an Autumn Fall.

August 8, 2014 12:45 PM

I know brothers James and Jacob, sisters Charlotte and Caroline, brothers Gianni and Sean, and brother/sister Stephen and Stephanie. I don't know if any were done with full knowledge.

I also know a Robert Roberts and a Gerald Fitzgerald; the former goes by Rob, the latter by his middle name. In both cases, it was to carry on a family tradition.


August 8, 2014 12:50 PM

Also, the Lisa Beth example has always troubled me. On the one hand, I know that Lisa and Beth are both derived from Elizabeth. On the other, since those two names can be contained in one name (Elisabeth) I can see how it would seem to parents that it's just breaking the name in two and using the first half for the first name and the second half for the middle. I know an Elisa Beth whose parents had just that intention. It would almost seem to me more correct to say Lisa and Beth are both forms of Elizabeth except when used together, or something like that. 

August 8, 2014 3:18 PM

We have friends who named their daughter Isabella Elizabeth. I haven't seen the parents since she was born, so I'm not sure whether or not they're aware of the fact that they basically gave her the same name twice.

August 12, 2014 3:25 PM

I know brothers named Johan and Giovanni. I've heard Johan say he thought the connection was cool. (Though he might feel differently if they weren't ~12-13 years apart in age)

I also know a mom named Lisa who named her daughter Isabella. Her younger daughter's middle name is Elizabeth. I'm pretty sure she knew.

I know another family who named two of their sons Jack and John. I have no idea if it was intentional.

The Duggars have a Joseph and a Josephine.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's parents were Caroline and Charles, though that clearly wasn't intentional.

I would actually like to see a Jacob and James pair, or Caroline and Charlotte. The names are different enough to sound distinct, and go well together stylistically. It's also a nice way to tie sib sets together without being overly matchy. It could be problematic though if a third baby came along...

August 15, 2014 3:03 PM

actually the duggar daughter is just Josie -- not Josephine.

August 18, 2014 8:31 AM

Oh really? I just assummed Josephine was her full name. Either way though, it's a form of Joseph.

August 19, 2014 11:59 PM

They have a daughter named Joy Anna and another named Johanna... Talk about confusing!

August 21, 2014 1:02 PM

Jana also sounds very similar to those two! I believe Joy Anna is frequently called Joy, but still... Confusing.

Also, John and Johanna are forms of the same name, and Jana sounds to me like a form of Jane, which would make it another variant of John. (Though I have no idea what its actual etymology is)

October 14, 2015 3:45 PM


Jana, Joy Anna and Johannah

Josie, Josiah and Joseph

John, Jackson and James

August 14, 2014 9:49 AM

Great topic.

I went to school with a Peter Peterson. I assume his parents realized what they were doing, but have no idea what their reasoning was. As a very sophisticated 14-year-old ;-), I thought it would be hilarious if he had a junior, who could be referred to as "Peter Peterson, Peter Peterson's son" or "Peter Peterson's son Peter Peterson".

A historical fiction series that my mom loves (I think maybe the Orphan Train series?) has siblings Margaret and Megan. They're supposed to be nineteenth century Irish much wrong there.

I've always loved the name Galileo Galilei, although I don't know if that's an actual repeated name or if it's just the sounds that repeat.

My husband's grandparents BOTH had repeated surnames--Ross/Ross and Martin/Martin--so his grandmothers became FN MN Ross Ross and FN MN Martin Martin. That sounds really in-bred, but it wasn't; the Rosses were many generations from the U.S. on one side and a Scottish war bride on the other; the Martins were English-American and French-Canadian (so pronounced differently).

By EVie
August 14, 2014 10:37 AM

Wikipedia says this about Galileo: "Galileo was named after an ancestor, Galileo Bonaiuti, a physician, university teacher and politician who lived in Florence from 1370 to 1450; at that time in the late 14th century, the family's surname shifted from Bonaiuti (or Buonaiuti) to Galilei." 

So yeah, Galilei comes from Galileo. In Italian, masculine words ending in -o are usually pluralized by changing the -o to -i, so Galilei resembles a plural form. However, I wonder if it was actually meant to be a genitive ("of Galileo") based on the Latin second declension (since we're talking about a university teacher who was undoubtedly well-versed in Latin, and probably rendered his name as Galileus in formal contexts). I'm not at all familiar with 14th-century Italian grammar and when inflected nouns fell out of the language, so just a guess.

August 15, 2014 5:24 PM

Italians used a lot of Latin, and often it's impossible to tell what language they were using when recording a particular name. Here's how a very competent name hobbyist summarized 16th century Venetian surnames: "Patronymic bynames are the most common. They take two forms: literal patronymic bynames formed with di or de followed by the father's name, like di Zorzi and de Bastian; and family name structures formed with -i (which may represent either a nominative plural or a genitive singular Latinized form), like Ludovici and Mafei. In addition, there are some unmarked patronyms (like Marcello), and others with the final ending dropped (like Orsin)." (This is from "Names from Sixteenth Century Venice" at .)

In other words, if you were to ask "Is Galilei a plural or a genitive?", I think the answer would be "yes": it's either the (Italian) nominative plural of Galileo, or the (Latin) genitive singular of Galileus -- and in either case, it follows the pattern of Italian family names derived from the given name of an ancestor.

August 19, 2014 11:13 PM

Thanks, EVie and HungarianNameGeek--I've always kind of wondered, and it's great to get an informed explanation. I don't know why Peter Peterson sounds silly to me, but Galileo Galilei sounds melodic. Maybe I just think everything sounds better in Italian :). My grandfather had a similar sounds-repeating Japanese name (sort of like Ichiro Ishitaro) but the two names don't derive from the same stem (fn was a common eldest-son name, ln is a place name).

By mk
August 15, 2014 5:32 PM

I think many have evolved into distinct names in the U.S., especially when the names look/sound very different. So Lisa and Beth are now seen as separate names, which I think is fine, personally. As a kid I knew sisters Karen and Katherine. I also knew siblings Robert and Roberta growing up, which was intentional. Plus I've read papers by a Dr Philip Philip.

I've known two married couples with the same name. For one couple it is the male and female version of the name, the other couple it was the exact same name. Not intentional though since that's not why they married each other!



August 20, 2014 12:05 AM

My mom grew up with a Dawn who married a Don. Fun stuff there. 

I also met a person whose name was actually Thomas Jefferson. Why would someone's parents do that??

September 13, 2014 5:55 PM

My brother and I are Nathan and Natasha. Not exactly the same, but pretty similar. My mom says she didn't realize until a friend pointed it out. O.o

No joke, there was a girl named Taylor Taylor at my high school. I also knew sisters named Desiree Nicole and Nicolette whose parents also didn't realize.

June 9, 2015 4:47 PM

I went to school with a Fernanda Fernandes, which was always pretty odd to me... she had a second surname, which is common in my home country Brazil, but we usually go by one of the surnames and she went by Fernandes... 



June 9, 2015 5:19 PM

I knew a Thomas Thomas Thomas the third (except with a name other than Thomas).  I'm sure they knew.  I also knew someone who was almost Jacob Jacob (except with a name other than Jacob), because his mother (Mrs. Jacob) felt "Jacob" was a lovely name for a boy.

June 10, 2015 7:55 PM

My stepfather's sister's name is Stephanie Stevenson. Whether their parents were aware or not, I don't know, but I get the feeling they would've been perfectly aware if the surname was spelt the more common Stephenson.

Not sure if it counts as 'same name twice', but my cousin's daughter was born recently, and they called her Lily Elise. To my knowledge, both names can be used as diminutives for Elizabeth.

I live in a very multicultral area, and I've found that often someone will have the same name in different languages. One such example where it was intentional is my friend's eldest daughter, Alessia Alejandra. My friend is Italian (hence Alessia) and her husband is Spanish (hence Alejandra).

Other examples I've seen are sibsets like Victoria and Viktor, Ian and Ivan, Natalie and Natasha, etc., girls called Johanna Johnson and Andrea Anderson, and a friend of mine is called Hannah Anne (Anne is a cognate of Hannah). I'm not sure if the siblings were intentional, but I know that Johanna Johnson and Andrea Anderson were a case of not knowing, but Hannah Anne was intentional.

June 13, 2015 1:29 AM

I know two brothers called Vince and Vincent, I'm guessing that the one is a diminutive of the other and that the parents just really like like the root sound of the name. There are also two sisters I know called Florentia

(they pronounce it Flo-ren-T-a) and Floretta, same situation.

June 14, 2015 5:24 PM

Former child star Jamie Lynn Spears is married to a man named Jamie.

October 14, 2015 3:56 PM

Grandfather: J0hn D@v!d

Father: I@n D@v!d

Son: J@ck D@v!d


R0s!e Rh!@n R!ch@rds


Siblings: M!ch@el and M!ch@el@

October 26, 2015 10:31 PM

Michelle, Michael, Mitchell, and Micayla. This was completely intentional. 

January 2, 2016 3:02 AM

My aunt has two boys with literal repeating names 

Rudy and Rudy 

The same exact name

And did I mention that the dads name is also Rudy?

January 2, 2016 8:33 AM

How do your cousins feel about having the same name? It reminds me of the 80s TV show Newhart, which features three brothers named Larry, Darryl, and Darryl.

January 3, 2016 2:30 PM

Or George Foreman's sons. (And one of his daughters)


January 13, 2016 8:59 PM

I know a Johnny Johnson. He's quite a bit older than me. I've known him for a long time, since I was a little kid. So when I was a kid I thought it was so absurd that was his name was Johnny Johnson. It made me laugh every time we met.

January 13, 2016 9:33 PM

I know someone who named all four of her daughters Mary [Middle Name], and they all go by their middle names. 

I know several cases of "middle name as brother's first name" as well, especially in larger families.

January 17, 2016 8:03 PM

Al@n father 

Al@n 1st son (has always gone by mn)

Al@na daughter mn

Al@n 2nd son from second marriage 


Twins M@ry Fr@nces and Mary M@gdalene (both go by both names)



January 18, 2016 4:08 AM

I don't know any of the first two categories, but I know a David Davidson and a David Davis.

February 2, 2016 5:18 PM

There was a family with a Michael and a Michelle at my school. The older sister was something like Makayla.

My neighbors had a pattern of giving each sibling (all boys) the older one's fn as a mn. So it was Eric Michael, Michael Brett, Brett... It's not quite the same as your same-root first/middle example, but it's the closest I can think of.

I went to college with a Greek student named Spiro Spiropolis, which was apparently pretty common practice there. But his father had dual American citizenship and noticed people had trouble with his last name. When they applied for Spiro's US citizenship/passport he added an easier American name: Spears. So his full name according to the US was Spiro Spiropolis Spears.

March 2, 2016 10:33 PM

I grew up with neighbors (3 sisters) named M@ry Jean (called Molly), M@ureen (called Mo), and M@rtha. So basically there were all named Mary.

I've also met a M@ggie M@gee.

March 3, 2016 10:37 AM

The name Martha is completely unrelated to Mary.

March 3, 2016 12:22 PM

Uh, yeah, what my sister said. Martha and Mary are completely different names. I mean, totally not even related. Well, apart from both having Biblical origins, but even that is from two different Biblical languages. Mary is how the English-speaking world has adopted/adapted the Hebrew name Miryam (by way of Greek Mariam/Maria), while Martha is from Aramaic Marta.

You're correct that Maureen is an Anglicized version of an Irish nickname for the Irish form of Mary.

March 12, 2016 3:32 AM

My cousin is Raylee Renea Rea. Very repetive name (two "Rays" lots of "ea" combos).

September 25, 2016 10:32 PM

My oldest sister and I are Tiffani and Stephanie. Not the same name, but pronounced practically the same. My sister even pointed it out, but my parents were set on Tiffani.

I was also almost named Krista or Christina with a brother named Chrstopher. They did eliminate those names because my brother threw a fit that they were too close to his name. Then they went and did the whole Tiffani/Stephanie thing.

October 16, 2016 12:28 AM

I grew up with b/g twins Ern3st and Ern3st!ne.


Another kid I grew up with his name is Jam3s Jos3ph Lastname, his first son's middle is Jam3s, then they had twins so baby A's middle is Jos3ph, and baby b's middle is Jacob.  They wanted to use both dad's names and only wanted to continue the J themed middles with number 3 because mom's middle is Jean.  I'm not sure if they ever realized the connection with Jacob, but I always thought it was perfect.


My dad graduated in the 70's and I remember his yearbook had a few guys with names like Richard Richards and Thomas Thomas. There may have been more those are the only ones I can recall because one is my dad's first name and one I ended up meeting when I took care of his ailing mother.


October 28, 2016 2:42 PM

I met a baby called Isla Isabel. The initials bothered me more than the similar names at first - whose initials are I. I.?

September 7, 2017 10:04 AM

A post elsewhere on the forums today mentioned sons named Cole and Nico, which are both forms or derivatives of Nicholas. Given the interest in names demonstrated by the fact of posting here, I have to believe it was intentional, perhaps to honor an important Nicholas in their lives.

September 7, 2017 4:09 PM

A small town I have a family connection to publishes children's letters to Santa Claus in the local paper each year. Last year there was a pair of children I assume were twins (same surname and same grade in school) named Dane and Danette.

September 9, 2017 12:29 AM

I have a girlfriend named Caroline. Her older brother is..... Carl. I've long thought that her parents really must've loved those Char-names. Because her mother once told me "If Caroline was a boy we would have named her Charles."


I also have another girlfriend named Lisa Elizabeth. She laments "My parents gave me the same name twice" quite often!


But that's it for real life.