Help with twin girl names

I am due with twin girls in October and would like some help on names.

We generally like more traditional type names and I like first names that are longer but are able to be shortened with a nickname.  Also would like something that is not super popular.  We also have an older girl Abigail whom we call Abby.

Here are some of the first names we've come up with so far:

Caroline (I like this but it doesn't have a good nickname)



Margaret (not my favorite first name, but I like the nickname Maggie - but is that too close to Abby?)

Nora (I like Nora as a nickname, but not so sure about using as THE first name)

Charlotte (I like the name, but am concerned about it for popularity / celebrity reasons)

Samantha (my SIL has a cat named Samantha, is that an issue?)

For what its worth, I also have a short list of middle names I like (I like 1 syllable middle names):  Mae, Lynn, Ann, Rose

Thanks in advance!!



July 24, 2015 6:12 PM

Some of my thoughts based on your list:

  • I have friends named Caroline who go by Caro, Carrie, and Carey. Cara and Liney also seem like they could work. I'm guessing you "Carrie" is the one you want to avoid?
  • A lot of the names on your list start with C/K. Personally I would not pick both names starting with the same sound.
  • I think Maggie is sufficiently different from Abby.
  • Nora could be a nickname for Eleanor.
  • Abigail is actually a more popular name than Charlotte (in the US, which is where I live). So if the popularity of Abigail hasn't bothered you, the popularity of Charlotte probably won't either.
  • Unless your kids are going to be constantly hanging around with your SIL and her cat (and it's a fairly young cat), I think it's okay for them to share the same name.

Good luck!

July 24, 2015 6:50 PM

Caddie is an old school nickname for Caroline, also Callie and Carly.

By Fly
July 24, 2015 9:04 PM

I agree with not having two names with C/K sounds.  I prefer the spelling Catherine. Catherine and Caroline look very similar when written down, and Catherine and Charlotte is not a great combo, as you're probably aware.

You could probably get 'Charlie' out of Caroline if you really wanted to, which gets you the nickname from Charlotte without the popularity.  I know a girl named C@||i3, pronounced like KAR-lee, and I think that's a pretty name/nickname.  You could also do Cora as a nickname for Caroline.. or you could use Coraline (which is pretty much an inversion of the O and the A in Caroline).

I love Samantha. My friend named her baby Ann@b3||3 and her cat was already called Anni3.  So your SIL's cat should definitely not be a hinderance.  Even a long-lived cat won't live that long anyway, even if its only a kitten now.

I agree about Nora being a short form of Eleanor, though it can also be short for Lenore or Honora.  Or Noreen.

Lillian fits well with your other names without being too matchy.

Margaret and Abigail is a fine combination, and the nicknames aren't too similar (as rebelwerewolf mentioned).  Wikipedia says Margaret can also be Maggie, Mairead, Madge, Marge, Margie, Meg, Megan, Meggie, Greta, Peg and Peggy.

Also, I wouldn't worry too much about nicknames being rhymey.  About 49% of nicknames seem to end in the -ee sound.  The other 49% are just shortened versions of the full name at least in common usage. So you could well end up with Abby, Carrie and Maggie.

July 25, 2015 10:33 AM


From your list, I really like Kathryn. Kat, Kate, and Katie are all such cute nicknames. I think if you want to stick with more traditional names, the spelling Katherine might work better. Either way, it would work well with Abigail nn Abby. Charlotte is also really pretty, but I think if popularity is a major factor for you, then maybe you should look for other names. However, if you really love it, popularity be damned.

I think Lillian and Samantha both work as sisters to Abigail, but not necessarily to each other. I don't think the cat should be a problem.

Some other suggestions with nickname possibilities: Madeline (Maddie), Victoria (Vic, Vicky, Tori), Rebecca (Becca, Becky, Becs), Natalie (Nat), Angelina (Ange, Angie), Alexandra/Alexandria (Allie, Alex, Lexi, Lex, Sandy, etc), Allison (Al, Allie), Julia (Jules), Josephine (Jo, Josie), Georgiana (Georgia, Georgie). From this list, I really like Madeline, Rebecca, and Josephine for you.

July 25, 2015 3:48 PM

You've already gotten several suggestions for nicknames for Caroline & I see Miriam has already suggested Caddie (my favorite).

I like Kathryn & assume the nickname would be Katie?  I agree with previous comments about Caroline & Kathryn seeming too similiar to use together.  

Lillian is pretty, but pretty popular.  When you add in all the girls named just Lilly, Lilah, Layla, etc. it may be more popular than you would care for.  I would also avoid using Lillian & Caroline together (I tend to say Care-ah-lynn, not Care-ah-line).

I love Margaret & also really like Maggie.  But I hesitate to recommend you use a name you don't like just to get to a nickname you do like.  What happens if she decides she doesn't want to go by Maggie?  Would you be OK if she someday prefers Margaret or one of the other nicknames?  FWIW, I don't think Maggie & Abby are too similiar.

If you like Nora but want a longer proper name, why not Elenora, Eleanor, Lenora, etc.?  

The popularity of Charlotte would concern me more than the celebrity issue.  I'm honestly not sure who the celebrity Charlotte would be.  What nickname would you want to use?  The nickname might limit your options for the other name.  For example, Charlotte/Charly and Caroline/Carly wouldn't work well together.  I could also see problems with Charlotte/Lotte and Lillian/Lilly.  I might also avoid Charlotte & Margaret together because of the shared ending sound.

Samantha is a great name, and I don't think your SIL's cat should matter.

Your middle names are fine, though that will depend on which first names you pair them with.  I would avoid Lillian Rose unless you want the very floral Lilly Rose.  Caroline Lynn,Lillian Lynn & Lillian Ann seem to repetitive.  I would also avoid Margaret Mae since Mae is sometimes used as a nickname for Margaret.  Otherwise, I don't see any issues mixing & matching.


July 25, 2015 4:04 PM

I assume the celebrity Charlotte would be the baby princess.  Margaret (Maggie) Mae/May would depend I think on how big a fan one is of Rod Stewart.

July 26, 2015 10:24 AM

Ah, I had forgotten about the princess.  The only one I could think of at the time was Charlotte from Sex in the City, and that didn't seem like it was current enough to be a concern.  FWIW, I have a William & a George and nobody has commented, so I don't know if I'd personally be too worried about the princess connection of Charlotte.

Now I have Maggie May stuck in my head.  Thanks for the ear worm!

July 25, 2015 7:06 PM

It's pronounced Care-ah-lynn when spelled Carolyn, and Care-ah-line when spelled Caroline.

July 25, 2015 10:23 PM

That's my instinct, as well, but I don't think it's universally true. -line names are notoriously slippery, pronunciation-wise.

July 26, 2015 12:09 AM

I agree: Caroline versus Carolyn suffers from considerable confusion and conflation. I have a fairly close acquaintance named Carolyn (rhymes with 'win') who has learned to answer to Caroline (rhymes with 'wine'), because people simply don't remember which of the two names she has. (I was one of the offenders until I came up with a mnemonic involving comparison with a friend named Lynne.)

July 26, 2015 10:20 AM

I think at least some of it may be regional.  Where I live, people almost always say "lynn" for Caroline.  Growing up I thought it odd that they called Laura's mom Care-ah-line on Little House because I never heard it that way anywhere else.  However, I've met a handful of Caroline's not from my part of the midwest & they've preferred "line."    It's easy to adjust my pronunciation, but my default is always Care-ah-lyn.

FWIW, I've never known a Carolyn who preferred "line."  My assumption has been that this spelling is used by parents who want to ensure they don't get "line." 

July 25, 2015 7:50 PM

I don't think Caroline and Kathryn are too close for twins.  Those are my favorites.

July 25, 2015 8:54 PM

Congratulations! I think we have fairly similar naming styles; I am expecting quads to arrive in October (due end of November), and several of your names are on my list. I wonder if you would like some of the other names on our list? Do Eloise, Elizabeth (we're using this one and calling her Eliza), Gwendolyn (Winnie!!!), Annabelle, Rosemary, Stella, Violet or Hazel hit the mark? 

Of the names already on your list, I love Caroline (Callie is my fav nickname for this one) and Eleanor NN Nora, but I honestly don't think you can go wrong with any of them!

July 25, 2015 10:13 PM

One thing I noticed that I don't see mentioned yet in comments: Charlotte and Caroline are both basically feminine versions of Charles, so I wouldn't use them for siblings (especially not twins) unless it was a Very Important honor name.

July 26, 2015 11:44 AM

I think Lillian fits well with Abigail. I also really love Nora, and you could always go with Eleanor, as someone mentioned above, or Lenora. Margaret is my favorite mostly due to loving the nn Maggie. I know siblings named Maggie and Abby actually, so I think they flow quite nicely together. I am also a huge fan of Caroline. Basically I love all of your names! :)

Other ideas:

Elizabeth, nn Eliza (or a whole host of others)

Delilah, nn Lila

Evelyn, nn Eve (although this is also popular right now)

Isabelle, nn Belle

Adeline, nn Addie


Virginia, nn Ginny




July 26, 2015 12:40 PM

I wouldn't give a name that you don't really like, just to arrive at the nickname.

If you like Maggie but share my opinion that it doesn't have enough weight to be the birth certificate name, I'd consider Magdalena (or Magdalene) and Magnolia... and perhaps other people have some more creative ideas for long forms for Maggie, too.

(To add another datapoint, for me Caroline rhymes with wine, and Carolyn rhymes with win. I have encountered Carolines who insist on rhyming with win and it absolutely breaks my brain.)

July 26, 2015 4:52 PM

I really like the suggestion of Magnolia. Not only does it get you to Maggie, but you could also use the nickname Nola, for a sweet take on another of your names. I wouldn't pair it with Lillian, but you could use Rose for her sister's middle name for a very subtle tie between their names.

July 26, 2015 3:21 PM

Margot and Marguerite also could have the nickname Maggie but I think are a little more interesting and fresh than Margaret.

Nora is a great nickname for Eleanor which I think goes well with Margot/Marguerite!

July 26, 2015 9:53 PM

I think all of your names are great choices.  Would you consider any of your middle name choices as first names like Rose Margaret and Kathryn Ann?  I like Samantha and Kathryn together, as they both have the th sound, subtly tying them together.

July 28, 2015 5:34 PM

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.  I think we've added a few names to our list and taken a few away.


My favorites so far are combinations of Kathryn, Samantha, Rebecca

I think the following are still in the running:  Charlotte, Caroline, Lillian, Elizabeth, Sarah


We still have a little time to make final choices.


I appreciate all the hep!!