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Some expectant parents are fortunate enough to quickly and easily settle on a name for baby-on-the-way, but more often than not, the decision is one that is agonized over. Imagine, then, doubling that agony — with twins! That was the challenge facing Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, who welcomed twin daughters Tabitha Hodge and Marion Loretta Ewell 11 days ago. While the reaction by CBB readers to their choice in names ran the gamut, nameberry.com co-founder Linda Rosenkrantz notes that the couple are “just the latest in the bumper crop of twin starbabies to be born in the celebrity world in the last few years.”

But regardless of your celebrity status — or lack thereof — the same tricky terrain must be navigated, and the possibilities are endless. “Should they be alliterative (Addison and Ava) or rhyming (Chloe and Zoe) or themed (Violet and Daisy), as they so often used to be, or are matchy-matchy names a thing of the past?” Linda asks. “Should the names be contrasting or similar in style, separate but equal?” With regard to the latter, Linda notes that equality is subjective — and not so easily achieved!

“Could jealousy rear its ugly head later in life if just one of the pair is chosen to inherit Mom or Dad’s name? One of Rebecca Romijn’s daughters has Rebecca as a middle name, the other does not.” Patrick Dempsey’s boys each took a piece of his name for their middle — one is called Sullivan Patrick, while the other is Darby Galen, dad’s middle name.

The full range of approaches have been explored by celebrity parents. For Charlie and Brooke Mueller Sheen, short and sweet won out, with Charlie joking that twin sons Bob and Max were so-named because they are “easy to spell.” Julie Bowen also embraced this mindset with twins Gus and John. For other couples, it’s hard to tell the gender from the name. Melissa and Tammy Lynn Etheridge opted for the gender-bending combination of Miller and Johnnie for their boy-girl twins, while Lisa Marie Presley named her twin daughters Harper and Finley.


Click below to read about the biggest twin naming tradition of all.

Twins also provide their parents with twice as many chances to pay tribute to their family heritage. Hodge and Ewell both come from Sarah Jessica Parker’s family tree, D’Lila Star and Jessie James — the 2 ½-year-old twins of Kim Porter and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs — both have ancestral connections, and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony‘s twins Maximilian David and Emme Maribel honor Jennifer’s father and Marc’s late sister respectively.

Speaking of tradition, you’d be hard-pressed to find one more closely associated with twins than the tradition of sharing a first initial. Kurt Warner pursued this path with twins Sienna and Sierra, Geena Davis is mom to twins Kaiis and Kian, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon welcomed twins Jaid and Jax in 2007, and there are no less than six ‘J’s’ in Jenna Jameson‘s family — with twins Jesse Jameson and Journey Jett both sharing her initials.

In addition to her work with nameberry.com, Linda has co-authored ten baby-naming books with Pamela Redmond Satran. Their newest title, Beyond Ava & Aiden, is available now.

— Missy

Did you, or someone you know, adhere to a theme when naming twins?