Question of the Week: How did you choose your multiples’ names?

*I’m still playing catch-up with the QOTW from Multiples…and More!, this question was asked several weeks ago. And it’s a long one. For me.*


How did you choose your multiples’ names?

Did you stick with family names?
How do you feel about “matchy” names?
Did you worry about their names “coordinating?”
Did you name your babies before you met them, or wait until you saw them to assign names?
What were your second choices?
Did you consider the popularity of a name as a deciding factor?

The first thing I always think of when it comes to my children’s names is that they aren’t named the real names we wanted them to be named. This is particularly true for the Juniper & Magnolia, and partially true for Snowdrop. See, Hubby and I found out we were having twins and in the spirit of being the hippies (well, trust-fund-country-club hippies, except neither of us has a trust fund but you get the idea) that we are, we wanted to name our daughters something botanical and with meaning to us. We got engaged (well, our engagement night dinner) at a restaurant we loved (it’s no longer open) that had the word Juniper in it. So, Juniper was a name for our first girl. Magnolia is a flower we both love. So… Juniper & Magnolia. We love these names. We announced this to our families and were promptly shot down in abundance, even though we planned to call them Maggie & June. My mother even called me one morning to ask me not to name her granddaughters Juniper & Magnolia. While I have the stubborness of a mule when it comes to my family, Hubby does not. So… after much discussion, we settled on “normal” names. (I won’t divulge them here because as you know if you’re a reader of my blog, I use psuedonyms in bulk.) I love their names but of course, I will always wish that we had gone ahead and named them Juniper & Magnolia. We still call them Juniper & Magnolia as nicknames.
The names they ended up with, I did not think were particularly popular. We didn’t have Internet at the time and had I been able to research Junie’s real name – she would have ended up with something else because her name is actually sort of popular (in the top 40 of her birth year). Mag’s real name hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1965 so I’m much more pleased with our choice her name. We intended to call them by nicknames (nn for the real name) but I usually call them by their full name since I began to hear their nicknames EVERYWHERE whenever I went out. I don’t want them to be one of many with the same name in their class. I was one of those kids and I hated it.

I wanted to do family surnames as middle names. In hindsight, I should have made more of a case for it. I really like the ‘trend’ of doing that. We did use family names in the sense that Junie shares my middle name, Mags has my first sister’s name as her middle name, and Snowdrop has my second sister’s name as her middle name. If we have a boy, his middle name will be Hubby’s first name as in keeping with his side of the family’s tradition. My family didn’t have traditions. I’m trying to start them. (So hopefully Junie’s first daughter will share her – and my – middle name, etc.)
I do not like matchy names. For example, I would never name my boy-girl twins Larry & Mary, nor would I name my girl-girl twins Millie & Lillie. But I DID worry about their names coordinating. I’m big on the coordination when it comes to their clothes, too. I didn’t want them sounding like they didn’t belong to the same family. Both girls, I will say, have old lady names and I love them. They don’t rhyme but they sound lovely together and have a nice flow. This is something that was also important to me when we were expecting our third child. I didn’t want to anyone to stick out like a sore thumb or grow up thinking that they were different from the rest of the family. (Maybe this is a remnant of being from an adopted family, I don’t know.) Their names don’t go quite as well with Snowdrop’s real name as in Snowdrop’s real name the vowels are stronger/louder in pronunication than Junie & Mags. Nonetheless, I suppose the names flow well together. Snowdrop’s real name is NOT the perfect name I had chosen for her but I felt bad denying Hubby’s requests for the name and I was really tired when we were in the hospital so I succumbed to the pressure. It is agreed upon though that should we have another girl, we will name her the name I wanted to name Snowdrop.
That brings me to this. We had the big girls’ names picked out well before they arrived. I even knew who was who inside of me. Snowdrop however didn’t have a name until hours after she was born, poor thing.
Popularity of a name was of utmost importance with Snowdrop – and would have had more of an impression on me with the first two, had we had Internet back then. I didn’t want a name that has been in the top 1000 for at least 20 years, preferably longer than that – never in the top 1000 would be perfect. 🙂 After the big girls were born, I would be grocery shopping or mall shopping and hear mothers calling after their children who shared the same name as Junie or the nickname we first called Mags. Now I’ve settled to having a popularly named first daughter, and as far as Mags goes – we call her by her full name now and I’m pretty positive (knock on wood) it will be a long time before we hear of another girl by her name. Snowdrop’s name itself has never been in the top 1000, ever. However, the name her name originates from was last in the top 1000 in, like, 1979. And it was near the end, too.
I also wanted to note that we thought heavily about naming the big girls after music. Like… Scarlet Begonia (the Dead), Lilly (Widespread Panic), Cecilia (Simon & Garfunkel), Lucy (the Beatles), Melissa (Allman Brothers), Jane (Dave Matthews Band), and I wanted Lady (after Led Zeppelin – and partially after the movie Almost Famous)… oh gosh, there were lots more than this. But we weren’t cool enough to do it. So there.

This post would make a lot more sense if I could just share my childrens’ names… but since I blog on the rule of psuedonyms, I can’t share such classified information. My most sincere apologies for any and all confusion. 🙂


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