Baby name consultation: Twin girls join big sibs, including twin brothers!

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m still flying high from last week — so many things happened! My oldest graduated from high school on Friday, and the Baccalaureate Mass the night before and the graduation itself were so meaningful for my boy and for our whole family. We are all so grateful for God’s goodness!! And then — Friday itself!! What big news!! I never thought I’d see the day!! A friend pointed out to me that not only was Friday the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but also the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist (he who first recognized Jesus’ humanity while both were in the womb) and the birthday of the woman who founded the March for Life, Nellie Gray. Wow!! What a day!! Keep praying!! And enjoy this consultation from Theresa Zoe Williams!

Mama Kaitrin writes in needing help naming identical twin girls!

Twins are amazing for lots of reasons, but naming twins, you know, means the names have to sound good together etc,! With the impending preemie delivery I’m feeling increased pressure to have names, and I thought your help would be great!

These babies come after three big brothers, two of whom are also identical twins, and one
sister (in heaven):

Vaughn Joseph

Jude Rian (twin)

Cormac Kelly (twin)

Jane Mari (in heaven)

Absolutely stunning names!

Mama Kaitrin says that she likes the way names that start or end in vowels sound with their last name.

I love Classic names and husband leans more to liking more modern or different names — he loves Maren for example. I don’t dislike, but I love so many before that,” she writes.

These babies also have a lot of powerful intercessors in heaven including St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Anne, St. Clare, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, St. Joan of Arc, and Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo.

Mama Kaitrin says that her husband really really wants one of the babies to have the nickname Tess, so I kept that in mind when putting together this consultation. She writes,

Last month we felt pretty set on 1. Mary Therese, calling her ‘Tess’/ and 2. Anne Beretta and calling her ‘Etta’ (one of our big intercessor asks this pregnancy has been St. Gianna Beretta Molla, and neither of us love Gianna). I love the sound of Etta Aldridge. sweet and feminine. But I feel Tess and Etta doesn’t sound quite right — maybe even switching the order to Etta and Tess helps my ear a bit, I know that’s funny and strange. But Tess and Rosie sounds cuter to me so I can’t say goodbye to Rose. And is Mary Therese too common? Or does that not matter since we’d be calling her by middle name?

She also says,

I definitely don’t want rhymey twin names, but coordinating or stylistically similar would be fun, I think.”

Names they can’t use include: Molly, Maggie, Annie, Anna, Norah, Grace, Camille, and Gianna.

Names they like include: Julia Clare, Mary Alice, Julia Mae, Miriam, Gemma, Beatrice, Vivian, Rose Faustina, Rose Eline, Ruth Eline, Chiara Joan “Joni”, Margot, Bernadette “Etta”, Therese Eline and Miriam Clare, and Mary Therese “Tess” and Anne Beretta “Etta”.

Such great info! So, on to names!

Some thoughts on names they like.

Julia Clare- This is such a sweet combo, I really like it. I think it leans a little different from their boys, which is fine for a girl! I don’t know how much I like this next to a Tess sister, though.

Mary Alice- Classic combo, cannot go wrong here. Clunky cool.

Julia Mae- Same thoughts as Julia Clare. Mae is hot in the middle spot right now, but I love the subtle nod to Mary.

Miriam- Very different from their other children in a good way! I think this really opens them up. I never would have thought to pair her with sister Margot (more on that name below) but I really love it.

Gemma- I love this name, it’s super sweet. Gemma and Tess sound pretty good to me.

Beatrice- Again, a little different from their others. I don’t know how much I like it next to Tess, though; they sound mismatched to me.

Vivian- Same thoughts as Beatrice.

Rose Faustina- I love Rose for them but not sure how I feel about Faustina in the middle. I agree that Rose/Rosie and Tess are super cute together!

Rose Eline- I love all the meaning with this name.

Ruth Eline- Sounds very different from their boys. Ruth and Miriam would make incredible twin sisters, though!

Chiara Joan “Joni”- I like this name a lot and I love that Mama Kaitrin has a fun connection to Joni like her husband did with Cormac. Chiara is pretty different from their boys, though, and I don’t particularly feel like Chiara and Tess go well together.

Margot- Love this name for them! A little different but not enough to feel out of place. Love this with sister Miriam, too. I like this name with Therese but not necessarily with Tess.

Bernadette “Etta”- Love this so much. I love Etta and Tess as sisters, too. Great name.

Therese Eline- Fun name but a lot of Es, especially if they’re pronouncing it Ther-EE-s instead of Tay-REZ.

Miriam Clare- I love this with sister name Therese Eline. I like Therese and Miriam together a lot.

Mary Therese “Tess”- Mama Kaitrin asked if I thought this was pretty common and the answer is, yes, even if they’re going to call her Tess. Now, that shouldn’t necessarily deter them but I do think they’ve got much better names and combos to work with than this.

Anne Beretta “Etta”- I like Etta and Tess together a lot, which is something Mama Kaitrin was worried about. I don’t care for this name with their other children overall, though. It just sounds sort of bland next to everyone else. I think there are better names that can get to Etta that pair better with Therese.

Okay, on to new names! One thing I’m assuming here is that one baby will be Tess. I think they’d be hard pressed to pass on that. It’s a great nickname with wonderful longer forms and it fits in well with their other children. It’s jam-packed with meaning and goodness for their family, too. So I was thinking of names to go with Therese/Tess. I will give some thoughts at the end on full name combos I think would go really well together.

1) Brigid/Bridget

Their sons’ names all lean very Irish/Welsh and even little Jane Mari in heaven has a Welsh name! Well, what name is, arguably, more Irish than Brigid/Bridget? They want a powerful patron for this baby and St. Brigid is certainly a powerhouse. There’s also St. Bridget of Sweden who is incredible. Brigid/Bridget and Tess sound like natural sisters to me and they can tie them together more through their middle names. They could also call this baby Birdie, which reminded me of Rosie, and I love how it sounds with Tess.

2) Frances

Clunky cool is what this name is, just like some of the names on their list. My Irish grandfather once convinced my grandmother to have another baby (she had notoriously high risk pregnancies) by saying, “We haven’t had a Frances yet!” Such a good, strong, solid name for a girl. Nicknames are plenty, but for them my favorites are Fran and Franny, though Frankie is super cute and in right now, too. I love the sound of Tess and Fran together!

3) Elizabeth nn Lily

This one is what I thought would suit both Mama Kaitrin’s and her husband’s styles best. He likes a little more modern and fun while she prefers traditional and classic. Well, I think this strikes that balance. Elizabeth is the most traditional and classic name there is for girls but it’s also been the most steady in the top 100, making it modern, too. What’s great about this name is that it has almost endless nickname potential! Lizzy, Bess, Betsy, Betty, Libby…the list goes on! But one slightly unconventional nickname that I thought they would appreciate is Lily. It gets at the cutesy nickname and flower name like she likes, similar to Rosie, while being fun and unexpected like I’m gathering her husband likes. Elizabeth and Therese are gorgeous sisters and Tess and Lily are so sweet and fun! I think this name is a home run for them.

Okay, some thoughts on whole combos they might like. I noticed in their patrons that they have three little clusters, mostly: Theresas (Calcutta and Lisieux), Claires (Clare and Chiara), and Joans (Joan, Jane, and Gianna). The following suggestions sort of play with these to get all their patrons in and to tie the girls together.

Therese Joan and Frances Clare (Joan and Clare are powerhouses and classic names)

Therese Joan and Elizabeth Gianna (this gives both girls a form of the name Jane to tie them together and to their sister in heaven)

Therese Frances and Elizabeth Clare (I love the pairing and Frances and Clare in the middle to evoke Sts. Francis and Clare, two incredible powerhouses and friends!)

Therese Elizabeth and Bridget/Brigid Joan (Classic but strong)

Therese Joan and Elizabeth Clare (This is my favorite combo)

These are my thoughts! What do you think?


I’m not currently doing consultations, but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at TheresaZoeWrites@gmail.com to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

For help with Marian names, my book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon (not affiliate links). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

9 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Twin girls join big sibs, including twin brothers!

  1. Therese Frances and Elizabeth Clare!!! I love it, the tie with St Francis and St Clare. Also loved the idea of each girl having a form of Jane to tie them together. Very sweet.

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  2. This name consult group of names is so fun! Tess and Rose have nice balance, as one syllable names. Perhaps consider Tess as a full name, as you can still have any Theresa/Therese as patron if you like 😊 I know sisters (not twins) named Te55 and S@ge (put like that to protect their privacy). Which for twins I think is lovely! Sage means “wise”, and a wonderful priest pointed out that one of the titles of Our Lady is… Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, so the name “Sage” could have Mother Mary as her patron 🙏 Also, the name “Sage” seems to fit the husband’s preference of more modern names. One syllable names also “match” several of the sibling names. Tess Elizabeth and Sage Bernadette look like lovely twin names to me. Gemma is also a beauty. Also love: Gemma Clare, Gemma Elizabeth… Frances and Tess both end in “es”… without sounding too similar… Not sure that helps… you’ll choose lovely names for your twin daughters!

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  3. I love similar derivation names for twins (like mine) and tying siblings together with a patron saint. If they don’t like Gianna for a middle, what about Johanna? All the same great patrons, with a different sound.

    If they really want Etta, why not Elizabetta or a similar spelling?

    Therese Joan and Elizabetta Johanna, Tess and Etta.

    I love what they’re doing with Beretta for Saint Gianna, but don’t like the weapon connotations in a child’s name.

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  4. I’d find myself tripping over Tess & Etta / Etta &Tess. Tessa has a similar rhythm to Etta … I wonder if switching it up a bit might give you a bit more freedom with the second name?

    So instead of Therese “Tess”, you could go with Tessa “Tess” or Esther “Tess” (I’ve even heard Elizabeth “Tess”) which might open up some more possibilities:

    Tessa and Julia
    Tessa and Rose
    Tessa and Gemma
    Esther and Miriam (Tess & Mim)
    Elizabeth and Bernadette (could still have Tess & Etta)

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    • Just came across Beatrice “Tess” and thought of you:

      Beatrice and Bernadette (Tess & Etta)
      Beatrice and Vivian (Tess & Vivi)

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  5. Clare Therese and Rose Eline “Tess and Rosie” gets my vote.

    Miriam Anne could be called Maren as her dad’s personal nickname.

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  6. I totally disagree that Anne Beretta is bland! I think Anne has just the right mix of snappy and classic to fit beautifully with the other kids, and Beretta is such a fun and unexpected choice. I wasn’t aware of the weapons company – my main hesitation is that it mostly makes me think of a biretta.
    Etta is on my own list, and long forms I’ve considered include Margaret, Violet, Juliet/Juliette, and Elizabeth. You could also do Mariette/Marietta, Annette/Annetta, Colette, Cosette, Elspet/Elspeth, Lisbet/Lisbeth, Coretta… I don’t think you have to have the full -etta or even -ette to make it work, just “et” somewhere. And it also works fine as a standalone name, especially given that your other kids mostly have short and snappy names.
    I do agree that Tess and Etta have a slightly awkward flow together, and I don’t think Tessa and Etta is any better (if anything, I start to get tongue tied with those two). I would definitely save Etta for a potential future daughter, though – I agree that it’s more of an issue with twins where you’ll probably say their names together a lot.
    Is there a reason you don’t want to do Therese Mary or Beretta Anne? It does put the “weirder” name first and the flows are admittedly less fun, but I feel like there would just be so much room for confusion going by a middle name, especially if you’re going by a nickname on top of that. Plenty of people deal with it, but it means correcting and explaining to every new teacher, doctor, etc. forever. I wouldn’t do that without a major reason, beyond just “flow.”

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  7. I love Therese Frances and Elizabeth Clare too! The connection of friend saints in the middles is such a cool idea and Tess and Lily sound great together!

    I also think Biddy is an adorable, fun nickname for Brigid/Bridget.

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  8. I adore the suggestion of Beatrice “Tess” and Bernadette “Etta”. Yes, they’d share a first letter, but the names stand up to each other and aren’t too matchy.

    But we also gave my daughter the middle name Bakhita, so I’m also supportive of and delighted by the thought of using the surname Beretta for a middle. She would have to explain it, so if you think others would be unfamiliar (as I was as a non-Catholic married to a Catholic), it might be hard as a kid.

    Either way, I think Tess and Etta are great together and I’d stick with names that get you there!

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