“It’s evident that they were more interested in celebrating the people they admire and love…”
Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell announced the birth of twin daughters in 2009: Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip. I wish I had been a fly on the wall when these celebrity parents negotiated their selections.
Through a representative, the couple explained the names: Dolly is named after Dolly Parton (whom Rebecca evidently adores), and Charlie is named after Jerry’s brother. Dolly’s first middle name obviously honors her mother, and Charlie’s first middle name, Tamara, honors Rebecca’s sister. Each twin’s second middle name is in honor of a flower.
If you look at the Social Security Administration’s latest list of most popular names for twins, you’ll find that many twins were given names that go together in some way. For example, a top-ten pair of names for twin girls is Gabriella and Isabella; both have an “-ella” ending and a Mediterranean flavor. Another popular pair is Faith and Hope; both have a spiritual vibe. Madison and Morgan is also a high-ranking pairing; both are popular names that start with M. In contrast, although Dolly and Charlie both end in an “-ee” sound, they don’t otherwise go together well—for two girls, that is. Dolly is clearly a girls’ name, but Charlie is most often used for boys.
That’s okay. There’s no “rule” that states parents of twins must select names that go well together. But the reason why many twins’ parents do so is practical: From birth on, they’ll be mentioning (or calling) their children’s names together. To come up with names that sound good together, Rebecca and Jerry could have tried Dolly and Delilah or Charlie and Harley, for example. But it’s evident that they were more interested in celebrating the people they admire and love than in creating a charming or memorable name pairing.
Each twin, however, does have an alliterative pair of middle names: Rebecca Rose and Tamara Tulip. Unfortunately, the pairing likely won’t have much use. Parents don’t usually call children by their middle names unless the kids have been naughty. Furthermore, imagine that Charlie hasn’t tidied her room and Rebecca yells, “Charlie Tamara Tulip O’Connell, your room looks like a pigpen. Clean it up!” To anyone witnessing that scene, “Tamara Tulip” sounds so silly, it seems hard to take the command seriously. Lastly, while I like Rebecca Rose well enough, Dolly Rebecca Rose is a mouthful.
My Verdict: Although I give Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell high marks for celebrating loved ones with the name selection, their daughters’ impractical names earn one thumb down.
Bruce Lansky is North America’s #1 author of baby name books. His books have sold over 11 million copies. His latest name book is 5-Star Baby Name Advisor.