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Double baby names, such as Mary Kate, Anna Grace, metoprolol at bedtime or John Patrick, have a deep-rooted tradition in the United States — especially in the South. Using two names as a first name is a great way to honor your favorite family members or to give your child a unique, yet traditional baby name.

It’s also a relatively popular option across the pond in the UK — though there, they often place a hyphen in the middle to join the two names (think Ivy-Rose or Tommy-Lee). If you want to do it the British way, there are definitely some names that are trending hard as part of a double name. Rose and Mae are the top names in the second spot for girls (like Mia-Rose, Isla-Rose, Ella-Rose, or Ava-Mae, Gracie-Mae, and Lily-Mae). For boys, James is the very highly favored second-spot name, with picks like Tommy-James, Arlo-James, and Archie-James (after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son, of course!).

Tips for choosing double baby names

The options for a double baby name are endless. Some parents will choose two names with the same starting letter, such as Margaret May or Billy Brooks.

You can choose both names that have the same number of syllables, such as Jon Paul or Susie JoAnn. However, it typically sounds better to have the following two equations:

  • Short syllable-short syllable (such as Jon Marc)
  • Long syllable-short syllable (such as Riley Jean)

That being said, there are no set “rules” when it comes to choosing a double baby name, so you can decide what sounds good to you!

When you’re choosing the names, you can also decide to use the names as two separate names (Mary Kate), as a hyphenated name (John-Paul), or a single name (Marianne).

Double baby names for girls

You have so many baby name combinations to consider. However, there are a few select names that seem to be a natural (and favorite) starting point for a double name. The names Bettie, Anna, Ann, Mary, Billie, Carol, Sadie, Georgia, and Emma are all great names to start with. You’ll also want to add a shorter second name to complete your double name. One trend for the second name is to use a virtue name, such as Faith, Grace, or Love.

One interesting point to note: Southern tradition also allows the second part of a double name to be a more masculine name, such as Mary Greg or Emma Dale.

There are also celebrities with double first names, such as Mary-Kate Olsen, Lily-Rose Depp, and Georgia May Jagger, to name a few.

Following are some examples of popular double baby names for girls:

  • Anna Grace
  • Anna Lane
  • Ann Claire
  • Bettie Bee
  • Betty Grace
  • Betty Bell
  • Bella Grace
  • Bella Jean
  • Billie Beth
  • Carol Kaye
  • Carol Sue
  • Celia Rose
  • Sadie Mae
  • Sadie Bee
  • Sarah Michelle
  • Sarah Jane
  • Ella Jane
  • Emma Lou
  • Emma Grace
  • Emma Kate
  • Grace Ann
  • Georgia Lee
  • Georgia Love
  • Laura Beth
  • Mary Claire
  • Mary Elizabeth
  • Mary Grace
  • Mary Jewel
  • Mary Laird
  • Mary Margaret
  • Mary Jo
  • Mary Frances
  • Nora Kate
  • Harper Faith
  • Twyla Fay
  • Tressa Gail

Double baby names for boys

Baby names like Jack, John, Jesse, Bobby, and David make great starter names for double names for boys. Unlike with double girl names, the trend here is to start with a shorter first name and pair it with a longer second name, such as John Andrew or Beau Alexander.

Check out our picks for double baby names for boys:

  • Avery James
  • Jack David
  • Jack Carl
  • James Wyatt
  • Jesse Joe
  • Jesse Mac
  • Jimmie Dale
  • Joe Allen
  • John Andrew
  • John Hayes
  • John Moss
  • John Preston
  • John David
  • John Michael
  • John Henry
  • Bobby Jack
  • Charles Alan
  • Charlie Clyde
  • David Ryan
  • David Dash
  • Don Allan
  • Don Michael
  • Eddie Wayne
  • Everett Alan
  • Hudson Lee
  • Terry Mack
  • Tyler James
  • Ford Allen
  • Ford Sawyer
  • Frank Finn
  • Tucker James
  • Wells Alden
  • Will Brock
  • William Russell
  • Zack Alan

A version of this story was originally published in 2011.

Looking for more baby name inspiration? Check out our favorite celebrity baby names:

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