Scandinavian names for fraternal twin girls

My wife and I have been debating names for our fraternal twin girls due in [name]December[/name].
We want to use names of Scandinavian origin that have no pronunciation issues in both American and Dutch (I’m from the Netherlands). We’ve come up with a couple of name pairs, and we were wondering what folks think of them. Here they are:

[name]Elsa[/name] and Norin
[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name]
[name]Elka[/name] and [name]Nora[/name]
[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Marin[/name]
[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Anika[/name]
[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Anneli[/name]

[name]How[/name] do you think most Americans will say:
[name]Marin[/name]: MAHrin or [name]MaRIN[/name] (like the county in [name]California[/name])
[name]Anika[/name]: AHnika (with the first syllable as in ‘father’) or [name]Anika[/name] (with the first syllable as in ‘[name]Anne[/name]’)
[name]Anneli[/name]: AHnalee or [name]ANNalee[/name] or [name]ANN[/name]-[name]Lee[/name]

Any other suggestions?

[name]Ron[/name] (in Seattle, WA)

I think for minimal pronunciation problems, [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name] are your best bet, followed by [name]Anika[/name].
I’'m in NYC, so this might affect how I pronounce things, but I’d say:
MAH-rin (kind of like [name]Karen[/name] with an M)
uh-NEE-ka (first syllable like “duh” with no d)
uh-[name]NEL[/name]-ee or [name]ANN[/name]-a-lee (though I’d be more inclined to spell the second [name]Annalie[/name])

One other name:

[name]Elke[/name]: [[name]EL[/name]-kuh or [name]EL[/name]-kee]


I’d say [name]El[/name]-ka. I really like the names on your list- good luck!

[name]Hi[/name] [name]Rob[/name] in Seattle. This is [name]Annelise[/name] in [name]Portland[/name], via Seattle. What hideous weather we’re having…guess it must be fall.

Anyway, I love your choices! I think your best bet is [name]Elsa[/name] & [name]Nora[/name]. It’s the safest of your pairs from a pronunciation standpoint and it has a nice symmetry besides: two 4-letter names that end in the same sound. The names are quite distinct while still sounding like a pair.

That said, my personal favorite is [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Anika[/name], because I’ve always loved [name]Anika[/name]. Yes, I do think some people will mispronounce it as [name]ANN[/name]-ika, but it’s gaining familiarity because of the tennis player. You might suggest that it rhymes with [name]Monica[/name] and train people that way.

Your other choices are still lovely, but the pronunciation issues increase. [name]Marin[/name] will probably be [name]MARE[/name]-in, and many people seem to be unable to hear a difference between A/[name]AH[/name] sounds. [name]Marine[/name] also seems a likely mispronunciation.

As an [name]Annelise[/name], I always think [name]Anneli[/name] looks/sounds like it’s missing a syllable. [name]Annelise[/name] & Co. are gaining popularity, but I think most people are going with either [name]Ann[/name]+[name]Elise[/name] or [name]Anna[/name]+[name]Lisa[/name] for the pronunciation, which probably wouldn’t work in Dutch. So I can’t recommend [name]Anneli[/name] or any other name that resembles it, if ease is your goal.

A few other suggestions:
[name]Mathilda[/name] / [name]Matilda[/name]

[name]Hope[/name] that helps!

I like [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name] or [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Marin[/name].

As for pronunciation, I say:
[name]Marin[/name]- [name]MARE[/name]-in
[name]Anika[/name]- uh-NEE-ka
[name]Anneli[/name]- just looking at it I’d say [name]ANNE[/name]-lee
[name]Elke[/name]- I’d probably say Elk-ee

I think the “absolutely no pronunciation issues” is what makes this tough, given the names you listed. It’s true that the only two that really fit the bill in this regard are [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name], and I honestly don’t think they are the best pair. [name]Nora[/name] is MUCH more popular and familiar to Americans and isn’t even readily identifiable as Scandinavian – I wonder why you think it’s so?

[name]How[/name] about these choices:

[name]Britt[/name] or [name]Britta[/name]

I’m Swedish but living in [name]London[/name] with my BF and daughter. So to give some Swedish feedbacks:
Nobody in [name]Sweden[/name] (or in Scandinavia, from what I know) name their daughters [name]Annika[/name] (the scandinavian spelling) or [name]Annelie[/name] these days. And I don’t like the name, because they are from the wrong generation for me. [name]Nora[/name] and [name]Elsa[/name] are popular names, and also the names I like the most from your list. [name]Marin[/name] could be hard to live with in [name]Sweden[/name] (swedish word for [name]Marine[/name]), but I think it could work anyway. I have never heard of Norin or [name]Elka[/name].

If it was up to me I would name them [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name], or [name]Nora[/name] and [name]Marin[/name].

I love all your name choices! Especially [name]Elsa[/name], Norin, and [name]Elke[/name]. From an American perspective, I would pronounce the names:

[name]Marin[/name]: [name]MARE[/name]-in, like [name]Karen[/name] with an M.
[name]Anika[/name]: [name]ANN[/name]-nick-uh, first syllable like [name]Anne[/name].
[name]Anneli[/name]: [name]ANN[/name]-ell-ee
[name]Elke[/name]: [name]Ell[/name]-kuh

Most people would probably say [name]Elke[/name] just like the word “elk”, but personally I love it! [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Elke[/name] are both so beautiful, I can’t decide which I like better. But they’re probably too similar to be twins… I love Norin for the other twin. I’m pronouncing it NORE-in. Good luck!

[name]Marin[/name]: first thought is like “[name]Marine[/name]”
[name]Anika[/name]: like [name]Anita[/name] but -ka instead of -ta
[name]Anneli[/name]: like [name]Anna[/name]-lee
[name]Elke[/name]: [name]El[/name]-kee

I like [name]Elka[/name] and Norin, which isn’t one of your combo… probably because I prefer slightly uncommon names. I like [name]Anika[/name] and [name]Anneli[/name] too.

[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name] will prob have the least pronunciation issue, though they don’t really strike me as Scandinavian names?

I would consider

[name]Caroline[/name] ([name]Karolina[/name])
Prefer [name]Marina[/name] to [name]Marin[/name]

My picks

[name]Maia[/name] and [name]Elin[/name]
[name]Anna[/name] and [name]Linn[/name]
[name]Emma[/name] and [name]Hanna[/name]
[name]Sara[/name] and [name]Anna[/name]
[name]Victoria[/name] and [name]Caroline[/name]

From your picks

[name]Hanna[/name] and [name]Elsa[/name]

Sorry meant [name]Nora[/name], but love the feminine [name]Maia[/name] and also [name]Elin[/name] but that may be said as [name]Ellen[/name], so I like [name]Anna[/name] and [name]Maia[/name] together

Thanks for all your feedback.

We’ve settled on [name]Elsa[/name], but are having a really hard time coming up with a second name. [name]Both[/name] names must be “pronunciation-proof” for both American and Dutch, which really limits the vowels and consonants that we can use. [name]Add[/name] to that our own likes and dislikes, and it’s a real challenge!

Anyway, we both absolutely love the name [name]Linnea[/name], but my wife’s cousin’s 17-year-old daughter already has that name, and that’s why we ignored it so far. But given the fact that we’re sort of hitting a wall, we’re reconsidering it, also because [name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Linnea[/name] sound so good together. Would you guys have any qualms about using a name that your spouse’s cousin’s child already has? They live in a different state (WA vs. MN) and we basically never see them other than funerals and weddings. We’re planning on asking them to see if they have any objections, but I’d be interested in others’ thoughts on this.

[name]Ron[/name] (in Seattle, WA)

If it helps, I knew an [name]Elka[/name] when I was growing up in [name]Arizona[/name] in the '80s, and she didn’t seem to experience pronunciation issues and I remember her name receiving a lot of positive attention.

[name]Elsa[/name] - This wouldn’t have issues with pronunciation.
[name]Nora[/name] - Same as [name]Elsa[/name].
[name]Marin[/name] - I would say mare-in.
[name]Anika[/name] - [name]Anne[/name]-eh-ka
[name]Anneli[/name] - [name]Anne[/name]-eh-lee
[name]Elke[/name] - [name]El[/name]-ka

I love love love [name]Elsa[/name], so I think you should choose it. My other choice would be [name]Nora[/name]. Those also happen to be the two that won’t have issues with pronunciation.

A few other suggestions:


[name]Iselin[/name] and [name]Siri[/name] are my favorites! :slight_smile:

I love [name]Elsa[/name]! I agree that [name]Nora[/name] doesn’t sound very Scandinavian, but it sounds good with [name]Elsa[/name] and certainly wouldn’t cause any pron. problems.

[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Nora[/name]-- a safe choice
[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Marin[/name]-- love this pair! I would think most people would say [name]MARE[/name]-in. I slightly prefer the [name]Maren[/name] spelling, personally.
[name]Elsa[/name] and [name]Anika[/name]-- also really like. both names seem equally Scandinavian (and equally pretty and spunky!) to me. I wouldn’t be sure whether to say [name]ANN[/name]-ah-ka or AHN-ah-ka, but would only have to be told once!

Scandinavian names are so pretty, good luck!

[name]Linnea[/name] is a very beautiful name I can understand your love of it.

In regard to a family member with this name I have to say that I named my child after a cousin of mine and I felt that it was a great way to build family relationships and honour people that you like in the family. So, I would go ahead and use it.

All the best


If they live in a different state and you rarely see them, then I don’t see a problem. And [name]Linnea[/name] is a lovely name (it’s my own name). If I were you I would use it :slight_smile:

[name]Elka[/name] (love) [name]Elsa[/name], [name]Nora[/name] and Norin are all lovely and easy to pronounce. [name]Marin[/name] is pretty too, I pronounce it like [name]Karen[/name] and [name]Daren[/name]. I like the [name]Maren[/name] spelling as well, which would stop folks from pronouncing it like the county in [name]California[/name]. I pronounce [name]Annika[/name] like the name [name]Anne[/name]. I think that [name]Elka[/name] and Norin are exotic sounding to north americans yet they are easy to pronounce. Any of them will be lovely on your little girls.