Katherine and Margaret: Three pairs of twins share same names

Leila Pulaski, Staff Writer

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When sophomore Katie Shelburne told junior Catherine Gorman that they both had twin sisters named Margaret, Catherine thought she was joking. What Catherine didn’t realize was that Meg Shelburne’s first name is actually a nickname for Margaret.

“Then I was snooping around on the school directory, and I saw that those were actually their names,” Catherine said.

There are currently 13 sets of twins in the Upper School, and three pairs have the same names. Juniors Catherine and Margaret Gorman, sophomores Kate and Maggie Foshee and sophomores Katie and Meg Shelburne are all twin girls named Catherine/Katherine and Margaret.

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  • Sophomores Katie and Meg Shelburne

    Mia Murillo

  • Sophomores Maggie and Kate Foshee

    Mia Murillo

  • Juniors Margaret and Catherine Gorman

    Mia Murillo

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Before they starting attending the same school, the Gorman twins played softball in West U with the other twins. Even though they share the same names, none of the girls have the same nicknames.

“I never wanted to go by Katherine because it’s just too long for me,” Kate said.

Meg shared this sentiment: “I never went by Margaret, but I got called Megan a lot.”

According to Kate, the differing nicknames prevented her from noticing that the Shelburne twins shared the names of her and her sister.

“I didn’t know that [Katie and Meg] were ‘Katherine and Margaret’ until the end of freshman year because Meg and Margaret just don’t sound the same to me,” Kate said.

Having a sibling the exact same age can be challenging, but the Shelburnes prefer being around someone with whom they can share their experiences.

“It’s kind of nice because wherever I go, I have a friend,” Katie said. “When I started St. John’s, I already knew someone.”

The Gormans and Foshees are identical twins, so they are used to people getting them confused, but even the Shelburnes are often mistaken for one another, despite being fraternal twins.

“I have to respond to Maggie and Kate, and so does Maggie, just in case,” Kate said.

Katie shared a similar story: “Teachers still mistake me for Meg, which I really don’t understand.”

Meg was surprised upon discovering the Foshees also shared her and her sister’s names.

“We knew about the Gormans, but then the Foshees showed up and I was like ‘Wow– I guess that’s three,’” Meg said.

The Gormans find the commonality strange, but think the names Katherine and Margaret are very compatible.

“It’s all kind of weird,” Margaret said. “It may be super basic to be named Margaret and Catherine as twins, but they have a nice ring together, Margaret and Catherine.”

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