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So Nice, Some Things Are Named Twice

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.


The inspiration for this article came from watching Jeopardy! and a category was So Nice They Had to Name It Twice.

There are many names of people, places, and things with double names. The technical word for this is called reduplication. You might be familiar with some of those reduplications or double words.

Below are just a few things that are named twice.

New York, New York

New York, New York is a familiar reduplication. Most reduplications have the first word or expression being the same as the second part with the same meaning. However, the most familiar reduplication is New York, New York with the first half having a different meaning from the second half.

In the name New York, New York, the first part of the reduplication indicates the city. The second part of the reduplication indicates the state. To avoid confusing the city with the state, something the word City is placed on the first part, such as New York City.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is a professional singer, songwriter, and actress. The 36-year-old celebrity chose to use Gaga as her stage name because it is much shorter than her real name. It just so happens to be a reduplication.

Germanotta uses the name Lady Gaga that came from the rock group Queen's song Radio Ga Ga. However, there is no separation between the first half and the second half of Lady Gaga's stage name.

Food Names That Are Reduplications


Tartar sauce is a condiment primarily composed of mayonnaise and finely chopped pickles and lemon juice. Tartar sauce is used on fish and other foods. The first half of the word is the same as the last half.

Pu Pu Platter

A pu pu platter is an assortment of Chinese hors d'oeuvres that diners usually order before their main meal. The foods consist of small meat and seafood appetizers.


Couscous is a Moroccan national dish made from the hard part of the grain of wheat. Water is used to bind two different sizes of the husked and crushed semolina.

Reduplications in Song Titles

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

"Up, Up, and Away"

"Quando, Quando, Quando"

Other Reduplications

Ha Ha

Sometimes people say, "Ha, Ha" instead of laughing out loud when something is funny. "Ha Ha" is better expressed in writing.

Ho Ho

Santa says, "Ho Ho." Sometimes there is a third "Ho."


Babies learn by saying words that are reduplicated. In fact, that's the way adults teach little ones to talk.


Like Mama, Dada is a reduplicated word.

Night Night

Night Night is said to children when parents put them to bed.

My My

My My is usually expressed when something is exciting or unique.

Knock Knock

Those are the first words at the beginning of a type of joke.

A yo-yo

A yo-yo


A yo-yo is a child's toy.

So so

"So so" is sometimes used as a response to the question: "How are you?"

Go Go

This was a very familiar dance during the disco era.

Can Can Slip

This is a crinoline slip that was once popular. It was full and made the dress or skirt very wide.

Bye Bye

This reduplication is what some people say when they depart from each other.

Rah, Rah

Cheerleaders use rah, rah during their routine.

Blah Blah

This is a sarcastic expression that mocks talkative people.


A tutu is an outfit that a ballerina wears.

Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin is the name of a television dog.

God's Reduplications

It was very important when God called a person's name twice. It indicates an urgency. Here are examples from the Bible when God used a double name to get a person's quick attention:

  1. When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac, God called out to him, “Abraham! Abraham!” (Genesis 22:11).
  2. In Jacob's old age, Joseph invited his father to move to Egypt to be with him, God called Jacob's name twice, “Jacob, Jacob” (Genesis 46:2; Genesis 35:9-15).
  3. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He called out, “Moses! Moses!” (Exodus 3:4).
  4. God called Samuel’s name twice (1 Samuel 3:10) when he was in the temple with Eli the priest.

Jesus' Reduplications

In order to put emphasis on the names of people and places, Jesus used reduplications a few times during His ministry. Using duplicated names was Jesus' way of placing urgency on what He was saying.

In each of the following examples, Jesus used the double salutation at a time when it was urgent for Him to say something that was extremely important.

  1. In the Sermon on the Mount and two other times when Jesus was making a very significant point to His disciples and the multitudes, He repeated, “Lord, Lord” (Matthew 7:21-22, 25:11; Luke 6:46; 13:25).
  2. When Martha was upset with Mary for not helping her prepare a meal for Jesus who was visiting with them, Jesus called out to her, “Martha, Martha” (Luke 10:41).
  3. After the Last Supper, Jesus foretold Peter’s denial. He called out to him, “Simon, Simon” (Luke 22:31).
  4. When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out to God, “Eloi, Eloi” (Mark 15:34).
  5. When Saul was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians, Jesus called out to him, “Saul, Saul” (Acts 9:4).
  6. Jerusalem was expected to be a holy city. Jesus expressed deep emotion after Jerusalem became very wicked. He called out, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem” (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34).

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