Do These Baby Names Go with the Flow?
–My Three Sons
The idea of sibling name "flow" is a new one for me. Name flow typically applies to a single name's different components—to the smooth sound pattern of first-middle-last name combinations rather than to an easy verbal transition between three sibling names. But whether you're worried about the three brothers' names falling trippingly on your tongue or have the more common concern of wanting your kids' names to "go together"—to sound like a matched set—you've got the same major issue at stake: To –er or not to –er?
Your sons' names have such strong style and sound similarities. Both are two-syllable surnames of English origin that end in –er. Each also describes a rather manly and Medieval profession: hunting for game or tanning hides. There's not much growth expected for either occupation, but the names are another story. With their straightforward familiarity and no-nonsense feel, both have become popular over the decades. Hunter is a current top-50 choice for boys while Tanner was a top-100 name in the '90s.
I can draft a long list of English surnames that would fit a similar bill: for instance, Archer, Chandler, Cooper, Miller, Sawyer. Cooper is a top-100 choice but the rest are more rare. Any of those would sound like a matched set with the names of your sons.
But … maybe too matched? A third –er name could trigger the "butcher, baker, candlestick maker" effect, the idea that a group of occupation names that sound so alike, as these do, can risk nursery-rhyme sing-song. Or at the very least, signal an incredibly strong naming consistency, possibly veering on parody.
To unite your trio with less repetition, consider occupational names with different endings. Bowman meets many of your requirements and also brings a fresh conclusion to the grouping. The name clearly fits with the parameters of your sibling set but varies up the pattern just enough to keep things interesting. Similarly, a crisp, one-syllable surname like Tate links to your other kids' names without echoing too directly. Other possibilities along these lines include Abbott, Chase, Corwin, Sexton, and Reeve.