Here was my struggle: with the rhythm set by a one-syllable middle name and a three-syllable surname, my preferred number of syllables for the first name would be three or four syllables. Furthermore, with the middle name Earl, it seemed like it was better if the first name didn't end with an R or a vowel. But jeeks! Trying to find a 3- or 4-syllable boy name that didn't end in R, didn't end in a vowel, was a good fit with names such as Logan and Noah, and wasn't too common? PANIC.
So then I started making excuses: Rhythm preferences are so subjective. We don't usually say the entire name anyway. A 2-syllable first name sounds great with a 3-syllable last name. The two sample choices are 2-syllable. The middle name is a family name, and so probably the sentimental value trumps the negligible problem of the entire name not sounding perfect all together.
Excuses, excuses. I came up with a list of names that do indeed sound good with Van Brimmer. Isaac Van Brimmer is GREAT, isn't it? And I hoped no one would notice that Isaac Earl Van Brimmer is...less great. The rhythm is okay if not perfect, but the hard-C in Isaac blends poorly with the name Earl, giving a sound almost like "girl."
Owen Van Brimmer is another good choice. But "Owen Earl"? Not ideal, is it? Sounds almost like, "Oh! An earl!" Sigh.
These things bothered me, and so we're going to try again. Here are some 3- and 4-syllable boy names. A couple of them DO end in R. Some of them are probably too common. But I think they're all better names than the first list.
Alexander Earl Van Brimmer
Nicholas Earl Van Brimmer
Benjamin Earl Van Brimmer
Christopher Earl Van Brimmer
Anderson Earl Van Brimmer
Elliot Earl Van Brimmer
Gideon Earl Van Brimmer
Harrison Earl Van Brimmer
Jefferson Earl Van Brimmer
Sebastian Earl Van Brimmer
Sullivan Earl Van Brimmer
Jonathan Earl Van Brimmer
There. I feel better. Let's have a new poll over to the right---and I'll leave the original poll up as well, for interest's sake. [Poll closed; see below.]
[Poll results (207 votes total):
Alexander: 11 votes, roughly 5%
Nicholas: 30 votes, roughly 14%
Benjamin: 21 votes, roughly 10%
Christopher: 8 votes, roughly 4%
Anderson: 26 votes, roughly 13%
Elliot: 29 votes, roughly 14%
Gideon: 12 votes, roughly 6%
Harrison: 16 votes, roughly 8%
Jefferson: 5 votes, roughly 2%
Sebastian: 20 votes, roughly 10%
Sullivan: 15 votes, roughly 7%
Jonathan: 14 votes, roughly 7%]
Name update! Sarah writes:
I finally won out with the name choice of Logan. I only had to watch an entire marathon of Star Wars and agree that the husband could have the final say on Baby #2. Thanks for helping us out!