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Name the Brother!


So I just came back from my neighbor’s house – he’s a professional photographer, and I asked him to vet my manuscript before I send it off again, since I’ve been playing up the photo angle (er, sorry about the mangled metaphors).

He was so sweet – he read the whole thing and gave me very thoughtful comments, as well as some interesting technical insights. But one thing was really bothering him:

“The name Brice is the name of a spoiled rich kid with a yacht. And it’s effeminate!”

I cracked up. The character in question is the brother of the MC, whose name is Blake. He’s a tough guy football player. (I obsessed over every other character name but his!)


“Yeah, yeah. Back in Jersey, kids who were named Brice spelled it with a ‘y’ and were total posers.”

Clearly, it must be changed! And while we’re at it, let’s make it a name that doesn’t start with B, to minimize confusion. Although my neighbor likes the name Brett … apparently that’s a sufficiently masculine name.

Poll #877626 Name the Brother

What do you think?

Other (specify)


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(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
Innnnnnterestinggg ...
Nov. 29th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
I consulted my baby name book and Blake is an English name, but none of these choices is an english name. ( Brett is Scottish)
Blake means attractive, dark.

some English suggestions...

Brent is English
Grant means great plains...
Edward means prosperous guardian...
Irwin means handsome...
Wayne means wagonmaker..
Trey means three...
Quentin means queen's town....

is this helpful? I have no idea. Would Blake's parents consider the heritage of his name and his brothers? I have no idea.
Maybe the brothers would be named taking syllables into account.

I have another baby name book (but its at my studio) I could get it tomorrow. THAT book has the names listed as "groups" like most masculine....

Nov. 29th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
I kind of like Grant. And Edward could become Ted.

I notice I was veering toward the hard "K" sounds.
Nov. 29th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
I can check that other book tomorrow! : )

Nov. 29th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
well, hello, while we're at it, the name "Blake" conjures up an over-the-shoulder sweater and pepsodent smile, but parents that would name one kid "Blake" would NEVER name the other kid "GUS"!!

And "Ike and Blake" sounds terrible!

If you're keeping "Blake", you have to have another rich-kid name, one that meets the following criteria:

1) sounds good with Blake, ie, doesn't have a hard K
2) sounds good with their last name (which I forget)
3) has rhyming possibilities AND a long version for when a parent / teacher gets mad.

I like "Tad", short for Thaddeus.
Nov. 29th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
I kind of like Tad.

I can't think of any other Tads out there lately, either.
Nov. 29th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
parents that would name one kid "Blake" would NEVER name the other kid "GUS"!!

I think that's a large part of why I voted for "Garrett." "Blake and Garrett" seem believable as brothers. I coudn't parse whether Blake was the football player or the brother was, but Garrett seemed a believeable (high school) football player name, too.
Nov. 29th, 2006 11:54 am (UTC)
If we're talking about people's images of names, I know a lot of old Greek guys named Gus (It is short for Constantine. I don't know why exactly, but it is. I'm sure there is some reason that makes perfect sense if you speak Greek). Also, one elderly German man (His is short for Gunther). So I'd cross that one off definitely unless you're going for an old-world sound, which it doesn't sound like you are.

I love naming characters. I often consider the meaning too. Like, I had a lot of trouble naming Tom (the MC's best friend) in BREATHING UNDERWATER and finally settled on Tom because Thomas means "twin" which is how the MC thinks of him. In BEASTLY, I have a character who changes his name from Kyle (meaning "handsome") to Adrian (meaning "dark one") after being transformed into a beast. So maybe for a tiebreaker, look at the meaning.
Nov. 29th, 2006 12:43 pm (UTC)
Gus is also short for Angus and I know several between 7 and 35 called that... I think its scottish. I didn't like it much, now I do
Nov. 29th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
I had a co-worker years ago who named her son Gus ... short for August, which had been her father's name. When she first told us the name, I remember we all looked askance at one another, but it grew on us.

I like it when old names come into new usage. If I'd had a daughter, I wanted to name her Ruby.
Nov. 29th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
You could also do "Briceson" which is more masculine. I like having two brothers whose names start with "B".
Nov. 29th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
I have to say that I cannot stand reading books with multiple characters sharing the same first letter for their names. I'm a speed reader and that stuff causes huge confusion, especially if the names not only start with the same letter but have the same shape (in terms of number of letters, upper and lower case letters, etc)

I like Tad.
Nov. 29th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
Yes. In real life, peopel can get away with naming all their kids with a shared first letter. Not so in fiction. My neighbor said it took him a few pages to figure out who everyone was.

I don't want confused readers.
Nov. 29th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
I think it's okay if the shape of the name is dissimilar -- Blake and Benjamin, for example. Also, I don't know if it's in first person, but if one character is essentially only referred to as "I," then I think it's okay if another character begins with the same letter. Where it's confusing is if you have several characters who share a similar role, who have similar names. I read one book where the MC had friends who hung out together and were named Bob and Rob, and it drove me nuts!
Nov. 30th, 2006 02:06 pm (UTC)
That's hard to believe - the Bob and Rob names being allowed to stay.

My MC does speak in the first person, which I think is why no one else has seemed confused by the brother having a B name, as well.

But I'm in a Garrett-ish mood now!

Nov. 29th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
I like having two brothers whose names start with "B"

In real life, yes. Even TV or movies, yes. But as a reader, I get too easily confused by names that start with the same letter, I prefer the author to make it a little easier for me. :)

I also have trouble with real-life city names that start with the same letter. I used to live in the suburbs of Chicago and was forever confusing Barrington, Bensenville, and Bloomingdale.
Nov. 30th, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
I knew a Brett(female) back when I was a social worker. And I've met another few since then...
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