Naming the Boys We Love

They say it takes a village of idiots to raise a book, and mine are no different. My books, not my idiots.

Anyway, remember how you all1 came to my rescue during the writing of TWENTY BOY SUMMER for naming my main character’s deceased first love and for sharing your summer seaside memories, heartfelt and embarrassing as they may have been? Yes? Yes?

Loyal readers and those whom I stalk, I need your creative input once again!

I don’t know what it is about me getting all tongue-tied when it comes to naming my MC’s love interests, but here’s the deal. I need some names for the book two boy (B2B), and sadly, Kaleb Nation is already taken (if you haven’t heard about Twilight Guy, and you like vampire boys and the boys who heart them, stop by and show some blood-love for Kaleb soon).

Anyway, a little bit about B2B to get you thinking:

  1. Patrick is seventeen years old.
  2. He grew up in the fictional maple sugar town of Red Falls, Vermont, but moved to the fictional city of New York with his mother five years ago. He still spends summers in VT with his father.
  3. Patrick helps Dad with contract and construction work on local houses. He’s very handy, and looks good sweating in a tight white shirt with tools hanging off his low-slung tool belt.
  4. Patrick has dark amber eyes (but unlike Edward Cullen’s eyes, Patrick’s don’t change color when he’s hungry or in a mood) and messy brown hair that he usually pulls into a low ponytail.
  5. Every Thursday in the summer, he sings and plays acoustic guitar at Luna’s coffee shop on Main Street in Red Falls. Coincidentally, Thursdays are Luna’s busiest nights.
  6. If you were, say, the 50-something mother of the author of this book, not naming names, you would probably go all cougar on this kid. Rarrr!
  7. Patrick is very intense, but sweet and sincere. Girls fall for him all the time but he’s not into random hookups (sorry nameless cougars).
  8. He’s definitely a Twilight Guy. Swoon!

Getting some ideas? Cool. Here are the rules:

  1. I need a last name and a nickname.
  2. He was known as Little Ricky as a kid, so the nickname can’t be Ricky or Rick.
  3. Last name has to go with Patrick and Ricky, since his Dad still goes by Ricky.
  4. His nickname doesn’t necessarily have to relate to his interests and hobbies, but it could, as long as it isn’t tacky and obvious, like Handy or Guitar Boy or Sexy White T-Shirt Guy.
  5. The nickname should be something his teenage guy friends would call him.
  6. Not Patsy or Patty or Pat.

So, any suggestions?


1. You all: for my Buffalo and Jersey friends, that’s yoos guys. For our neighbors to the south, it’s y’all. Up in tha club, that’s all y’all.

14 thoughts on “Naming the Boys We Love

  1. Wong. His last name should be Wong. And his nickname should be his Chinese name – which is “Sum-ting”.

  2. Okay. So his last name should be Mitchell because Patrick’s description was totally my brother when he was 17 and Patrick Mitchell and Rick “Ricky” Mitchell both sound good. LOL To me anyway. His nickname could be “Rico” as a tribute to old dad and it’s sort of part of Patrick… besides, the guy you described sounds a little Rico Suave to me! LMAO

  3. well let’s see..when we were growing up some of the nick names or our guy friends… Goog….Dutch…stinky…oaks…..mouse…wolf…animal…jeronamo…brillo…Booie…beany…Toonie…Papadole…Beaver…Dork…Tubby…Zeke…Grott..Socko….can’t think of any more… then there are Scott’s friends nicknames..Dirt…Cudney…..anyway…If you use Mitchell as the last name..call him Mitch! Maybe his middle name could be James…call him PJ. Patrick James Mitchell…PJ Mitchell.

  4. Call him “Strings” for his guitar playing

    What sports does he or did he play?

    What does he drive? or Ride?

    Last name Sullivan? Call him Sol or Sully? hmm “Strings” Sullivan? “Strings” Mitchell? “Strings” ??????

    More to come

  5. Well Patrick’s an Irish name so it could be something Irish, like Murphy, and nickname could be Murph. Other last names, O’Shea, O’Connor, McCartney, Cavanagh, Devlin

  6. How about Wilton or Wilkens for a last name – sounds sort of New Englandy and Will is a great nickname for a goodlooking sweaty guy in a white t shirt. More importantly where did all the great quilt squares come from. Love them

  7. Callihan. I dont know why but that is the last name Im feeling. Also, Im FROM VERMONT. And I still wish the boys in nyc were a little bit more like the Vermont boys, so Im in love with this one already… cant wait to meet you on Saturday. Ill think nicknames…

  8. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to play—maybe I’m too closely involved—but I just wanted to put my vote in for Trick. I like it and I think I saw it twice up there.

    As for last names, those always stump me too and I end up with the most generic last names for my characters. They always end up being job names or something similar. Like Chandler or Chase or Dark. Something totally non-last name, which can be good in moderation (as with most things).

    What about Haggerty? That name has been popping into my brain for the last few weeks—maybe the universe wanted me to suggest it to you. Patrick Haggerty. Do with it what you will. 🙂

    BTW, your move on Scrabulous.

  9. How about “Rand” for a last name? As in “randy,” which he may well turn out to be! Nickname could be “Randy.” Please don’t think this is an indication of where my mind is right now; I really am working very diligently!

  10. So, here’s my 2 cents, adjusted for inflation.

    I thought of Trick independently and was very impressed with myself until I saw that others also had the same idea. The two ways to look at it are 1) great minds think alike or 2) there really are no original ideas. I am definitely on the #1 side. So then I had to think harder (which was harder) and I decided that the nickname depends on who gave it to him. Mothers usually give their children “cute” nicknames (e.g., Andee for Andrea, Topher for Christopher, etc.). Boys (friends) usually give each other cruel names (e.g., Brad’s friend has a brother whom they affectionately call “snot.” I don’t know why and really don’t want to know). So, the name I offer is Twitch. I thought maybe his friends could have named him Twitch because he would always move his fingers during class as if he were daydreaming that he was playing the guitar.

    Hope that helps. If you end up using Twitch, I at least want my initials in the credits somewhere. And if Twitch is the dumbest name you’ve ever heard, go easy on me – it’s my first time nicknaming a character.

  11. If you pick Callaghan, please spell it that way, as my childhood friend Paula Ferro Callaghan spells it.

    I read a completely trashy smut novel last week on vacation (I visited my best friend who pretty much exclusively reads romance novels, and whenever I visit, I ask her to throw me a dose of brain candy) WITH A CHARACTER NAMED TRICK. He was bad, though. The reason Our Heroine was pretty much a hussy, from my eye-view.

    The best nicknames I’ve been exposed to are “Speed” (my very slow maternal grandfather’s nickname) and “Tiny” (my 6’4″ father’s childhood nickname. I prefer irony in a nickname. Or something that came about because of a younger sibling’s inability to pronounce–such as “Keb” for my nephew Caleb and “Juke” for a friend’s child, Julian Kerry Collins Wight. For Patrick, what would that be? I’ll ask my friend Gail, who has a 4-year-old named Patrick with a younger sister named IRIS who was born on April 15. IRIS. IRS. Get it? Maybe call him Taxi? Ponyboy? Sodapop? Sweet Tea?

    Okay, my imagination is exhausted. I gotta get some sleep.

Comments are closed.