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JoNightshade
12-12-2008, 11:39 AM
Give me your first impression. If you heard the first name "Ramsey," would you think the person was male or female?

Fraulein
12-12-2008, 11:51 AM
That's a girl's name. Sure, Rambo is a male, but most of these new age names ending in "ey/sey/ie" are usually female, e.g. Bailey. I wish I could think of more examples...

Fenika
12-12-2008, 11:55 AM
I got vague female followed by ambiguous so I didn't vote. fyi, fwiw

ETA: Unless this is for character filters, don't worry about it

JoNightshade
12-12-2008, 12:12 PM
It is not precisely for a character; it's kind of important. I want to see what people say first. :)

aruna
12-12-2008, 12:18 PM
I never heard it as a name and my first thougt was male.
Might be that "Ram" bit in it.... very masculine.
Definitely a male vibe.

Varthikes
12-12-2008, 12:21 PM
I'd say it's one of those names that could be used for either.

Beach Bunny
12-12-2008, 12:25 PM
Most of the stories that I have read with "Ramsey" as a character name, the character has been male. :Shrug:

qwerty
12-12-2008, 12:37 PM
I would immediately assume male. If I then discovered it was a female, I'd have a mental image of a tomboy.

scarletpeaches
12-12-2008, 01:15 PM
Definitely male, especially as I read a book this year with Ramsay being the name of one of the male MCs.

Vincent
12-12-2008, 01:29 PM
I'm thinking Male.

Mumut
12-12-2008, 01:43 PM
Ramsay McDonald was a British Prime Minister. Any Brit would immediately say male. So that's over sixty million voting that way.

waylander
12-12-2008, 03:04 PM
Ramsey Campbell, distinguished (male) British horror writer.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-12-2008, 03:16 PM
My first impression was male... but, thinking like a writer who's trying to think like a writer and who wants a 'different' name for a character, I voted female. :)

sheadakota
12-12-2008, 03:30 PM
My immidiate thought was male, as in the Pharoah Ramsey ll

Fraulein
12-12-2008, 03:51 PM
My first impression was male... but, thinking like a writer who's trying to think like a writer and who wants a 'different' name for a character, I voted female. :)Females given 'male' names happens on a regular basis in real life. I know of females who are named: Jordan, Taylor, Tyler, Ryan, Reese, and Billy Jo (sp?) and nicknamed: Bobbi and Alex.

Bmwhtly
12-12-2008, 03:55 PM
My immediate thought was that it's a surname not a first name.

But then I decided it was male anyway.

aruna
12-12-2008, 04:18 PM
My immediate thought was that it's a surname not a first name.

But then I decided it was male anyway.

Yes, Gordon Ramsay (Ramsey?) springs to mind.

My uncle named a daughter if his Peta, pronounced almsot like Peter.
In thode says, (50's) it was unheard of to give a girl a male-sounding name, or to give anyone made-up names.

The other names for this uncle's children (boys) were: Storm, Blaze, Wylde.
He was VERY much before his time. The other relatives always spoke of him as a bit crazy for naming the kids thus. Now it's nothing.

ETA: just cheated and checked the Baby Name Wizard. Ramsey it says was a boy's name between the 70's and early 90's then went out completely. There were no girls names Ramsey in the top 1000 girls' names --- ever.

KTC
12-12-2008, 04:19 PM
I know two guys named Ramsey...so it was immediately male for me. Never heard of a single female named Ramsey.

Fraulein
12-12-2008, 04:34 PM
Oh man! I totally forgot about the name Casey. Is that name ambiguous or what???

kristie911
12-12-2008, 04:56 PM
Definitely male at first thought but I wouldn't be surprised to meet a female named Ramsey nowadays.

vixey
12-12-2008, 05:25 PM
Male. As someone said upthread, it's the ram that makes it sound male to me.

ETA: And since this is in OP, Jo, and not Novel Writing, I'm wondering if you want to name a little human or pet this name. :rolleyes:

donroc
12-12-2008, 05:36 PM
Male from one of those WASP families that bestow last names as the first for their males.

Jo
12-12-2008, 05:40 PM
Male. :)

Atani
12-12-2008, 06:18 PM
Seems like an ambiguous name on first impression, but I leaned toward female. Guess it's all a matter of personal opinion.

cray
12-12-2008, 06:25 PM
m

Pagey's_Girl
12-12-2008, 06:31 PM
I'd say male. But that's just me.

smoothseas
12-12-2008, 06:34 PM
I voted male. Isn't that a brand name for jimmy hats?

Fraulein
12-12-2008, 06:45 PM
It's the name of a jewelry store around here. ..."Rrrraaaamsey's- diamond jewelers!" radio advertisement on Youtube :tongue (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo6e7jghA2E)

Unique
12-12-2008, 06:58 PM
I would think it was a male because I know a guy named, Ramsey.

moth
12-12-2008, 08:07 PM
Male.

Angie
12-12-2008, 08:24 PM
I would think male, though as others have said I wouldn't be surprised to meet a female Ramsey these days.

HeronW
12-12-2008, 08:38 PM
Ramses the Pharaoh, and as a man's name is popular now.

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2008, 08:48 PM
Male. Makes me think of Ramses, the Pharoah.

aruna
12-12-2008, 09:13 PM
Male. Makes me think of Ramses, the Pharoah.

Yes, that Ram thing is very potent. You've got the male sheep (with horns); Ram, the Hindu divine incarnation and warrior; pharoah Ramses, the very male-shounding very "to ram".

TerzaRima
12-12-2008, 10:07 PM
No one thought of the condom brand?

See, I would think this would be a name fail, because kids on the playground would want to know about his brother Trojan. But I obviously think like a twelve year old kid.

JoNightshade
12-12-2008, 10:32 PM
ETA: And since this is in OP, Jo, and not Novel Writing, I'm wondering if you want to name a little human or pet this name. :rolleyes:

Haha! Okay, I give. Not a little human, a big human - me. It's actually my middle name, so for the purposes of making agents/editors think I'm male, I'm contemplating lopping off my first name and using that instead.

Looks like most people think it's male, which is what I want, but it's ambiguous enough that if someone actually called me I could say, "Nope! I'm a girl!"

KTC
12-12-2008, 10:44 PM
I don't think it's the least bit ambiguous, actually...but you still shouldn't have a problem with it. They will think you're male...but with the ludicrous names out there today nobody should ever assume.

scarletpeaches
12-12-2008, 10:45 PM
If I was an agent and someone tried to trick me in this way I wouldn't be pissed off, but neither would I be best pleased.

When it comes to ambiguous names, it's the readers you should try to fool, not the folks who'll get you published.

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2008, 11:19 PM
..., so for the purposes of making agents/editors think I'm male, ...

Why would you want to do that?

BenPanced
12-12-2008, 11:25 PM
I'm not answering. Considering they're now naming girls "Logan" and using the "sr./jr." suffixes on women's names, I have no faith.

Yeshanu
12-12-2008, 11:25 PM
First impression was male, but could be either.

Snowstorm
12-13-2008, 12:40 AM
A friend had a boy in the 1978 and named him Ramsey. I mention the decade because name popularity shifts over time and that might make a difference for you.

But, what's really odd when I first read your question I wanted to answer female! I reminded myself about Ramsey, my friend's son. Weird, huh.

JoNightshade
12-13-2008, 12:56 AM
If I was an agent and someone tried to trick me in this way I wouldn't be pissed off, but neither would I be best pleased.

When it comes to ambiguous names, it's the readers you should try to fool, not the folks who'll get you published.

Yes, I understand that, but it's not really "fooling" if it's my real name, and in fact it is; it's just my second name, not my first. If an agent happens to assume it's male and then finds out I'm female, what's the big deal?


Why would you want to do that?

Because in spite of having two novels and going through query hell about 50 times until my query letters SPARKLE, I have gotten very, very little responses to my queries. For two novels, after sending out about two hundred queries - I targeted my 15 or 20 top choices specifically - I've gotten such a low partial request rate it's absurd. Maybe 10 total? From that, I've gotten 4 full requests - and 4/10 is pretty good. One agent did offer to rep me (turned out to be not a good choice), and one agent asked me to rewrite and then rejected me. So I've got 2 near misses out of 10 partials.

ERGO - I'm falling down somewhere with my query. I've sent out different versions, different points of view, nothing I change seems to make a bit of difference.

A comment made by the agent who asked me to write has echoed others I've gotten in the past - she said she was really surprised that I could "write men so well," even though I was a woman.

I write about male relationships. I write from a male POV. My books are aimed at a partially male audience.

So this is my next experiment. Does it make a difference if I'm "male?"

James81
12-13-2008, 12:57 AM
I hear "Ramsey" and I think of Dave.

James81
12-13-2008, 12:59 AM
Yes, I understand that, but it's not really "fooling" if it's my real name, and in fact it is; it's just my second name, not my first. If an agent happens to assume it's male and then finds out I'm female, what's the big deal?



Because in spite of having two novels and going through query hell about 50 times until my query letters SPARKLE, I have gotten very, very little responses to my queries. For two novels, after sending out about two hundred queries - I targeted my 15 or 20 top choices specifically - I've gotten such a low partial request rate it's absurd. Maybe 10 total? From that, I've gotten 4 full requests - and 4/10 is pretty good. One agent did offer to rep me (turned out to be not a good choice), and one agent asked me to rewrite and then rejected me. So I've got 2 near misses out of 10 partials.

ERGO - I'm falling down somewhere with my query. I've sent out different versions, different points of view, nothing I change seems to make a bit of difference.

A comment made by the agent who asked me to write has echoed others I've gotten in the past - she said she was really surprised that I could "write men so well," even though I was a woman.

I write about male relationships. I write from a male POV. My books are aimed at a partially male audience.

So this is my next experiment. Does it make a difference if I'm "male?"

lol, No.

Writing and publishing is probably the one area where women probably have a better shot at getting published than men. There are scores of female authors out there, and I highly doubt that it makes much of a difference if you are a male or female in this business.

James81
12-13-2008, 01:02 AM
And I'll give you an example:

Wally Lamb is a male, but in his book "She's Come Undone," I would swear that a woman wrote that book because he seems to capture the female persona so well. And that was HIS first book.

So I doubt this is the issue with you. You write men well, that is your strength...which is probably what this agent was telling you. Focus on strengthening your weaknesses, whatever they may be and don't give up.

scarletpeaches
12-13-2008, 01:08 AM
Yes, I understand that, but it's not really "fooling" if it's my real name, and in fact it is; it's just my second name, not my first. If an agent happens to assume it's male and then finds out I'm female, what's the big deal?

The big deal is, it makes you look ashamed of your gender even if you're not. It makes you look dishonest even if you're not.


Because in spite of having two novels and going through query hell about 50 times until my query letters SPARKLE, I have gotten very, very little responses to my queries.

So how will changing your name make your queries any better?


ERGO - I'm falling down somewhere with my query. I've sent out different versions, different points of view, nothing I change seems to make a bit of difference.

Yes. Your query. Not your name.


Does it make a difference if I'm "male?"

No. It doesn't make a difference that you're female, either.

KTC
12-13-2008, 01:18 AM
Yes, I understand that, but it's not really "fooling" if it's my real name, and in fact it is; it's just my second name, not my first. If an agent happens to assume it's male and then finds out I'm female, what's the big deal?



Because in spite of having two novels and going through query hell about 50 times until my query letters SPARKLE, I have gotten very, very little responses to my queries. For two novels, after sending out about two hundred queries - I targeted my 15 or 20 top choices specifically - I've gotten such a low partial request rate it's absurd. Maybe 10 total? From that, I've gotten 4 full requests - and 4/10 is pretty good. One agent did offer to rep me (turned out to be not a good choice), and one agent asked me to rewrite and then rejected me. So I've got 2 near misses out of 10 partials.

ERGO - I'm falling down somewhere with my query. I've sent out different versions, different points of view, nothing I change seems to make a bit of difference.

A comment made by the agent who asked me to write has echoed others I've gotten in the past - she said she was really surprised that I could "write men so well," even though I was a woman.

I write about male relationships. I write from a male POV. My books are aimed at a partially male audience.

So this is my next experiment. Does it make a difference if I'm "male?"

I find it sad that you feel this way. I can tell you from personal experience that men get rejected all the time in the publishing industry too. For you to think that changing your name to trick an agent into thinking you're a man...and providing them with the exact same query and manuscript that you would have provided them with as a woman...I just find it terribly sad.

NO...IT DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT SEX YOU ARE. They are looking for a great query that will make them consider your manuscript...because they see a potential to make money off of it. What you have for plumbing doesn't matter. GOOD WRITING that is MARKETABLE matters. Do what you want with your name...but I think you should reconsider your thought processes. Seriously.

KTC
12-13-2008, 01:19 AM
And PS...I have been told that I write women well too, for a guy. That means NOTHING in context to what you are considering doing. NOTHING.

scarletpeaches
12-13-2008, 01:20 AM
Yeah, because if you land an agent this way...you've landed an agent who only wanted you for as long as they thought you were male...or was so easily tricked into falling for a 'false' name.

So you've got either a misogynist or a fool managing your career.

eLfwriter
12-13-2008, 01:36 AM
My immidiate thought was male, as in the Pharoah Ramsey ll



I'm with you here -- maybe I read too much Egyptian material?


I can't picture "Ramsey" as a girl name ... just doesn't sit with me.

scarletpeaches
12-13-2008, 01:37 AM
There was never a Pharaoh Ramsey.

Pagey's_Girl
12-13-2008, 04:03 AM
I think it was Ramses, but that may not be right...

JoNightshade
12-13-2008, 08:05 AM
Wally Lamb is a male, but in his book "She's Come Undone," I would swear that a woman wrote that book because he seems to capture the female persona so well. And that was HIS first book.


And PS...I have been told that I write women well too, for a guy. That means NOTHING in context to what you are considering doing. NOTHING.

Plenty of guys write books for and about girls. This is accepted and always has been. Name me some mainstream contemporary fiction writers, women, who write about male relationships from a male POV. NOT genre writers - on the general fiction shelves.


The big deal is, it makes you look ashamed of your gender even if you're not. It makes you look dishonest even if you're not.

How does going by the name Ramsey, which is my name, make me look dishonest?


Yeah, because if you land an agent this way...you've landed an agent who only wanted you for as long as they thought you were male...or was so easily tricked into falling for a 'false' name.

So you've got either a misogynist or a fool managing your career.

Uh, no, that does not follow. People make plenty of snap judgments based on inconsequential facts; that doesn't make them misogynist. It means they may be slightly more inclined to put my query down than not. By the time an agent has actually read the partial/full, they either like it or they don't and my sex makes no difference.

What I'm trying to avoid is the "Hmm, woman writing about a father-son conflict. Nah."

I've actually seen agent "wish lists" in the past that said things like "We'd like to see a literary romance written by a man." (And no, I can't link it - it was like six months ago and I don't remember who it was.) I remember being miffed when I saw it.

You think it doesn't matter? I think it may. I'm not saying it does, but I'm giving it a try, and at this point I don't see why I shouldn't. If it doesn't work, then I have two more novels to store under the bed. What else is new?

tiny
12-13-2008, 09:41 PM
I'd use Ramsey just because it's wicked cool. :D