In my book (fantasy novel), there's a character named Brad. Unfortunately, Brad has become synonymous with "douchebag".
Now, when I first introduced him I just came up with a name. It needed to be on "B", because he was a butcher. "Brad the Butcher", rings nicely right? But then after a while, a thought popped into my head. Isn't the name Brad a bit douchey? Now, I know this is kind of opinion-based, but then again, there are many people who say that they correlate the name Brad with douchery. The thing is, Brad is not a douche. He is likeable, at least from my perspective. I am worried that his name will give my readers a preconceived notion that he's a douchebag. FYI, he's 16 years old.
To give some context, here are his character traits.
- Kinda psychopathic
- Usually calm but very passionate about one subject (He loathes the upper-class)
- Has a soft spot
- Best friend to the main character
- A bit greedy; can easily turn on someone
So, he's no douchebag. Perhaps he's a bit of a bad guy sometimes, but not a textbook "wazzup" douchebag. So, will people regard him as such anyways? Don't get me wrong, someone named Brad is not necessarily a douchebag, but unfortunately the name has that connotation. But is this connotation so strong that it will overshadow his prominent traits and make people expect things about him that I never intended to be a part of him? Or will experiencing the character prevail over its connotation?
Also, as a note. I changed his name to Barney, but it felt wrong. I had written him as Brad for a while, and the name grew on me. But the fact that I like Brad better is probably primarily based on the fact that it was my initial choice and the one I've written with. Do you think Barney would be a better name for my character?
EDIT: I just want to clarify exactly what I'm asking. Will the development of a character thwart the false connotation a certain name brings?