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March 15, 2014 12:04 pm  #1


Sherlock's name

So we know Sherock's full name is William Sherlock Scott Holmes but he chose to be Sherlock Holmes.

At first, I was sceptical about it - how could the writers change something as basic as Sherlock's name? But now I think it's brilliant. That it's his choice to be called Sherlock. I imagine he wanted to be like his brother as a kid and Mycroft not only was extraordinary but he had an extraordinary name. According to Mycroft, Sherlock "always liked to be dramatic" so he decided he'd use his second name instead of first and have a unique name, too.

I wonder, what name has he in his ID? Is he officially Sherlock Holmes now? I thought so because in TBB John had his credit card and he took the ckeck from Wilkes so he'd be surprised if there wasn't 'Sherlock Holmes', right? But he might have already knew Sherock's "official" name; after all they had to heve signed some agreement with Mrs Hudson. But if there was "William" on the check and the card, wouldn't General Shan be surprised? She didn't even know how Sherlock looks like, she surely knew him as Sherlock Holmes. What do you think?

I thought about something else. During the scene at Bart's in THV, Sherlock smiles when Billy Wiggins tells John about how he know he's been cycling to work but when he says "And I further deduce..." and it annoys Sherlock. So he asks for Billy's name and he forces him to say his real name, not the nickname he'd like people tu use. (And it's the same name as Shelrock's - William, is that a coincidence?) I thought maybe Sherlock does what Mycroft used to do to him when they were kids. When Sherlock was "showing off" too much, he'd call him William, Bill or Billy to annoy him and remind him that Mycroft is the smart one and Sherlock is stupid and ordinary. In Sherlock's Mind Palace, Mycroft says such and even worse things so I think Sherlock often heard such things from his brother. 


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March 16, 2014 3:01 am  #2


Re: Sherlock's name

The writers cherry pick from all past adaptations and the full name was used in a book, I think, I've forgotten if it was a book or a film. So that's where his full name came from.

It is possible in UK to legally change your name and drop first names. I'd have picked Sherlock rather than William or Scott.

Billy was a page, a house servant, in one of the original stories so it's a reference to the ACD canon. Judging by the way Sherlock said it to Wiggins I think Sherlock had been called Billy by someone to belittle or annoy him. I'm not sure if the voice of Mycroft in his Mind Palace is his or Sherlock's criticising himself.

Hope that helps.


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March 16, 2014 10:55 pm  #3


Re: Sherlock's name

I'd like to know who came up with the name's idea first so if anybody know any details, please share. I know who Billy Wiggins was in ACD canon and I just wonder if it's a coincidence that he and Sherlock have the same name. I was sure if was Moftiss' idea but if it wasn't, maybe the universe is really that lazy

About Sherlock's Mind Palace, you can be right and Mycroft's figure might just be a personification of Sherlock's complexes and autocriticism. Or maybe it's a combination of both: Sherlock's memories and his own thoughts. 


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March 16, 2014 11:33 pm  #4


Re: Sherlock's name

I don′t know about William but I′m sure that the writers took the name „Scott“ from the „Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton“. Sherlock uses an alias there, the name „Escott“ – which can be read also as S. Scott (Sherlock Scott) as if Sherlock was using a part of his real name as an alias.
 


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March 17, 2014 12:50 am  #5


Re: Sherlock's name

I was always under the impression that the name "William Sherlock Scott" came from the Baring-Gould "biography" of Sherlock Holmes published in the early 1960's. Same source as the idea of a third Holmes brother.

 

March 17, 2014 8:17 am  #6


Re: Sherlock's name

Yeah, I heard that too, but I never read it because, well, there are too many leaps in it. Does anyone know why Baring-Gould thought that Sherlock Holmes was not his complete name?

 

March 16, 2015 1:45 pm  #7


Re: Sherlock's name

nakahara wrote:

I don′t know about William but I′m sure that the writers took the name „Scott“ from the „Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton“. Sherlock uses an alias there, the name „Escott“ – which can be read also as S. Scott (Sherlock Scott) as if Sherlock was using a part of his real name as an alias.
 

And now I remember that there´s indeed one story in which Sherlock is known as "William". But it was not penned by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was written by a postmodernist author, Umberto Eco - it´s his most famous novel "The Name of The Rose".

Two main protagonists of this novel, monks Willliam of Baskerville and Adso of Melk, are modelled after Sherlock and John. Note that while the town of "Melk" exists and is indeed known for its monastery, no "Baskerville" is really placed anywhere in Britain. This name of origin is only used here to remind us of "The Hound of the Baskervilles", most famous of Sherlock´s cases, so that we as the "informed readers" would recognise that William is Sherlock.

Willliam´s description matches Doyle´s description of Sherlock to a T - this Wikipedia page has both citations side by side, so that we can see a striking similarity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Baskerville

Moreover, William takes an unknown herbal drug (that he himself gathers at the entrance of the forest) "in the moments of great tension". "No shadow of lust pollutes his form", strikingly so, even for a monk. At the beginning of the story he deduces the whereabouts and appearance of the lost Abbott´s horse from the few footprints left by the animal in the snow.

Eco bestowed the name "William" on Sherlock after William of Ockham whose "Ockham´s Razor" resembles Sherlock´s maxim: "When you have eliminated all that is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Just as William is clearly Sherlock, Adso is clearly John. His name, declined as "Adson", is just slightly masked up "Watson". He is a romantic and a sensitive man at heart, entangles himself in a love affair with a woman during the case and is a chronicler of William´s acts.

 

Last edited by nakahara (March 16, 2015 7:59 pm)


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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March 16, 2015 2:02 pm  #8


Re: Sherlock's name

That's fascinating stuff about "Name of the Rose."   I've always liked the movie but never made the Sherlock connection.


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March 16, 2015 2:08 pm  #9


Re: Sherlock's name

Amazing, nakahara. I know the book and the film but never made the connection. 


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March 16, 2015 2:13 pm  #10


Re: Sherlock's name

Makes me want to watch it again!  Thinking back on it, the plot is a very Holmesian mystery.

Last edited by tonnaree (March 16, 2015 2:13 pm)


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March 16, 2015 2:18 pm  #11


Re: Sherlock's name

Oh very cool to see why the name might have come from. Moftiss keep saying that everything is canon, so they just nick whatever they like.
 
For if Sherlock is now his official name. I don’t know it is in the UK, but in the Netherlands you can go by a “preferred name”. For example, one of my old housemates is called Petrus, but he preferres to go by Pieter. He is allowed to use Pieter for official stuff, all his mail (including insurance and bank mail) is addressed to Pieter. I only found out about his real name after a government letter came for Petrus. Does anyone know if something similar is possible in the UK?


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March 16, 2015 2:41 pm  #12


Re: Sherlock's name

tonnaree wrote:

Makes me want to watch it again!  Thinking back on it, the plot is a very Holmesian mystery.

The movie was very good, but the book contains so much more information, mysteries and funny modernist allusions that it greatly surpasses any effort to film it, it is unfilmable in its entirety.

And it uses not only famous fictional pop-culture icons but also real-life figures as a characters of this book. For example, the novel´s antagonist, blind monk Jorge of Burgoss, is modelled after real life Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Luis_Borges

Jorge Luis Borges has written many fantastic short-stories about mysterious books and libraries, he was an avid reader and book expert, he even became the director of Argentinian National Library - but he went completely blind at that time. He himself commented on it: "God... with such splendid irony, granted me books and night at one touch."

(In short, The Name of the Rose is worth reading, it contains many surprises like this.) http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

 


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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March 16, 2015 3:26 pm  #13


Re: Sherlock's name

This forum is so educational.   http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


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March 16, 2015 4:59 pm  #14


Re: Sherlock's name

RedKitten wrote:

I was always under the impression that the name "William Sherlock Scott" came from the Baring-Gould "biography" of Sherlock Holmes published in the early 1960's. Same source as the idea of a third Holmes brother.

That's it! It's from Willam Baring-Gould's famous (to Sherlockians) fictional biography of Holmes, Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, (1962); it's been widely accepted in Sherlockian circles.

(Remember, there have been rabid Holmes fans for over a century!)

ETA: Baring-Gould wrote the first Annotated Sherlock Holmes, and was as big a fan of the stories as they come; the author of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie Klinger, used the name (citing Baring-Gould's bio as the source) in his timeline of the ACD stories

The Eco citations are very interesting, because it shows that he dipped into Holmes fandom, and not just the stories themselves!

Last edited by REReader (March 16, 2015 5:05 pm)


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March 16, 2015 8:05 pm  #15


Re: Sherlock's name

How fascinating. I read The Name of the Rose many years ago, and I'm now reading some of the ACD stories, I wasn't aware of the connection. I think I'm going to have to re read Rose, it was a brilliant book. Hard going (for me) but worth the slog!

Last edited by ukaunz (March 16, 2015 8:06 pm)


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March 16, 2015 10:05 pm  #16


Re: Sherlock's name

Just poppin in to say that's exactly the kind of question that has been bugging me these last few days.

Right. The Name of the Rose is definitely the next book I'm going to read.
Like tonnaree said, this forum is extremely educational http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


Do we know why Eco has chosen 'William' ? After the Bard, maybe?

And we know Sherlock's full name, but assuming Mycroft's name has much the same structure (Classic/Dramatic/other), can we try and guess it?

 


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March 16, 2015 10:28 pm  #17


Re: Sherlock's name

Lilythiell wrote:

Do we know why Eco has chosen 'William' ? After the Bard, maybe?

 

Eco named Sherlock William after William of Ockham, author of "Ockham Razor" theory. But I fully believe, Eco also knew the above mentioned William Baring-Gould and his invention of "William Sherlock Scott". Since his William of Baskerville isn´t an Englishman, he is a Scot. (He was definitely playing with both origins of the name). http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

 


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

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March 16, 2015 10:37 pm  #18


Re: Sherlock's name

Thanks http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


[that'll teach me to forum in front of the telly, can't read properly and be distracted]


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January 21, 2016 2:49 pm  #19


Re: Sherlock's name

Weird. So Moftiss don´t actually like the name William Sherlock Scott, but they put it into the show? Huh?

http://finalproblem.tumblr.com/post/137584762245/moffat-didnt-like-that-either-he-said-that-in-an

Also, the blogger makes good point: how it´s possible that John gets to know full Sherlock´s name only on the tarmac? Why was it not mentioned in any of his correspondence, in his medical files, on his gravestone etc.?


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I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

January 21, 2016 3:09 pm  #20


Re: Sherlock's name

Well, it's the same with John's full name, isn't it? Sherlock only learned it by sneaking at John's birth certificate. So it doesn't seem too hard to hide your full name.


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