I am looking for a band name. I am German, so I am not quite sure if not [Adjective] nor [Adjective] is grammatically correct.

Is not yellow nor pink or not famous nor envied a possible phrase, or should I use neither instead of not?

1 Answer 1


Both neither and nor can be used to mean "also not", so in many cases they are interchangeable.

I would prefer neither, as in:

Neither hot nor cold.

But an example I found in this dictionary went like this:

"John does not drive."

"Nor does Janet."

Although this isn't the same sentence the second speaker is not making a complete coherent sentence, they are appending the first, so this shows that "nor" can follow "not".

Personally though, I wouldn't get too hung up on this when it is a band name. You are being creative, and band names need to sound and look good.

There are bands with made-up words for names like The Beatles (a portmanteau of beat and beetles). There are bands with phonetic names like XTC. Some bands deliberately spell their name wrong like The Byrds or Phish. And for no grammatical sense whatsoever look no further than The The.

Be creative with your band name and save your best grammar for your lyrics!

  • 1
    Thanks for your quick reply. So, you would say that a name like "Not famous nor envied" would be possible and wouldn't sound bad or wrong? (It's not the actual name, but it's quite similar). Best wishes!
    – user80353
    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:54
  • 1
    @lkwpeter I can only speak personally but I think it sounds brilliant as a band name. As a sentence you wouldn't normally begin with "not"; you would more likely say "It is not..." or "They are not.." but I don't think all the rules apply here. I'm imagining how good it would look with the words stacked on four lines on an album cover! NOT and NOR are the same size so it would look great visually.
    – Astralbee
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:02
  • 1
    I am happy to hear that! Yes, that's actually one reason I was aiming for such a combination. Most people think a band name just has to be concise and sound good, but "looking good" is another important point. Thanks so much for your kind help! Really happy now! :-)
    – user80353
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:09

You must log in to answer this question.