Should You Capitalize Coen Brothers?

Learn why "Coen brothers" is lowercase but "Andrews Sisters" is not.

Mignon Fogarty

For the Grammar Girl podcast about contractions in the Coen brothers movie True Grit, I had to look up whether I should capitalize "brothers" in "Coen brothers." The answer is no. It would only be capitalized if it were part of their official name--for example, if they were a band called The Coen Brothers. Here are some examples:

  • Olsen twins

  • Coen brothers

  • The Andrews Sisters

  • The Allman Brothers Band

Sources: Chicago Manual of Style, Official Coen Brothers Wiki


Coen Brothers (cannesPH) image, Rita Molnár at Wikimedia Commons. CC BY SA-2.0, 2.0 Generic, 1.0.




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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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