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As we can say principal for user/group/role, is there a common word for person/company/organization?

I do not understand this question. Maybe it would help if you provide a couple of sentences -- one where you use the word principal for user/group/role, and another where you need a word to represent person/company/organization? Thanks! –  Jay Elston May 22 '11 at 4:10
@Jay: it's a database table about suppliers and customers, so, a supplier/customer maybe a person, or a company, or an organization. As we have a single table for user/group/role, I'd also want to use a single table for person/company/organization. –  Xiè Jìléi May 22 '11 at 9:37

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The word you are looking for is party.

Can an "organisation" not being a body corporate can be a party to anything? –  Marcin May 22 '11 at 13:26
That was going to be my guess as well, and Ray's answer reinforces this. The Marx brothers, my source for legal advice, once had this in a contract: "The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part." How do you like that? That's pretty neat, eh? (youtube.com/watch?v=SzfiBMRDc5Y) –  Jay Elston May 22 '11 at 19:48
Love the Marx Brothers! –  Thursagen May 25 '11 at 21:47

I am taking a wild guess that you are trying to find an economy related term.

How about (economic) "entity"?

entit...y....oh drat. ;P there it is. +1 –  Garet Claborn May 22 '11 at 7:59
Entity seems too common, i.e., everything looks like an entity. –  Xiè Jìléi May 22 '11 at 9:34

In my databases this is known as a legal entity (i.e. anything that can be bound by a contract). Typically, there are 4 main 'types'; Person, Company, Organization, Government


In most contexts, legal person explicitly includes companies and the like.


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