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Both are in dictionaries. I've heard people insist "requester" is correct for a person who requests something, and that "requestor" is wrong there, leaving me to wonder how it is used. Requestor happens to be marked as an error in my browser's spellchecker.

COCA for requester/requestor indicates that requester is used for people and requestor is used in technical senses like a part of a program. A google ngram for requester/requestor shows that requester is also a bit more common.

Some online discussions suggest requestor may have a meaning in law or be more common there, but I can't find that.

What's the difference in usage? Should requester be used for people, or is it more nuanced than that?

Note: These related questions discuss "creator" and "updater" and discuss -er and -or endings overall.

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up vote 82 down vote accepted

With one exception [1] I don't think there is a nuanced difference here but rather multiple formations of the same concept. As you noted, requester is more common than requestor.

This explanation about choosing -er or -or includes the following:

4. -or is used when the base word ends in -ate, -ct, -it : calculate/calculator create/creator investigate/investigator contract/contractor reflect/reflector conduct/conductor visit/visitor exhibit/exhibitor edit/editor

[1] In programming languages that have the concept of an interface you sometimes see the "-or" form, so follow the conventions of whatever domain you're writing in.

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Pretty good answer. – Robusto Jun 9 '11 at 16:32
19  
Thanks. Programmer here =) – djjeck Jul 12 '13 at 19:10
2  
came here for the same reason- database tables are requestor named, and the UI of the application uses the term requester – David Mann Jun 30 '14 at 16:57
6  
The spelling "requestor" should only be used by a programmor. :) – GEdgar Jun 11 '15 at 21:13
    
As a programmer who was trying to decide whether to name something Requestor or Requester this post was perfect! – David Griffin Jan 23 at 22:56

protected by Jasper Loy Apr 10 '12 at 13:20

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