Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 56 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:

-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 langauges that have the concept of an interface you sometimes see the "-or" form, so follow the conventions of whatever domain you're writing in.

share|improve this answer
Pretty good answer. –  Robusto Jun 9 '11 at 16:32
Thanks. Programmer here =) –  djjeck Jul 12 '13 at 19:10
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
The link seems to be dead. –  Daniel Böhmer Oct 27 '14 at 14:11
Sigh. And the site disabled robots so isn't available in the Wayback Machine. Googling an excerpt of the quote turns up only other pages that quoted this page. I did have a credible source when I wrote this answer in 2011, but I don't now know how to produce it. :-( –  Monica Cellio Oct 27 '14 at 14:20

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

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.