English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an API library, what do I call code/applications that use it? I want to avoid "client" because in my context, it is ambiguous with another concept.

Also it doesn't have to be a single word, as long as it's short and not awkward to repeat a lot of times in a formal document.

share|improve this question
Personally, I would use calling code if you can't use client. – Maxpm Apr 28 '12 at 4:32
Or calling processes. – FumbleFingers Apr 28 '12 at 4:47
One word for "codes/applications that calls" is ungrammatical. (^_^) Editing... – RegDwigнt Apr 28 '12 at 10:52

In a document that is truly formal, you can invent your own word and put it into the glossary. When it first appears in your document, write it in italics and give a definition. Then after that use that word consistently.

"The program which calls this API, hereafter referred to as the caller, etc."

share|improve this answer
By formal, I don't mean like a legal document. It's more like a business/professional document. But it's a good suggestion. Thanks! – Louis Rhys Apr 28 '12 at 4:26
You've never seen an engineering document in which terms are introduced in this way? What do you think of caller, by the way. – Kaz Apr 28 '12 at 4:40

The answer is calling code.

share|improve this answer

From a technical point of view an API define a contract between a caller and a callee.

share|improve this answer
any reference that these terminology is accepted/formal? – Louis Rhys Apr 28 '12 at 12:39
As far as I know this convention comes from telecommunications standards : caller references the calling party, callee the called party. API of most (all) programming languages expose a caller property which references the component which called a function. – Jef Apr 28 '12 at 12:49
From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calling_convention : "between the caller and the callee", "receive parameters from their caller", etc. – Jef Apr 28 '12 at 12:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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