Consider the following piece of dialogue:

Peter: Hello, Mary! How do you do?
Mary: Hi, Peter! Fine, and you?

What is the term for the part in bold, the specification of who is to speak a particular line?

  • 1
    These seem to be called "character names" in screenplays. I've checked several formatting guides for screenplays, and they all seem to use this (rather obvious) terminology. Jan 25, 2013 at 23:39
  • @PeterShor This would make a good answer.
    – MetaEd
    Jan 26, 2013 at 0:30

2 Answers 2


Interlocutors: The persons who take part in a dialog.

  • Sorry, could you please explain, will be this term "designation the interlocutors" clear?
    – aaa
    Jan 25, 2013 at 19:25
  • There are other synonyms. "Interlocutor" is precise, but may sound high-brow or supercilious. "Speakers" is also good enough. Jan 25, 2013 at 19:26
  • You may say "The speakers (or interlocutors) are..." Does that help? Jan 25, 2013 at 19:27
  • Nearly. But I need to say something like: " xxx: - is the designation of interlocutors in dialogue" - will be this clear?
    – aaa
    Jan 25, 2013 at 19:28
  • 1
    Perhaps xxx: identifies the speaker in dialog would be a simpler way of putting it. "Designation" is a slightly obscure term that doesn't really fit here (it's more the name by which something will be known, rather than the format in which something will be written). Jan 25, 2013 at 19:35

If you're talking about the name for the text that says who is speaking, in screenplays these seem to be called "character cues" or "character names". I've checked several formatting guides for screenplays, and those that have a term for this use one or the other of these.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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