I'm looking for an unambiguous word (or expression) for referring to a question and a corresponding answer as a single entity.

The word should express that no more and no less than 1 question and 1 answer is covered, and that they correspond to each other.

The terms "request, response" may be technical jargon but I'm looking for a general word (it may be technical or not).

(In case this should be obvious, please merge this to ELL, I'm not native.)

  • 2
    Do you mean in the sense of data? If so there are some answers here: stackoverflow.com/questions/1039513/…
    – dcaswell
    Sep 4, 2013 at 13:49
  • 9
    We need NameMyVariable.stackexchange.com
    – JeffSahol
    Sep 4, 2013 at 13:51
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about "Naming, including naming programming variables/classes". This is confirmed by OP's tag & comment.
    – TrevorD
    Sep 4, 2013 at 14:27
  • 1
    In ling biz, this is called Turn-taking, and Harvey Sacks provided a fine-grained analysis of how and why it works the way it does. Sep 4, 2013 at 14:48
  • 1
    I ended up calling a Request-Response Handler "ConnectionHandler" the other day, so "Connection"? Sep 5, 2013 at 8:41

6 Answers 6


Exchange or interchange might work in the absence of better words.

  • 1
    Exchange is good but does not imply a question, consider this exchange: - Hi. - Hi yourself. Neither of these implies a short interchange though, both could describe conversations that lasted for hours.
    – terdon
    Sep 4, 2013 at 14:00
  • 1
    Inquisitive Exchange?
    – SoWhat
    Sep 4, 2013 at 16:04
  • conversation seems good, but is long and too far from computing
    – sites
    Aug 16, 2016 at 3:37

Just call it a Transaction if you're not working with databases otherwise it can get confusing. I can also suggest Discourse but it may be a little far fetched.

I also want to add handshake as in a WebSocket Protocol Handshake


Well, how about Q&A?

Q and A
noun Informal.
an exchange of questions and answers.

Also, Q&A.

If you are looking for variable names, you could always write QnA or QA or QandA or something.

  • I'm thinking that these call-and-response pairs should count as antiphonal sequences — or perhaps simply ἀντίφωνα. :)
    – tchrist
    Dec 11, 2016 at 2:48

The compound word (or phrase if you omit the hyphens) call-and-response may suit

a statement quickly followed by an answering statement; also : a musical phrase in which the first and often solo part is answered by a second and often ensemble part


You can use the word "Event" for referring to the entity... And this entity involves (or consists of) one Query and one Answer (Q&A).


To me, the word "query" does contain the assumption that you expect a response to a request. Somebody (or something) who makes a query is an "enquirer".

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