Something a bit professional sounding?

In a scenario where there was also a bunch of Requirements, this situation could be easily solved by labelling one as Required and this specific bunch of things as Optional. But in an independent context, where no requirements exist to provide contextual flavor, what can be a concise way of referring to a bunch of things that would be great if you could have / have access to, but they're not things you need to have / have access to.

Perhaps the word which fits - Required : Optional :: Requirements : ????

ETA: Though I'm also hoping for a better word than optional which also conveys the extra / positive nature of 'it would be really good to have this, even if it's not a requirement'.

  • 2
    nice-to-haves ... – mplungjan Mar 13 '14 at 10:23
  • in hotels they usually put: With The Compliments – user66974 Mar 13 '14 at 10:24
  • @mplungjan I did find that question, but I'm not really looking in a software feature context, so "optional requirements" definitely sounds oxymoronic without being relevant jargon. Ditto "out of scopes". Nice-to-have works, but well, it doesn't sound so good, hence I was wondering if there was a better word/phrase around. – Shisa Mar 13 '14 at 10:30
  • Luxuries or Add ons or Pluses – nette Mar 13 '14 at 10:40

14 Answers 14


When people draw up budgets for their living expenses, they sometimes distinguish between necessities and nonnecessities, or between essential expenditures and nonessential expenditures. After paying for the necessary items, the person working within the budget may view the remaining funds as disposable income, and the things that he or she purchases with some or all of that leftover money may be termed (in a reasonably professional way) discretionary items.


Desiderata ... but half your audience won't know the word.


Consider the term complement

A thing that completes or brings to perfection

While the word has a connotation of complete, giving it a bit of essential tone, it is often used to convey something that it not necessary, but added on. A wine is not necessary to a meal but may be an excellent complement. Similarly, an accessory to a clothing outfit.

This is not to be confused with compliment, even though, as @Josh61 suggests, a hotel may give you a lagniappe that is a complement to your stay, with their compliments.

  • Thanks for "lagniappe" - I had no idea that word existed! – nxx Mar 13 '14 at 12:46

I think there are different degrees that you can go with:

If you are conveying that you really want something but it isn't a must - I would say needs.

If you don't need it right now but you expect it soon it is a - wants.

If you are just giving a wishlist - non-essentials or wishlist items.

When developing apps we often have a 3-4 scale deep. We do use nice-to-haves also which usually go between non-essentials and wants or takes place of wants.

Someone on my team may send me an email and say I found a nice code class that has a few things we are trying to do. It covers at least 2 in-scope items and if you give me an extra 2 days I can add 3 needs and 2 wishlist-items out. I might email back and say - 'Can you just do the the 3 needs in one day?'


Don't know how I stumbled on to this forum, but I am so surprised that I feel compelled to post. The word is luxury.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage @graym. Nice to see you here. Answers are nearly always better when they contain a link or two so sources. In this case a dictionary definition would suffice. Check out OneLook. – andy256 Jan 17 '15 at 21:27
  • @andy256 I happened to notice that none of the other 13 responders included any sources or links whatsoever in their responses. Might it be more encouraging to new posters to suggest they conform to practices that others are following, rather than recommending that they do (extra) work that no one else (on this question) is doing? Or at least post the same recommendation to everyone else? – jaxter Nov 19 '16 at 15:01
  • The term "luxury" hits the mark for casual usage, graym27. Because of the implication that it carries of conspicuous consumption , it is avoided in professional contexts. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspicuous_consumption – jaxter Nov 19 '16 at 15:05
  • @jaxter 1. Your first statement is incorrect. 2. I was served this answer to review, not the others. 3. Look at the votes: none of these answers has more than two upvotes; an answer of any value on this site often garners at least 10 votes in the first hours. 4. Recommendations vary over time; see How to Answer for current ones. Happy ELUing – andy256 Nov 19 '16 at 22:46

features, perks, bonuses, bonii?


This is a good question... Could be just "Ideas" or "Suggestions".

Or depending on the situation, "Suggested" Items, Accompaniments, Activities, Preparations, etc.

Or "[May] we suggest" or Owner/management/locals suggest.

Hints / Prompts / In addition / Temptations


Unnecessary, desired, superfluous


A (pejorative) term used in project management is "gold plating".

  • The term "gold plating" refers to features added by the development team that were not requested by the sponsor in the first place. An important category, but not what the O.P. is referring to, which describes a subcategory of requested features. – jaxter Nov 19 '16 at 14:56

The OP does not specify if an adjective or a noun is wanted...

Possible adjective... Advantageous.

It would be advantageous, but not essential, to have experience.


Enhancement, advantage, bonus, extra, improvement


I use "desirable" for non-esstial "nice to have" qualifications.


'Requisites' and 'elective benefits'.

  • 'requisites' sounds like it is required. – Mitch Mar 14 '14 at 12:47
  • It's the word set I'd use. Some things are requisite (required) and others are elective(optional). – Mazura Mar 14 '14 at 16:19
  • @Mitch This may be a first-language/country-specific response. The word requisite's primary use is as an adjective, which is common; it's use as a noun in AmE is rare. Terms like "must-haves" and "needs" are more common (btw - it does mean that the item is required). "Elective" means "open to choice, or optional". dictionary.com/browse/elective?s=t However, "elective benefits" is a phrase, and the O.P. requested one word. Finally, Mazura offers "optional" to clarify the intended meaning of the adjective "elective"; ironically, that's the preferred term in AmE. – jaxter Nov 19 '16 at 15:16

Borrowing from mathematical formalism:

An item or condition which is nice but not required is "sufficient."

An item or condition which is required (but may not be sufficient) is "necessary."

Example: Flour is necessary to make bread, but not sufficient, as water and leavening are also necessary.

Example: $20 is sufficient to buy a $5 item, but not necessary, as a mere $5 would do.

  • That's not really how "necessary" and "sufficient" work and doesn't match what the question seems to be after. – smithkm Mar 18 '14 at 3:04
  • @smithkm on the contrary, that is exactly how those words work in mathematics. Failure to use them in this sense when writing a document (not necessarily a math doc) will lead to ambiguity and confusion. – Carl Witthoft Mar 18 '14 at 14:09
  • @carl-wittoft "Sufficient" doesn't mean "nice to have" it means "enough to be certain". "nice to have" doesn't mean it's enough by itself. "Sufficient" doesn't mean there's anything beyond what will allow the desired state, and if there is, it doesn't refer specifically to that excess which is what the question seems to be about. – smithkm Mar 18 '14 at 14:59
  • The answer doesn't address the O.P.'s request. – jaxter Nov 19 '16 at 15:17
  • Both_necessary_ and sufficient describe items that are required or optional. "Sufficient" means only that the condition will satisfy the equation by itself. This makes the other "necessary" items, by definition, actually unnecessary when the "sufficient" condition applies. So, there are two states: All necessary conditions are needed when the sufficient condition is not satisfied, or none of them are when it is. This is a very abstruse and confusing use of the concept of "optional" to explain something else. – jaxter Nov 19 '16 at 15:30

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