In technology, the "master" controls one or more devices known as the slave(s). For the novel I am writing, I prefer avoiding the connotation of Master/Slave. Is their a word, term or other phrase that depicts this relationship more eloquently?

  • To be clear, you are looking for a term that describes the relationship rather than the actors within the relationship? – Canis Lupus Oct 24 '14 at 15:46
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    From the legal realm come the terms "principal" and "agent." Don – rhetorician Oct 25 '14 at 1:23

There was some controversy over this back in 2003 when Los Angeles Country asked manufactures/suppliers to stop using it.

This ultimately led different software platforms (like Drupal) to adopt, in 2014, the terms:


Other possible phrases that I like include:

  • parent/child
  • leader/follower

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology)

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    Thank you Nick, "parent/child' wins for this context. Master/Slave challenged me from the first time I was exposed to it during the early 90s and it was never well received. – Gary S. Hart Oct 24 '14 at 18:58

In technology, there's "controller/peripheral".

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