That is, the person who is querying.

The person who sends can be a sender, the person who receives can be a receiver. Similarly the person who responds (to a query) can be a responder.

But can the person who queries be a queryer?

I've thought about using initiator, but I'd prefer something more specific.

Thanks in advance.

  • 10
    Your problem is that you are spelling it wrong. It's querier, not queryer.
    – Nick2253
    Dec 11 '14 at 17:33
  • 4
    Query is rather formal; inquire is more common and ask more common still → inquirer, asker. Or you could be really arcane and use quærent ! Dec 11 '14 at 17:50
  • 3
    @EdwinAshworth I'm a researcher, but in computer science and engineering, not English, literature or linguistics. I've exhausted the tools I'm aware of for this sort of thing, but admittedly, they're not many. That being said, I'm nonetheless interested in the correct terminology. Thanks for the concern.
    – jedwards
    Dec 11 '14 at 18:34
  • 1
    "The one who's asking the question."
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 11 '14 at 19:33
  • 2
    If you are going to use the word in a technical context, and are looking for a concise way to say "the user who is entering a search query into our system", you should probably try to find a different way to describe him. In many cases, it is unambiguous to just say "the user", this is what information retrieval scientific articles say. If you want a good name for an object which initiates a query, then you don't need a word commonly recognized in everyday speech, a maintaining programmer will surely identify the purpose of an object called `SqlQuerier'.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 12 '14 at 15:24

I don't like querier/queryer/queryist/querist at all. A century or two ago, querist was actually quite common - but it's massively declined since then, and sounds seriously "Victorian" to me.

I'd go with querent (also sometimes spelled querant) as the more "modern" usage...

EDIT: Also note from that chart (click on it to see the complete page which I can't reproduce here) that the forms queryer, queryist (spellings which were never common) are now both so rare they can't even be charted for the past half-century.

  • The OED confirms querent. The odd thing is that it also quotes querist, with the same meaning, but makes no attempt to link the two entries. It also offers the spellingquaerent. Etymology: post-classical Latin.
    – WS2
    Dec 11 '14 at 19:24
  • @WS2: I'm certainly glad your comment has made me look at this answer again! I originally just intended to rail against querist, but then I edited in querier, queryer in the wrong place and mistakenly referenced querist as the first word I'd written even though it was by then the last in the list. Note that under querist, OED says compare earlier querent. Despite the implications of that "earlier", I still think querent is the form with most legs for the future. Dec 11 '14 at 19:40
  • @FumbleFingers you said "and sounds seriously "Victorian". May I ask you whether you thi k it is a negative thing to employ such "victrian-ish" words/expressions in modern speech or not? Just curious as it's a part of my research. Thank you and I beg your pardon for the offtopic
    – Rossitten
    Dec 11 '14 at 20:43
  • 2
    Actually, the legal sense just reflects the older meaning of quaesō/quaerō in Latin, which was ‘strive, endeavour, seek for’ (whence also its development to ‘wish for’ -> ‘desire’ -> ‘want/love’ in Spanish and Portugese), and the plaintiff in a case usually does strive for something. The meaning ‘ask’ is a later development in Latin, but in English, it seems query itself was first borrowed with this sense, rather than the striving sense. So they're both quite ‘basic’, as it were, in what they reflect. Dec 12 '14 at 1:39
  • 1
    Apparently quaestor was once much more common, but I’m betting these are all tax collectors.
    – tchrist
    Dec 12 '14 at 4:41

I would propose:

  • inquisitor
  • inquirer
  • questioner

Depending on the type of query you could be more specific as in auditor if the person is querying as part of an audit or auditing for example.

  • 2
    Inquirer or enquirer seems the best answer for the OP's question. Dec 12 '14 at 2:42
  • OP mentions usage is technical, in CS. "The database questioner" sounds slightly mental.
    – OJFord
    Dec 12 '14 at 22:59

Your problem is that you are spelling it wrong. It's querier, not queryer. However, I would say that it's pretty esoteric, and may not be understood in writing as much as it would be in speech.

A more appropriate term that would be understood by the masses might be inquirer.

  • Well, it kind of depends. If I'm reading software documentation "querier" is much clearer in intent than "inquirer."
    – Casey
    Dec 12 '14 at 23:09

The answer is queryist (which is now rare) or more recently querist (OED see below).

ˈqueryist n. rare = querist n.

K. Sparck Jones & J. R. Galliers Evaluating Nat. Lang. Processing Systems i. 16 (table) Role & category: queryist, habitual.


Use the word "requester" or "questioner" instead.

  • Questioner has been mentioned already. Requester sounds very strange to my (native) ear. Dec 13 '14 at 5:35

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