You might have heard that we are restructuring the navigation of all sites in the network. As part of this change there will be 3 tabs which are currently named as:

  • New—it contains questions that are either new, recently active or (on Stack Overflow only, new and interesting)
  • Popular—this tab contains questions which are "hot", heavily voted or highly linked-to.
  • Need Answer—the purpose of this tab is to find questions to answer, it is the descendant of the "Unanswered" section, and it contains questions which are either very new, without answers, without any good answer or with a bounty pending.

As you might have noticed, the first two tabs follow a "______ Questions" pattern (e.g. "New Questions"), but the third doesn't.

What is a better word to use which is an adjective, specific to its contents (note: not all those questions are unanswered) and self-explanatory to new users?

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • 5
    The most accurate wording for questions that are currently in the Unanswered Questions queue would be "No Upvoted Answers." The vast majority of those questions do have answers following them, and (as someone who has submitted many of them) I can tell you that many of the answers are eminently upvotable. Many questions fall into that queue in the first place because few people find them interesting enough to answer; and when people do provide serviceable answers to such questions, the answers often go un-upvoted because the question itself seems so uninteresting. ... – Sven Yargs Jun 2 '15 at 23:08
  • 1
    ... So it's a mistake to suppose that most of the questions in the Unanswered Questions queue are good but ignored questions that languish there simply because no one has offered a satisfactory answer to them yet. There are exceptions of course—both in the sense of hidden gems that never received a suitable answer, and cruddy questions that should have been retired outright rather than consigned to the queue—but most, I think, are simply questions of little general interest that have received dispositive answers (often based on earlier dispositive comments) but No Upvoted Answers. – Sven Yargs Jun 2 '15 at 23:16
  • 3
    Uh... answerless? Really unanswered? Lonely? Forlorn? – Jason C Jun 3 '15 at 2:00
  • 2
    I actually like Jason C's 'lonely'. Lonely questions: maybe they just need some attention to flourish, maybe they are lonely because they are awful. Who knows. – Jason M Jun 3 '15 at 18:09
  • 1
    Given that there is a badge called "Tumbleweed", I think Tumbleweed Questions is quite appropriate, though that might not be a colloquialism in all languages. – IchabodE Jun 4 '15 at 22:55

27 Answers 27


How about unresolved?

unresolved (ˌʌnrɪˈzɒlvd)

  1. (of a problem or dispute) not having been solved or concluded
  • 5
    Prefer this one to unanswered. To me unanswered mean there's no answer, when unresolved means there's maybe some answer, but not the one I'm looking for. – Jaro Jun 2 '15 at 13:44
  • 1
    Will this not apply to the new questions? – 4-K Jun 2 '15 at 16:21
  • 3
    @Mrstupid wouldn't a new question be unresolved by definition? – Zack T. Jun 2 '15 at 20:10
  • 3
    Are all questions resolved once they are answered? Is unresolved a subset of unanswered (for the subtab)? – Jason C Jun 3 '15 at 1:56
  • 2
    This suggests that the category includes only those questions that have no accepted answer. I don't think it fits. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jun 3 '15 at 10:13

Need answer ~ open.

I proffer-

  • New
  • Popular
  • Open - The adjective open describes something that's not closed or uncovered or unexplained. (vocabulary.com)

IMO- The Open tab will encompass all questions which are without answers/without any good answer.

  • 33
    Unfortunately, given closed has a very different meaning, I think this one would have unintended confusion. – Joe Jun 2 '15 at 14:37
  • 2
    I like this one, as in whether graphene is a viable option is an open question. I disagree that it would be confused with other meanings like open community question or not-closed question, as @Joe suggests. – user1717828 Jun 2 '15 at 15:36
  • 1
    I like this. In fact, all questions in those list do share the property that are "open" in the SE sense. – Sklivvz Jun 3 '15 at 11:18
  • 1
    ALL the answerable questions are open, and questions are only closed when we want to prevent new answers from being added. Yes, the official terminology is now "on hold" instead of "closed" but that by-fiat linguistic change has not trickled down to the actual language people use on all the sites. They are still called "close" votes, for example. Thus offering an official definition of "open" questions (meaning no upvoted or accepted answers) that conflicts with the semi-official-and-well-entrenched definition of "open" questions (meaning not on-hold or deleted) is sure to be very confusing. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Jun 3 '15 at 13:23
  • 2
    @Mr.ShinyandNew安宇: Closed has always been the official terminology, on hold appears only in the explanation shown to visitors. The officially used verbs (for voting and flagging and review queues) are close and reopen. I think the existing definition of open is fully official, not just semi-official, and I agree it would be confusing to give the word another meaning. – Ben Voigt Jun 3 '15 at 14:50

I nominate ongoing

as in Ongoing Questions.


There are a few words that communicate that there are no answers or that the answers haven't satisfied the problem. I like open and unresolved, but here is an argument for ongoing.

Open seems to be controversial and for good reason: the comparison to closed questions may give the wrong impression. All questions should be considered open if they can still be answered, etc. But it's a short word and would be great in a menu.

Unresolved gives the right impression regarding the status of the question but is longer. However, it might suggest a lower quality of interaction on the site (see next paragraph).

Ongoing is short. Also, in contrast to unresolved, it makes me think of ongoing discussion. Unresolved makes me think of someone pasting a homework question and waiting for an answer.

Definitions for ongoing give a positive, current feeling and include

  1. currently happening
  2. continuing; still in progress
  3. continuing without termination or interruption
  4. continually moving forward; developing
  5. proceeding; in process


  • 2
    I like this. It implies that there is a discussion that has been started, but has not yet concluded. – Supuhstar Jun 3 '15 at 17:03
  • @Lucky I added a rationale. I may edit it further. – Joseph Hansen Jun 5 '15 at 16:22
  • +1 for both the word and editing your answer :-)! And I'll delete my previous comment since it became obsolete now. – Lucky Jun 5 '15 at 16:30

I would suggest need attention. Yes, it is not a single-word adjective but I have good reasons. (and it is better than need answer or unanswered.)

  • The current "unanswered" section contains questions which need attention more than answers actually. As you mentioned, there are answered questions in that section also. (Thus, calling the tab unanswered doesn't make sense. The questions are somewhat unpopular but it is not a good name to use.)

  • Attention brings more good stuff than just answers. Up-votes, helpful comments, bounties, (maybe) meta discussion and such. And yes, answers also. It is even one of the reasons to start a bounty.

    enter image description here

  • Unresolved seems good at first glance but it is subjective. Unresolved to who? To the OP? To the community? It is ambiguous also. In a perfect world, the question is resolved when an answer is accepted actually. But it seems like we are not only considering the questions that don't have an accepted answer. (Also, there are ask-and-runs here, people get answers and disappear without accepting any answer, or there are even people who indicate that it is the right answer in the comments but don't accept it.)

Note: I don't think there is a better alternative to need attention as a single-word adjective. You can come up with cumbersome hyphenated compounds like attention-lacking or some related adjectives like unattended or neglected, but they don't seem that appropriate and they might not be clear for everyone.

My other suggestion would be using other. It might be too general and it doesn't indicate much but it is a single-word adjective.

  • I like neglected. It's exactly what these questions are. Really, I think we're looking for a nice way of saying 'unpopular'. – dnagirl Jun 4 '15 at 19:23
  • They're not neglected unless they've been around for a while. New questions without answers will be in this list. – Barmar Jun 8 '15 at 19:39

What about just "Pending?" It seems a bit more positive than "Unanswered"

  • 1
    Hi and welcome to ELU @rdrake , it seems a very good anser, it only lacks the definition from a reputable source to be perfect. – P. O. Jun 2 '15 at 13:44
  • 14
    Pending on this type of networking sites does tend to have a connotation of "awaiting editing/awaiting review". – skymningen Jun 2 '15 at 13:53
  • As you might have noticed, the first two tabs follow a "______ Questions" <- based on that pattern, you'd be suggesting "Pending Questions", which isn't really the meaning you're intending. – Doc Jun 2 '15 at 20:56
  • Pending an answer, perhaps, but that actually means something else. – Joe Corneli Jun 6 '15 at 23:19

I would go with unresolved, unsettled, or pending.

  • 1
    "Unresolved" is a nice suggestion. "Pending" has the same issue I pointed out in a comment on @RDrake's answer. Not really a fan of "unsettled". – Doc Jun 2 '15 at 20:57
  • Rationale? Quotations? References? These would improve the answer substantially. – Lucky Jun 5 '15 at 1:49
  • Unsettled, to me, implies a question of opinion, the opposite of the intention of most of the SE sites. – nitro2k01 Jun 5 '15 at 10:39
  • Unsettled is better than unsettling, I always say. – Joe Corneli Jun 6 '15 at 23:18

How about “wallflowers,” for questions that are (like the people this informal term usually denotes) more or less unattended and overlooked, questions that, as it were, remain on the dark and lonely fringes of the EL&U dance on account of being (comparatively) unglamorous or (dare I say it) shy? All the lonely questions, where do they all belong?

  • evocative indeed - the string backing to Eleanor Rigby has been running thru my head all morning. – David Garner Jun 5 '15 at 11:30
  • 1
    at the risk of being admonished for drifting into chat, this morning I walked down Stanley Street in Liverpool... [Eleanor Rigby] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Rigby_(statue)) – David Garner Jun 6 '15 at 20:52
  • 1
    I don't come from Liverpool - born in Yorkshire - but I live 15 miles out of Liverpool and ring the bells of the parish church there twice a week, from where I often see Magical Mystery Tour buses loaded with fans. – David Garner Jun 7 '15 at 16:34
  • 1
    They aren't necessarily overlooked -- many are just new and haven't had a chance to get an answer (it would be like calling someone a wallflower when he's just arrived at the party, even though he's walking toward someone to ask them to dance). Also, this doesn't fit the adjective requirement. – Barmar Jun 8 '15 at 19:38

I like unresolved but propose a slight variant,


OK, so it's usually used of problems or mysteries rather than questions, but hopefully it plants the idea that these questions each need some bold investigator to sort them out.

  • I like this better than "unresolved" which sounds like a psychoanalytic problem, whereas unsolved just sounds exciting, without any further bias. – Joe Corneli Jun 6 '15 at 23:02

Since the word needs to indicate that an answer hasn't been accepted yet, consider Unsatisfied. There might be many answers, and any number of them might correctly answer the question to any degree of completeness, but if the asker isn't satisfied with any of the answers then they won't have accepted any of them.


New, Popular, ...

As there is still work to be done, Unfinished fits the bill as well.

  1. not finished; incomplete or unaccomplished.
  2. lacking some special finish or surface treatment, as polish, paint, etc.
  3. (of cloth) not sheared following the looming process.
  4. (of worsted) given a slight nap.

Just for the sake of completeness, I will throw idle into the mix.

Certainly better than many of the alternatives already presented here.

  • 1
    This implies that it's been ignored. This category will also encircle questions with an ongoing discussion in the comments, and votes already applied to the question. – Supuhstar Jun 3 '15 at 18:11

Undecided may be the "correct" answer.

adj 1: not brought to a conclusion; subject to further thought; "an open question"; "our position on this bill is still undecided"; "our lawsuit is still undetermined" (Wordnet 3.0)

The reference to "an open question" may speak in favor of that as an answer. However, as of the time of writing, the question remains undecided. Should this answer be accepted, the answer (moreso than the question) will have been decided.



Since it's for questions that are "very new, without answers, without any good answer or with a bounty pending"...

I nominate


The logic being that accepting an answer or awarding a bounty brings the question to a conclusion. Note that an accept might 'resolve' a bounty question but not 'conclude' it.

  • I don't think questions on SO are ever really "concluded" unless they are closed/locked. You can always post a new answer on a question, regardless of whether it already has an accepted answer or not. – Zack T. Jun 2 '15 at 20:14
  • @ZackT: Same goes for 'resolved'. The answer is meant to be terminalogical rather than purely semantical. – Tushar Raj Jun 2 '15 at 20:16


The use of an adjective does not always lead to action: it does however qualify understanding.

The NEW tab denotes questions that have not yet attracted discussion, the POPULAR ones are under heavy discussion and the third could be called simply ACTIVE meaning activity is in progress.

ACTIVE is clearly different to POPULAR as implies that activity is required to promote it to POPULAR. UNRESOLVED has a problem for me simply as it is a negative and sounds conclusive. ACTIVE sounds like something I want to be involved with, therefore it seems better.

  • 5
    Active means something else for SE questions. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jun 3 '15 at 10:16
  • If that is where it says Active: today - does it not sort of mean the same - one is the question was last Active (today) - the other is that state of the question being Active? If two things are the same thing, they can have the same name, or if Active: today was Activity: today then it may reduce implied collision of meaning. – Nicholas Alexander Jun 4 '15 at 5:58

This is a difficult one, because that categorisation spans a variety of only-slightly-related options. There are ways you can phrase it that make sense in English, which have already been given ("unresolved", "open", "ongoing", "pending") but none of these accurately fit the SE model (and are, in fact, misleading in that context).

I think that "Unanswered Questions", while not being strictly accurate, is as expressive and close-to-the-mark as you're going to get here. I certainly never had a problem with the existing terminology. Plus, if it ain't broke...

  • There are tons of people being confused by "Unanswered", that's what prompted this change initially. – Sklivvz Jun 3 '15 at 10:18
  • 3
    @Sklivvz: Then perhaps it's not the terminology that's wrong but the feature? Failing that, the "Needs attention" suggestion is a good one. I'd caution against trying too hard to fit this into a single-word adjectival form. If nothing else, I suggest looking for an adjectival form of "needs attention" rather than looking for alternatives to "unanswered". Perhaps that will focus the answers a bit. :) – Lightness Races in Orbit Jun 3 '15 at 10:18
  • "Unanswered" is interpreted by our users to mean "without answer", but the tab contains "questions one should attempt to answer" – Sklivvz Jun 3 '15 at 10:26
  • @Sklivvz: Then I suggest looking for an adjectival form of "needs attention" rather than looking for alternatives to "unanswered". Perhaps that will focus the answers a bit. :) – Lightness Races in Orbit Jun 3 '15 at 10:30
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit: I don't think there is a better alternative as a single-word adjective. You can come up with cumbersome hyphenated compounds like "attention-lacking" or some related adjectives like "neglected", but they don't seem appropriate. – ermanen Jun 3 '15 at 14:11
  • tricky questions

For questions which stumped users the first time round.
The OD definition for tricky is: requiring care and skill because difficult or awkward.

  • solo questions

Solo as in ‘only questions with one or no answers.’

  • 1
    Why would a new question be assumed to be tricky? – Barmar Jun 8 '15 at 19:40
  • @Barmar Not new questions but "unanswered" questions, questions that stumped users the first time round. Hence they have one or no answers. I thought, tricky, had a more positive spin... – Mari-Lou A Jun 8 '15 at 20:23
  • @Barmar New questions will not go in the unanswered questions slot. Newit contains questions that are either new, recently active or (on Stack Overflow only, new and interesting) – Mari-Lou A Jun 8 '15 at 20:25
  • 1
    The description of this slot says it contains questions which are either very new, without answers, without any good answer or with a bounty pending. – Barmar Jun 8 '15 at 21:25
  • 1
    As I understand it, there's overlap between New and Unanswered, they aren't mutually exclusive. – Barmar Jun 8 '15 at 21:26

I would go with terms unmentioned ,unresponded from the following sources these mean not specified

this precisely means unanswered

  • 1
    Hi @sai suresh and welcome to ELU. I'm afraid 'unmentioned' just means that a topic has not been discussed or spoken about, so is not a suitable answer. Also, the 'unanswered' questions have sometimes been replied or 'responded' to, but not with a good enough answer to close the question. Re-read the question and some of the higher scoring replies, then I suggest you edit your answer or think about whether you want to remove it altogether, so it won't be down voted. Best wishes. – Julie Carter Jun 7 '15 at 16:43

Debatable might be suitable.

The questions under this category still need answer[s]; open to [further] discussions; can be further argued on, etc.

  • Sometimes, downvoters need to add a comment so we reason with them. – Peter Jun 7 '15 at 14:45

How about Shiny?

What you're trying to convey is that these questions should attract attention, but you don't want to make any claims about the quality or complexity of the questions. It is admittedly a rather informal word to use, but I think it fits the bill.

Consider a magpie. These birds are well-known for their attraction to shiny objects. The goal is to convey to people that this group of questions are flagged by the site as requiring more attention than others.

The questions themselves may be of no better value than other unanswered questions that are not in the category. They have only been designated as targets for more community attention.

  • Thank you for the unexplained downvote. That really helped me to improve my answer. – Ian MacDonald Jun 3 '15 at 23:59

FRESH :- For new and interesting Questions on Stack Overflow
SIZZLING :- For popular/"hot"/highly voted topics
CHALLENGE:- For unanswered questions

The tab names are

  1. Catchy
  2. All can follow the same pattern of "__Questions"
  3. Self explanatory
  • 1
    I dont' find "challenge questions" very self explanatory. They could be questions about a challenge, difficult questions, questions that participate to a pending challenge/contest... – P. O. Jun 2 '15 at 19:02
  • 3
    Might work on cooking.stackexchange.com :) – ermanen Jun 3 '15 at 1:32
  • They may also present no real challenge at all. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jun 3 '15 at 10:16
  • "challenging" questions reminds me of a poor joke to rename "closed questions" to "disabled questions".. – quetzalcoatl Jun 3 '15 at 19:28

I would like to call them “Outstanding questions”, though people might think that means fantastic. Failing that, “Open questions” is idiomatic.

(at the moment, what to call them is an open question.)

Ngrams support the assertion that “open” is idiomatic:


What about Mysterious, or Ghostly, or Supernatural?

Whatever term you use, people will only come to understand what is being referenced when they experience the content. You can try to come within a gnat's **** of definition, but you can encounter perceived shades of meaning that defeat your intent.



To imply that the questions have not been attempted or fresh.

  • Not attempted is not the same as not answered. – Chenmunka Jun 2 '15 at 15:12
  • 2
    Fresh is like new, but you can have old unanswered questions – caub Jun 3 '15 at 9:50

Because ELU is the English Language site, I vote1 we label those questions...

moot - subject to debate; arguable or unsettled

I realise it's not really suitable for all SO sites. But if anyone here doesn't know the word, they should probably be using English Language Learners. And if anyone perversely interprets it as meaning of no practical importance; irrelevant, we probably don't want them here anyway.

1 But I did upvote unresolved for site-wide use! :)

  • 7
    I disagree that anyone who doesn't know the exact definition of moot should be on ELL. I've only heard this word used along with the word "point," and many definitions could be derived from such a context. – Chase Sandmann Jun 2 '15 at 18:53
  • @Chase Sandmann: I think there are only two "standard" meanings to the term. It's just that they're effectively "opposites" in a lot of contexts - 1) requiring debate (because the issue hasn't been settled yet), and 2) not requiring debate (because it's no longer relevant). – FumbleFingers Jun 2 '15 at 20:16




  • 2
    Hi, and thanks for taking the time to post under this question. It's great that you want to help. However, this answer doesn't really seem to be a full answer. When answering it's best to write in full sentences and, in the case of single-word-requests, give a good explanation why the word you're suggesting is a good one. If necessary quote and reference a dictionary. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 5 '15 at 13:39

What about "Irksome Questions"?


"indecisive" might be sufficient for this

  • 1
    Hi, and thanks for taking the time to post under this question. It's great that you want to help. However, this answer doesn't really seem to be a full answer. When answering it's best, in the case of single-word-requests, to give a good explanation why the word you're suggesting is a good one. If necessary quote and reference a dictionary. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 3 '15 at 8:20
  • Indecisive cannot be applied to an inanimate object such as a question. It describes the (in)action of the individual considering the question. – Chenmunka Jun 3 '15 at 8:50
  • undecided could work, but indecisive not so much. – Joe Corneli Jun 6 '15 at 23:05

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.