I see one reference from an old version of Webster but not much else. Word says it is misspelled.

Which is it?

Our list of reservees include Beyonce, Cher, Bono...

  • 1
    The question isn't so much whether reservee is "an acceptable word," as whether most readers will understand what it means when they encounter it in the midst of your writing. I don't think I would understand it unless the contextual clues were extremely helpful.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 8:07
  • Google Ngrams show that it is still used. But rarely. Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 8:37
  • .My guess is that somebody used a thesaurus to find a fancy sounding synonym for the word "guest" and picked "reservee", without actually knowing what the word truly means. It's a word that is sometimes used to describe people who have reserved a room in a hotel or a table at a restaurant, who are considered guests upon arrival. Sometimes, Star Performers are also called guests in television programmes, despite the fact that they serve the role of the entertainer rather than the entertained...
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 17:01
  • See english.stackexchange.com/questions/260651/… for long discussion of words formed by adding ee.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 19:43

3 Answers 3


Reservee is mentioned in the following:

I've also noted that there is a considerable difference between reservees(noun) and the French word réservées(verb)

I think there is no harm in using this word when the context is clear(though it may be considered obsolete). If you're talking about MS Word, then I can safely say that the spell checker fails to recognize certain correctly spelled words(especially when the word is archaic or rarely used).

  • Tell me about it. I just caught it silently "correcting" the prosodic term "trimeter" to "trimester"! Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 20:44

The OED finds one instance from 1860 and calls it "rare." Ngram results find the use almost exclusively in US federal law dealing with Indian lands. A "reservee" is someone who has the right to live and own property on an Indian reservation. Better to say, "The list of people with reservations includes ...."


The problem faced by the writer is that 'reserves,' or 'back-up,' or 'second rank' makes these stars sound a bit passé, and they might feel annoyed. So reservees is a more pretentious way of saying the same thing.

But the organisers ought to have found a better way to describe the strength in depth of their cast list.

Strength in depth Macmillan Dictionary

  • I doubt that they meant the word to mean reserves as in back-ups. I presume it means people we've reserved to perform.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 15:48
  • "caste list" -- intentional or unintentional pun?
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 19:50
  • @ab2 blunder. no excuses
    – Hugh
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 23:22

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