I am writing a handbook of information of persons of note. While most of it is straight forward and standardised content that all persons share, for example date of birth, periods of service and the like. Most of this content would be limited to a page.

However, I would like to include an unstructured section for information that is specific to that person and may not be shared. For example, important dates or notable events, relations to other persons and so on.

In the general context this is "trivia" but this implies an informal note, and people may be tempted to fill it with information not appropriate for the book. Spouses names, hometowns and so on.

What is a formal term for "trivia" that most people would understand?

  • 1
    If it's "unstructured" they will put in anything they wish, whether you call it "trivia", "notes", or something else. If you want to guide them as to what sorts of info are appropriate, preload the explanation or an example as a gray-prompt in the free-form field. Aug 4, 2015 at 8:39

6 Answers 6


Perhaps "Particulars"?

the facts and details about a job, property, legal case etc
Send your particulars (=details such as your name, address, profession etc) to the address above.

I think this usage makes something look classy. I've seen it used on wedding invitations as a place to describe the various other details of the wedding:

Wedding Invitation (design from here)

As you can see in this example, the "particulars" aren't the main details - the date, time and location of the wedding. The "particulars" are the additional bits of info that people often need to know.

  • Classy.? What "particulars"?
    – WS2
    Aug 4, 2015 at 6:59

"Biographical notes" suggests an interest in the person's important dates or notable events, relations to other persons and so on.


It sounds like, in this unstructured section, you are asking, not for trivia or trifles (certainly a valid synonym), but for things that are less known about about the person, or perhaps not known to the world at all -- in which case I would suggest referring to them as arcana.



"Details worth paying attention to".


Arcana (singular arcanum) is a term literally meaning "Secrets or mysteries"(Oxford) or "things that are mysterious or difficult to understand" (MacMillian). But commonly the definition is stretched to mean simply "obscure details".


Miscellanea is a potential candidate. To me, it sounds less formal than trivia, I also think that it has a neutral connotation.

A miscellaneous collection of different things; a miscellany.


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