If "Ooze News could be a title for my website about slime molds," I can say:

Ooze News is a potential title for my website about slime molds.

If "Janet wants to be a pilot," I can say:

Janet is a wannabe pilot.

(There are other connotations to the word "wannabe," but let's ignore that.)

Potential is an adjective, but as the example shows, it modifies the noun in kind of an odd way: while a good pilot is a pilot, a potential pilot is not a pilot. I'm not sure what part of speech wannabe is in the above sentence, but in any case, in this construction it modifies the noun in a similar way.

There are also other noun modifiers that work like this, such as former [noun] or future [noun].

I'm curious if there's one that would express the meaning of the following:

  • "Ooze News should be the title for my website about slime molds."
  • "Janet should be a pilot."

This word would have to be able to fill in the blanks in the following sentences:

Ooze News is a ____ title for my website about slime molds.

Janet is a ____ pilot.

I've considered the following options:

  • "Recommended" and "suggested" both imply a person doing the recommending or suggesting, which is not an implication I want.
  • "Advisable" is closer, but still has a bit of the same problem.
  • "Necessary" doesn't mean the right thing.

Also, none of the above seems quite right when applied to a personal noun, like "pilot": "advisable pilot"? "necessary pilot"?

Of course, it's easy to rephrase these sentences in a way that gets the meaning. But I'm curious if there's any adjective or other noun modifier with this meaning in English.

  • What about "deserving"?
    – JHCL
    Oct 12, 2015 at 6:13
  • I think "fitting" comes close.
    – Mamta D
    Oct 12, 2015 at 6:45
  • @JHCL: I don't think it quite fits; a "deserving pilot" is someone who is a pilot and who is deserving (not someone who is not a pilot, but deserves to be).
    – herisson
    Oct 12, 2015 at 7:04
  • Would "born" (or natural, intrinsic) fit your need, as in "having a natural ability to do a particular job."? It doesn't necessarily imply "should" (as in "having a natural ability to do a particular job, but doesn't (yet) do that particular job") though, but it could. Oct 12, 2015 at 8:11

3 Answers 3


"Should be" in both examples could have different meanings. For example, if the No.1 example is said by a person with the authority to decide the title, then, you can use designated as designate means in Merriam-Webster:

to officially choose (someone or something) to do or be something : to officially give (someone or something) a particular role or purpose

However, if it is said by a person without any authority to decide, then designated doesn't work. Rather, recommended would work better as recommend means:

to say that (someone or something) is good and deserves to be chosen

No.2 example is different from No.1 as there can be more possible situations than No.1. Is Janet in the final stage of training and about to be chosen or cut off? Is someone recommending her to be a pilot because she is physically and mentally strong? Deserving doesn't seem to fit in there.

  • 1
    OK. I did mention "recommended" in my question (I don't know if you saw that?). But it's a good point that these are somewhat different situations. In terms of the meaning, I'd ideally like a word with the same vague, wide range of meaning as the verbs "should be" and "ought to be."
    – herisson
    Oct 12, 2015 at 7:11
  • 1
    @sumelic Ideal says all for your question. I will take OK as Thank you.
    – user140086
    Oct 12, 2015 at 7:17

You can consider "promising " or "supposed -to-be ".


Consider propitious.

propitious: likely to have or produce good results. (M-W)

I suggested The Light of Western Stars as a propitious title. (The Best of Zane Grey, Outdoorsman)

  • Thanks! That is a word that works well with words like "title."
    – herisson
    Oct 12, 2015 at 18:34

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