I'm looking for a word to describe the 'thing' that is containing other 'things' which are being weighted against each other by some metric.

For example, if let's say I have 10 Parking Locations that all fall within a certain Area. People can upvote or downvote a Parking Location within an Area, and Parking Locations can then be ranked within an Area based on the total tally of their votes.

What would be a generic word to describe the Area? It's kind of like a "container" for all of the objects that are accumulating votes.

Here's a sample sentence:

"I would like to cast a vote for this Parking Location within this Area."

Now pretend that you don't know they are Parking Locations and Areas. So you want to cast a vote for this thing that accepts votes within this thing that acts as a container for things that accept votes.


I think a good example is the word district. In this case the district is the thing that contains other things (politicians), that are being weighted against each other by some metric (number of votes).

Another important detail is that a Parking Location can potentially belong to many Areas. So when you vote for a ParkingLocation, you need to specify in which Area you are voting.

If anyone has some other options that are similar I would be open to those.

  • Good grief are you designing software? Dec 12, 2015 at 4:11
  • How did you know :)
    – flyingL123
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:12
  • Sigh, because I have designed software... Dec 12, 2015 at 4:12
  • Are you truly designing something that can generically contain any logical grouping of any type of item? Or are you just trying to avoid naming the actual things you're voting on and the type of collection they are grouped in?
    – Jim
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:24
  • @Jim The former.
    – flyingL123
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:25

3 Answers 3


Is precinct the word you're after?

precinct: any one of the sections that a town or city is divided into when people vote in an election M-W

Alternately, consider ward.

: a division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes. AHD

  • 1
    Also a great suggestion. It looks to be relatively interchangeable with district. But this works too. Wikipedia says: "A precinct is generally the lowest-level governmentally-related division in the United States, and in that context is also known in some places as an election district. The US Census uses the term voting district"
    – flyingL123
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:56

In politics the list of candidates is called a ballot. It fit's because it contains things that are being voted on. It also jives with the concept of areas since different areas have different ballots for their districts.

If it is meant to including the results try the word tally. It's the traditional word for the vote count.

Developers rip off words from other fields all the time. We call it leveraging a metaphor to make ourselves feel better when we tell people absurd things like: these little clickable pictures are a desktop.

  • My issue with this is that the ballot is not where you would see the accumulated results of each thing being voted on against each other. The ballot is more like the vote itself. Keeping with the politics theme, I think what I'm looking for would maybe be more like a "district", or something like that. A group of candidates would each have different amounts of votes in different districts. Actually, yea I like district. It makes sense. "I'm voting for this thing within this district". Thanks for making me think in terms of politics. I normally try to do that as infrequently as possible!
    – flyingL123
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:20
  • Thought you wanted: "the 'thing' that is containing other 'things' which are being weighted against each other by some metric". If you want something with the vote count then that's not the "thing", that's the metric. District spins a little geographical. If you need the metric more decoupled consider tally. Dec 12, 2015 at 4:26
  • I can see why it's being interpreted that way. But to me, a district is the 'thing', that contains other 'things' (politicians), who are being weighted against each other by some metric (number of votes).
    – flyingL123
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:29
  • Districts contain more than the candidates. They contain the constituents who do the voting. A ballot only contains the names of the candidates. Dec 12, 2015 at 4:34
  • Check my update. I don't think ballot works here because it's just a generic list of candidates. It doesn't account for their current rankings.
    – flyingL123
    Dec 12, 2015 at 4:38

A collection of things that are counted can be arguably described as a histogram:

: a representation of a frequency distribution by means of rectangles whose widths represent class intervals and whose areas are proportional to the corresponding frequencies

Assuming each element in your collection represents a single class, then each "rectangle" would be of equal width.

To construct a histogram, the first step is to "bin" the range of values—that is, divide the entire range of values into a series of intervals—and then count how many values fall into each interval. The bins are usually specified as consecutive, non-overlapping intervals of a variable. The bins (intervals) must be adjacent, and are usually equal size.

A histogram usually refers to graphical representation, but the tabular representation is also referred to as such. Below are illustrations from the Wikipedia article quoted above:

Bin   Count
----  -----
-3.5      9
-2.5     32
-1.5    109
-0.5    180
 0.5    132
 1.5     34
 2.5      4
 3.5      9

enter image description here I believe the graph left off the bin representing 3.5.

  • I don't understand the point here. Historgram is a way to present the voting results. Not a name for the results. You could have easily thrown a pie chart at him of the same data. Dec 12, 2015 at 6:25
  • @C The tabular representation is the abstract data type. The request was for a name for a collection of entities each with a weight attribute.
    – jxh
    Dec 12, 2015 at 6:53

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