I am developing a business application in which the user can select from one of these options, namely "Daily", "Weekly", "Monthly" or "Yearly", for scheduling appointments. I need to create a field in the database to hold this value, but am at a loss for what to name the field.

What would be the collective term? In Outlook, the combination of the option plus the option-specific sub-options is headed "Recurrence pattern", but that obviously applies to the complete selection. I am only interested in the collective term for "Daily", "Weekly", "Monthly" and "Yearly".

Perhaps just "recurrence"?

  • 2
    yes, recurrence
    – Drew
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 5:15
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because choosing names for things in programming is explicitly off-charter for ELU.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 5:53
  • 3
    @tchrist, I could of course remove any mention of the fact that I am busy developing a software system; will that make the question acceptable? Commented May 20, 2016 at 6:48
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    @tchrist: it's not "choosing a name for a thing". It's a legit enquiry about the correct English term to use, which is on-topic. Just as legit as enquiries about the correct English term to use in gardening, heraldry or anything else.
    – smci
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 15:12
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    I'm an English speaker and a programmer, and I'm legitimately curious about what this would be called as well. Just like finding out that the "st" after 1st or "nd" after 2nd is called the ordinal. Keep the question open! Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 21:31

3 Answers 3



  • The quality or state of being periodic; recurrence at regular intervals.


  • Sorry, it took me two years, but I finally accepted this answer as it seems to address most use cases for this requirement. Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 12:38

You could always use headings like Time or Frequency in your application. I would say frequency sounds better than recurrence here.


I agree with @Vitamin C that frequency is better, but recognize that another category is needed in your list of options, too, such as "as needed" or "irregular."

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