The referent of a word or phrase in a sentence is the thing to which that word refers, e.g. in "The businessman greeted me," the referent of 'the businessman' is the person who said hello, and the referent of 'me' is the speaker of the sentence.
Is there a name for those words or phrase which have referents, highlighting the fact that they stand for something? I seek to fill in the following blank:
If John is the referent of 'the businessman', then the phrase 'the businessman' is a ______ of John.
Said another way, I am looking for a sort of inverse word to referent, in the same way that parent is an inverse to child.