5

What do you call something that goes into a slot?

"Slot" here would be (according to Wiktionary):

A narrow depression, perforation, or aperture; especially, one for the reception of a piece fitting or sliding in it.

Edit for context:

I'm using the concepts in a software program I'm trying to write. In order to help the end users understand the end result, I came up with the physical representation of wooden boxes with an open top, called slots, with corresponding objects to go in these slots on a one-to-one basis. There would be many objects available per slot, but each object would only fit in one slot at a time

8
  • 10
    Tab According to those assembly directions we get from the Far East: Insert tab A into slot B.
    – GEdgar
    Jul 21, 2011 at 0:47
  • @GEdgar: lol, I agree, although Tab is too commonly a used term for what I would like. Jul 21, 2011 at 2:10
  • I am not aware of any particular "thing" that is the counterpart to slot. Do you have a particular type of slot in mind?
    – MrHen
    Jul 21, 2011 at 4:52
  • I'm using the concepts in a software program I'm trying to write. In order to help the end users understand the end result, I came up with the physical representation of wooden boxes with an open top, called slots, with corresponding objects to go in these slots on a one-to-one basis. There would be many objects available per slot, but each object would only fit in one slot at a time. Jul 21, 2011 at 6:24
  • 1
    Sounds more like you're talking about (the proverbial round and square) pegs and holes. Perhaps if you consider something other than "slot" you'll find a a peg that is a better fit for your hole.
    – user597
    Jul 21, 2011 at 13:50

5 Answers 5

6

A key, or a token, depending on the context.

With the word key, I was referring to part of a machine component that is specially shaped to slot into, and lock with, the keyway of a shaft.

(Though, of course, a key more commonly refers to an object that slides in through the keyhole of a lock, and acts to unlock it.)

A token would be something similar to a coin, which would pass straight though a slot.

6
  • I like token, although technically what I'm going for is more of what you defined as a key. I don't want to use key, however, since it's being used already. I'll accept in a few hours if no other ideas show up. Jul 20, 2011 at 22:58
  • If you want the most specific part, it's the blade of the key that's inserted into the slot.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jul 20, 2011 at 23:56
  • @Kit: That's a bit too specific for what I was thinking. =P Jul 21, 2011 at 2:09
  • 1
    @TorelTwiddle: Locating pegs/stubs and alignment pins can also fit into slots. Can you provide detail on what exactly it is that you need to describe? Jul 21, 2011 at 7:30
  • 1
    The word that came to my mind was "peg", but "key" works too.
    – TecBrat
    Aug 11, 2012 at 3:05
5

In engineering it would be a tang

3
  • Interesting — I’d never come across this sense of tang before! Can you give some typical examples?
    – PLL
    Jul 21, 2011 at 8:33
  • The tang of a knife is the part of the metal, continuous with the blade, which is fixed within the handle.
    – Ben
    Jul 21, 2011 at 10:00
  • Oh, right! My husband (an electrician) has used that word before. It's similar to a stab.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jul 21, 2011 at 14:49
3

Insert is a noun that might fit you (as for example in: shoe insert)

0

The Qt C++ library from Nokia has the concept of slots. The counterpart to those are signals. Signals can be connected to slots and would indicate some form of communication, e.g. a button being pressed creates a signal that reaches a slot in order to perform some action.

0

I'm a programmer myself, so let me give some suggestions from a computer science prospective.

A common generic term for a member of a collection of items is an element. Alternatively, if your collection is accessed by arbitrary key, e.g. a "hash table", "map", "associative array" or "dictionary", you might use the more specific term value (part of a key/value pair, or entry).

Also note that the specific term slot is often used academically when discussing the classic "hash table" data structure; this may be confusing to other programmers if your data structure behaviors differently. I realize you're more looking for a term for end-users, but it's important to be clear to other coders as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.