I am looking for a name that describes an area or place whose purpose is to store "items" that are waiting to be processed by some external entity. Kind of like a shopping cart whose purpose is to store items that will be paid for, but without the connotation of being related to "money".

EDIT: by "processed", I mean "subjected to the same set of actions", i.e. boxes that are waiting to be painted red, parts that are waiting to be assembled, ... Also, I refer to inanimate objects, not persons or living things.

  • 1
    You don't say what kind of business this is; but "holding area" is used for a number of applications of this type, such as a pre-operative waiting room in a hospital where the patient is kept prior to the start of surgery.
    – Charl E
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 12:32
  • 1
    Would queue work? We have production queues, where products await the next phases of assembly.
    – Davo
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 12:39
  • Thanks, I changed the description. Queue would not really work, because there is no "implied order" in which the items are processed.
    – Klangen
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 12:42
  • A dispatch area, perhaps?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 13:13
  • 1
    I think of "staging area" but the word "vestibule" comes to mind for some reason.
    – KenHines
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


An "in-box/inbox" should largely suffice. It typically implies "a place for holding incoming documents/messages (needing attention)" but the following definition includes "incoming work".
A variant is in-tray.


in-box (or inbox) noun

1. a boxlike tray, basket, or the like, as on a desk, for holding incoming mail, messages, or work.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.


I think you could very logically just call it Processing.

If not, though, here are some other possibilities:

Pending—In the process of; during. While awaiting; until.

In process—Begun, and not completed.

Ongoing—Being actually in process; continuing.

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