For example, a demonym is the name given to the inhabitants of a particular location.

Demonym: United States -> American

Is there a word for the name given to people that do a certain job?

(Word I'm looking for): Cooking -> Cook

  • 4
    What's wrong with "occupation"? – Hot Licks Dec 17 '17 at 3:58
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    I understand “occupation” as meaning the activity that someone does (i.e. “plumbing”), rather than what you call the person that does that job (“plumber”). But it gets murky with other examples, like “lawyer”, so maybe I’m wrong? – scribu Dec 17 '17 at 8:10
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    An argument in favour of my thesis that “occupation” = “activity” is that you can’t say “My occupation is lawyer.”, but rather “My occupation is being a lawyer.” – scribu Dec 17 '17 at 8:15
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    One thing that seems clear is that the term you are seeking is not analogous to "demonym". So often on this site people expect English to behave consistently. The history of our language, and its extensive idiomatic usage does not allow for that. – WS2 Dec 17 '17 at 9:25
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    Some demonyms work as both adjective and noun e.g. "The American I met had an American accent". But it doesn't work with all demonyms. "French", "English" etc are not available as nouns. – WS2 Dec 17 '17 at 13:09

Closest thing I can think of is job title, according to Collins Dictionary:

a name that describes a person's job in an organization

And their example sentence:

My official job title is Deputy Manager.

Background on your example

Cook is probably not a full job title, most kitchens have more than one cook and they have different titles (somewhat similar to military ranks, but even more specific to what they actually do, rather than just indicating a hierarchy). Wikipedia has quite an extensive list, including but not limited to the following job titles (French in brackets, although the French title may be used in England as well):

head chef (chef de cuisine)

deputy chef (sous-chef; this probably more common than the English version)

pastry cook (pâtissier)


1 "Job Title Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary." Complacent Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary. Accessed May 05, 2018. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/job-title.

2 "Brigade De Cuisine." Wikipedia. April 30, 2018. Accessed May 05, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade_de_cuisine.

  • Except lots of people do a lot of stuff that does not come under the rubric of their "job title." – green_ideas May 5 '18 at 17:58
  • 1
    I think you’ve cracked it. It’s not a fancy single word, but it does the job. :) – scribu May 5 '18 at 20:51

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