If I shared something with someone and you wanted to describe me in that context using only one word, you might call me the "sharer" or "owner". What word could the person I'm sharing with be called? Is he or she simply the "recipient" or is there a better word?

I am looking for a word that fit well as a Java class property name (don't let that discourage you from answering if you're not a software person).

For the software minded, I am writing a web app that uses Dashboards as the primary UI. A user can have multiple dashboards and can share them with other users.

public class Dashboard {
    private String owner; // username of this dashboard's owner

    ... // rest of the class

public class DashboardShare {
    private List<String> sharedWith; // <== I want to rename this property
    private Dashboard dashboard;

    ... // rest of the class

Thanks in advance!


  • 1
    Are you looking for an ancient English word to go with your ancient Java language?
    – jimm101
    Mar 30, 2018 at 12:56
  • It's an older code sir but it checks out...
    – David
    Mar 30, 2018 at 13:02
  • 1
    Weigh your time refactoring against your time maintaining!
    – jimm101
    Mar 30, 2018 at 13:37
  • D'oh! I looked so hard for a question first.... :(
    – David
    Mar 30, 2018 at 15:53

2 Answers 2


Since you've created a class member called "owner" which shares something with another class, then I would simply use the word "sharer". My reasoning is that sharer can either be one who gives or one who receives, and given that you don't use the word "sharer" for the class or member giving, then calling the receiver the sharer isn't ambiguous at all. In your system you would have the "owner", and it would allow access to the sharer. Any sharer would be a member or object that would have access shared to it by the owner.

Another possibility is:

If the "owner" grants permissions, makes available variables, members, data etc, then:

private List<String> sharedWith;

would have access to what the owner allows, so I'd be tempted to call it "accessor".

Also, another possibility is partner, as partners usually share. There is also the publisher-subscriber pattern for handling messages. The publisher creates messages, and a subscriber receives the published messages that it has subscribed to. But subscriber may not be what you're looking for.

Also finally, you can name variables whatever you want, so you shouldn't feel that restricted to a real word. Make up a word. When a word doesn't exist make up a compound word or a nonce word. Do it like the Germans do when they combine words into one: Pressekonferenz (press conference).

The only caution against that I'd give is if your code needs to be readily understood by other programmers.

  • "Do it like the Germans...."; lol, I was just talking to a friend of German descent about how they make up words by mashing them together less than two days ago. :) Anyway, your answer and @jimm101 's comment on my question about not getting wrapped around the axle are just what I needed.
    – David
    Mar 30, 2018 at 14:38

JAVA? What is that? Nevertheless consider:

If that which you shared has value or benefit: beneficiary

  1. One that receives a benefit

As in:

I shared snippets of my software code last evening with a special beneficiary hoping he/she will use it to the benefit of the project.

  • Java is a programming language that's been around for a while. It's newer than C++, but older than Microsoft's .NET....at least I think that's the case. Anyway, "beneficiary" is a great word for my initial scenario, but perhaps a little formal from a software perspective. I updated my question to provide better context, but I'm upvoting your answer since it is a great word and you did not have the benefit of seeing my updated question before answering. #seewhatididthere
    – David
    Mar 30, 2018 at 12:58
  • @David I do know that JAVA is more than a cup 'o joe!
    – lbf
    Mar 30, 2018 at 13:25
  • Friendly nit-pick - 'Java' isn't an abbreviation, so it's just a proper noun. All-caps not required or expected.
    – user888379
    Mar 30, 2018 at 13:39

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