I'm building a budgeting database application/program and I'm looking for two words as names of tables or variables in it. This question seeks one of them:

It encompasses the following: The table in question (that I'm looking for the name to call it) will (currently) hold 5 records: a record for myself, one for my wife, and one each for each of our three businesses. But that list might change when say our son grows up and becomes another record in this table, or we start another business, or whatever.

Some databases text books etc. suggest the word "parties" for entities like this, but I find that word too generic. I'm hoping to find something a little less vague, but also not quite the mouthful "PeopleAndOrganizations" might be. lol.

I'd welcome and be grateful for any suggestions!

Edit/update: As Roger Sinasohn pointed out in the comments for my other similar question: yes, I'm looking for a countable noun.

An example sentence could be where I click a button to delete a bunch of these records, and need to pop up a confirmation warning first:

"Do you really want to delete these whatevers?"

I'd really rather not have to say "Do you really want to delete these people and organisations?" or whatever.

It doesn't have to be one word. eg. another question asked for a hypernym for anywhere that serves food (restaurant, cafe, fast-food place, etc.). If that's what I was looking for here, then "eating establishment" might be ok. But if more than one word, it can't just be a string of all the words I'm trying to find the hypernym for (people and organisations).

  • In the context of your application/database, what is it that these people and organizations can do, or have done to them that things not in the table can't?
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 5:44

3 Answers 3


I thought about this for a bit and came up with a few ideas:

  • entry/entrant
  • account/accountee
  • participant
  • component

I would go for "accountee". Even if it isn't exactly correct, based on the business definition, I like that it could be applied to people as well as business entities for the purpose of budgeting.

  • I like that ("accountee"). Agreed, not entirely accurate, and I'd still love to hear any other suggestions anyone has, but indeed for the purposes of budgeting it's possibly the best option any of us have thought of so far. Thanks!
    – DavidT
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 20:17

In your other question, you mentioned that entity did not fit what you were looking for in that case. Would it not work here? From the Oxford Dictionaries:



  1. A thing with distinct and independent existence.

    ‘Church and empire were fused in a single entity’

  • It could work but it has two issues. 1. "Entity" is a word used in database parlance. When designing and defining a database application one of the first things you do is figure out all the "entities" - basically all the tables. Doesn't rule it out but I'd prefer not to use that word for anything actually in the database app itself, if possible. But also 2. I think it's too generic. Agreed it can have the meaning I'm looking for but it can have too many other meanings as well. I'd choose party before entity if we can't think of anything better. :) Still, thanks!
    – DavidT
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 16:57
  • As I mentioned in your other question (great questions, btw), it makes a difference whether this is purely internal nomenclature or external. As an example, the term table has a very different meaning to a developer than it does to a user. If you're looking for something solely for internal use, I would argue it is more important to have good documentation (inline and separate) than perfectly named tables and fields. For external use (i.e., something that users would see and use to describe some part of the system), the fact that entity has a specific meaning to DBAs is irrelevant. Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 17:43
  • Note also that context goes a long way to help determine meaning. I doubt anyone read the first sentence of your question and thought you were looking for a name for your dining room table. Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 17:44
  • You're right about the distinction between internal and external nomenclature. I'd say I'm looking for something suitable for both. As you note, for internal, with suitable documentation, I could use pretty much anything (in which case I'd probably just run with "parties"), but I want something that makes sense externally also. I added a sample sentence for where that might be useful.
    – DavidT
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 2:54
  • Entity sounds a good option
    – Ram Pillai
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 11:23

As long as we talk only about individuals & organizations, a possible hypernym in this context is taxpayer. This should work in most countries as both organizations (whether profit-making or not) and individuals with stake in them are required to be registered as taxpayers (even if they end up paying zero-tax).



A taxpayer is a person or organization (such as a company) subject to pay a tax. Taxpayers have an Identification Number, a reference number issued by a government to its citizens.
Virtually every human being is a taxpayer at some point.
Taxpayers can be classified into two major categories – individual and corporation. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate from the owners for tax purposes.

  • Husband and wife are often one taxpayer. Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 7:21

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