Edit: The question itself is not about naming variables, but about finding two words that properly differentiate between two meanings.

I am in the process of building a system that stores entities in a database. But I am having a hard time coming up with the proper nouns for two entities.

One entity is uniquely identifiable by a serial number. For example a laptop. The other entity is not uniquely identifiable. For example a mouse or keyboard (I know they usually are identifiably, but that is not required in this system).

How would you name each entity? I was thinking about Item/Miscellaneous Item but that just feels weird and wrong. I have also thought about Product/Item as that differentiates a bit more.

  • What is Fx? Fx a laptop and Fx a mouse or keyboard Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:04
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    @marcellothearcane I'm guessing it means "For example". I'm not sure that the question is really on-topic here, since programming variable naming is not limited to English language rules (or even English language words). Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:07
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    I’m voting to close this question because it isn't about English language as defined by the help center, it's about naming programming variables. Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:10
  • I know that the question is regarding naming programming variables, but I prefer to name according to the English language, and thus I was looking for an English word. Not a programming variable name. I just added the context for added info.
    – Neophear
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:15
  • But MiscItem is not standard English. / You have not added reasonable research (synonyms of item / product) and why they don't work. //// You'll probably not get better than 'uniquely identifiable' and 'non-uniquely-identifiable', admittedly unwieldy classifiers. 'Specific' (in the required/related usage, usually of old medicines) and 'generic' are rare as nouns. Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


Generic item ge·ner·ic (jə-nĕr′ĭk) adj.

1.a. Relating to or descriptive of an entire group or class: Cancer is a generic term for a group of diseases in which cells proliferate wildly.

b. Lacking specificity; general: made some generic remarks about how to save for retirement.


  • That is a possibility. Hadn't thought of that. Would prefer a single word if that's possible, but generic is very descriptive.
    – Neophear
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 9:57
  • @Neophear generic is a single word. Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:09
  • @Greybeard My bad. I thought about is as an adjective. But you are right in that it can be used as a noun.
    – Neophear
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 10:17

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