I remember my professor from years ago providing a specific technical term for the abbreviated name tags in front of dialogue in a play, e.g.

So: The Athenians don't just call it a suit, Euthyphro, but a public indictment.

Euth: What do you mean, Socrates? Someone has indicted you, I suppose, since I certainly wouldn't condemn you of the opposite, you indicting someone else.

Another post asked a similar question, Term for the identification of the person speaking in a dialogue, but none of the answers (character name, character cue, interlocutor), seem to be the term I'm looking for. It might just be an obscure academic term that has since been simplified to character name, but if anyone can recall a different term, please let me know.

  • Are you thinking of attribution? Jul 17, 2021 at 0:05
  • No, it was a very particular word that couldn't have been used for anything other than the abbreviated character names in a play. It was a renaissance drama class, if that helps.
    – J Mill
    Jul 17, 2021 at 0:24
  • You might try a Theatre forum. Jul 17, 2021 at 3:53
  • 1
    Whether abbeviated or not it is a character cue
    – Nigel J
    Jul 17, 2021 at 12:45
  • Nothing as straightforward as 'speaker'?
    – Peter
    Jul 23, 2021 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


It's been nearly a year since I posted the question, and I just stumbled onto the answer while studying ancient Greek manuscripts. I happened to see the term listed in the index of Eric Gardiner Turner's Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World, although not directly discussed in the book, but the name of the term seemed very familiar.

The term is notae personarum.

I remember my English professor was discussing Renaissance manuscripts when the term came up, so I think it might be used more commonly in the study of manuscripts than drama.

  • Not standard English, I'm afraid. Can you counter this by providing a reference in a standard English dictionary? Feb 20, 2022 at 14:57
  • @EdwinAshworth It’s clearly the correct term of art for this thing. Many such technical terms used in special domains are not in general dictionaries readily found.
    – tchrist
    Feb 21, 2022 at 3:08
  • @tchrist And I'd argue they all belong on dedicated websites. Especially requests about correct chemical terminology. There isn't a Drama SE, though. Feb 21, 2022 at 12:28

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