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In the words of Phil Karlton: There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things:

[Context: Software, terminology for a database schema]

If I book something for someone else, is there a term for the person being the ... um, target of the booking?

For example, let’s say your secretary books a car on behalf of you. The secretary can be said to be the organizer of the booking (which is the term used by most calendar systems such as Microsoft Outlook when booking a meeting room), the car can be said to be the resource, but what is a term for the person the booking is intended for?

My own suggestions so far:

  • Subject? (as in “to be the subject of a …“, but it’s ambiguous since it also typically means the topic to be discussed, as in the subject line of an e-mail, which could be confusing)
  • Audience? (seems more like a group to me)
  • Target [user]? (I seem to over-use the word target everywhere, but that may not be a valid argument)
  • Owner? (would the one making use of the booking or the one who created the booking be considered the owner of the booking?)
  • User (too vague in the given context)

You’d think the rich English language would even have a -ee word for something like this. But bookee sounds ... horrible. Attendee is not necessarily the primary user of the resource but could be an invited guest (as for an Outlook meeting, again).

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  • In some contexts the person on whose behalf the booking is made would be a client. However this is not specific enough for me to propose it as an answer.
    – Peter
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 10:41
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    If it's a car, the driver, if it's a hotel room, the guest, if it's a meal, the diner/customer/guest, if it's a tool hire, the user/worker/machinist/carpenter, etc. Responsible person might also be accurate. Or as you suggest target/user/subject.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 12:13

1 Answer 1

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Yes, there's a word for this, albeit an uncommon one: sponsee

As Wiktionary gives

One who is sponsored.

What expectations would you have of me if I were your sponsee?

[Geraldine A. Miller, Learning the language of addiction counseling]

Another word that kind of applies here is claimant— if something is reserved for someone they become the claimant to that thing.

But I suppose these are somewhat awkward choices, and despite English being a rich language, it doesn't necessarily have a word for everything.

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    Apart from the awkwardness already noted within the answer, sponsee is problematic because it is meaningful only when there is a sponsor, and not all bookings are sponsored by a third party.
    – jsw29
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 15:33

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