Wikipedia:Category names

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This page contains a list of guidelines concerning naming conventions for categories. If you wish to propose a new naming convention for categories or modify an existing convention, please do so on the talk page.

Naming conventions

When naming a category, one should be particularly careful and choose its name accurately. Moving non-conventionally categorized pages to another category name (see {{Category redirect}}) imposes an additional overhead – an edit for each article and subcategory.

General conventions

  • Standard article naming conventions apply; in particular, do not capitalize regular nouns except when they come at the beginning of the title.
  • Names of topic categories should be singular, normally corresponding to the name of a Wikipedia article. Examples: "Law", "Civilization", "George W. Bush".
  • Names of set categories should be plural. Examples: "Writers", "Villages in Poland".
  • Avoid abbreviations. Example: "Category:Military equipment of World War II", not ":Category:Military equipment of WW2". However, abbreviations that have become the official or generally used name (such as NATO) should be used where there are no other conflicts.
  • Don't write the category structure in names. Example: "Monarchs", not "People - Monarchs".
  • Choose category names that can stand alone, independent of the way a category is connected to other categories. Example: "Geography terminology stubs", not "Terminology" (a subcategory of "Geography stubs").
  • As with lists, avoid descriptive adjectives such as famous, important, or notable in category titles.
  • Particularly for technical subjects, use words and phrases which exist in reliable sources, so that those sources may be used to support inclusion of articles.

Special conventions

  • Note that in many instances a topic category and a set category have similar names, the topic category being singular and the set category plural. For example, Opera is a topic category (containing all articles relating to the topic), while Operas is a set category (containing articles about specific operas). Be careful to choose the right one when categorizing articles.
  • If there are a lot of lists in a particular subject area, it may be useful to have a category to hold them, called something like "Category:Lists of countries". These categories should only contain list pages (for example "List of Soviet Republics", "List of countries by population"). When placing pages in such a category, use a sort key that excludes the phrase "List of" (otherwise all lists would appear under "L"). See also Category:Lists.
  • All WikiProject categories should have "WikiProject" (or "WikiProjects") as part of the name. Note that this does not apply to the names of categories that projects might create for the use of assessments. In these cases, the advice given in Project Categories, which conforms to Category:Wikipedia 1.0 assessments is advised, though not mandatory.
  • Categories used for Wikipedia administration are prefixed with the word "Wikipedia" (no colon) if this is needed to prevent confusion with content categories. For example, Category:Inactive project pages (where no confusion is likely), but Category:Wikipedia tools (as distinct from the content category Tools).
  • Naming guidelines for sub-categories of Category:Stub categories are listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Naming guidelines#Categories.
  • For categorization in userspace, see Wikipedia:Categorization#User namespace and Wikipedia:User categories#Naming conventions.
  • For geographical photo requests, the category name should be 'Wikipedia requested photographs in xxx' as in [[Category:Wikipedia requested photographs in England]]. Wikiprojects desiring to keep track of articles needing photos should use 'xxxx articles needing photos' as in [[Category:England articles needing photos]] and [[Category:England articles needing images]] (for photos, maps, drawings, etc.)

Categorization of people

For more details on this topic, see Wikipedia:Categorization of people.
  • Avoid abbreviations. Exceptions should be rare, and explained in all member pages.
  • Avoid names that are too long or too short. Short, simple names are preferred for categories. It is possible to deviate from this principle for clarity and neutrality, but don't exaggerate on length or complexity of category names.

Neutrality

  • Use gender-neutral category names, unless there is a distinct reason and consensus to do otherwise. In that case, please specify the reason on the category page, and record the consensus on its associated discussion page.
    Example: instead of a category for "Kings" and a different category for "Queens", use Category:Monarchs.
  • Always try to use the most generic neutral name. Some categories can be used in a stigmatizing way.
    Example: "Prostitutes" is a better name for a category than "whores". "Sex workers" might work even better for a category name, as more gender-neutral and better approaching Business Card style.

Occupation

Heritage

Residence

  • People are sometimes categorized by notable residence, in the form People from Foo (not "Natives of Foo"), regardless of ethnicity, heritage, or nationality.
    • Residential categories should not be used to record people that have never resided in that place. Nationality is reflected by the occupation category (above), not country or county or city of residence.
    • The place of birth is rarely notable.
  • Where the commonly used English name for residents of a place is well-known globally (usually the original place of that name), Fooite demonym categories should be {{category redirect}}ed to People from Foo, assisting in automated categorization (for example, Category:New Yorkers).

Time periods

By convention, a category name designating a time period with a number (in Arabic numerals) represents a calendar year in the Common Era. For years BCE, the format is "<year number> BC", for example Category:220 BC deaths.

Categories for people by century should be named Category:xx-century foos or Category:xx-century BC foos.

Categories by country

All categories whose subcategories are categories by country (roughly all categories that are members of Category:Categories by country) shall have a per-category naming convention which will apply to all of their subcategories. These naming conventions, their guidelines and their exceptions are listed here. Non-conformance to these naming conventions shall be treated as a criterion for "speedy category renaming" as defined on WP:CFD.

Manufactured objects

Categories of permanently located manufactured objects by country are named "... in country". This guideline applies to:

Airports - American football venues - Amusement parks - Archaeological sites - Art museums - Association football venues - Athletics (track and field) venues (mostly named "athletics" as per non-U.S. usage) - Baseball venues - Basketball venues - Bridges - Buildings and structures - Casinos - Castles - Cathedrals - Cemeteries - Churches - Cities - Cricket grounds - Forts - Gardens - Ghost towns - Golf clubs and courses - Horse racing venues - Hospitals - Hotels - Indoor arenas - Libraries - Monasteries - Motorsport venues - Mosques - Museums - Palaces - Parks - Prisons - Railway stations - Roads - Rugby union stadiums - Schools - Shopping malls (or shopping centres, based on local usage) - Skyscrapers - Sports venues - Theatres - Towns - Universities and colleges ("Universities" categories are also legitimate in countries where universities and colleges are distinct, i.e. most countries, and are often a subcategory) - Villages - World Heritage Sites - Zoos

Landforms

Categories of landforms by country are named "... of country". This guideline applies to:

Landforms (top category) - Beaches - Hills - Islands - Lakes - Mountains - Mountain passes - Mountain ranges - Peninsulas - Rivers - Volcanoes

Companies

By-country subcategories of all <company type> by country categories are named ... of country. This guideline applies to:

Airlines - Banks - Book publishing companies - Companies - Defunct companies - Engineering companies - Financial services companies - Insurance companies - Manufacturing companies - Retail companies

State-based topics

Categories of topics usually in the domain of the state are named "... of country".

Foreign relations - Government - Military - Military equipment - Military units and formations - Municipalities * - National parks - Postal systems - Protected areas - Subdivisions

  • Administrative divisions take the "of" form and settlements take the "in" form. Municipalities are usually found in non-English speaking countries as third tier administrative divisions covering the whole country including rural areas. In most cases, there are separate designations for settlements such as cities and towns. However where the designation "municipality" is used solely for urban settlements (example, Romania) or where it is the only official designation for cities and towns (example, Spain), the category takes the "in" form.

Political office-holders

By country subcategories of <political office> by country categories are named:

  • ... of country for those concerning holders of a specific office with jurisdiction over a country
  • ... in country for those that group offices of a certain type, operating within a country

This guideline applies to:

Political office-holders - Heads of government - Heads of state - Legislators - Government ministers (or "cabinet secretaries" if that is local usage) - minister lists - Presidents - Prime ministers

  • ... of places in ... for specific jurisdictions within a country, province, state, or equivalent
  • ... of place for the specific jurisdiction

This guideline applies to:

Mayors

Sport

By-country subcategories of all <sport name> by country categories are named ... in country. This guideline applies to:

Athletics - Association football (Australia, Canada and USA: "soccer") - Baseball - Basketball - Cricket - Cycle racing - Golf - Horse racing - Ice hockey - Motorsport - Rugby league - Rugby union - Sport (or sports if that is local usage) - Teams - Tennis

Miscellaneous "of country"

Subcategories of these categories are named "... of country".

Cinema - Coins - Demographics - Economies - Environment - Fauna - Geography - History - Languages - Natural history - Politics - Ships - Trade unions - Weapons

Miscellaneous "in country"

Subcategories of these categories are named "... in country".

Aviation - Business - Capital punishment - Communications - Conservation - Crime - Disasters - Education - Ethnic groups - Health - Human rights - Landmarks - Law enforcement - Political parties - Populated places - Public holidays - Rail transport - Religion - Science and technology - Television - Tourism - Transportation (or transport if that is local usage)

Miscellaneous "involving country"

Subcategories of these categories are named "... involving country".

Battles - Military operations - Naval battles - Sieges - Wars

Miscellaneous

Aircraft ("manufactured by Foo") - Charities ("based in Foo") - Environmental organizations ("based in Foo") - Newspapers ("published in Foo") - Organizations ("based in Foo")

Undecided by country

The convention for these categories is yet to be decided. See the talk page for details. These will be moved up as consensus develops.

Films - Magazines - Media - Law (currently mostly "Fooish law")

Technical categories

  • Images use the form "Images of country".
  • Lists use the form "Country-related lists"
  • Stubs use the form "Country stubs".

How to name the country

For "of country" and "in country" categories, the name of the country should appear as it does in the name of the article about that country, with a lowercase "the" if needed for grammatical purposes. Non-sovereign, disputed, supranational, and historical countries and geographic equivalents may be included if the articles to be categorized require it. For reference, see List of sovereign states, List of dependent territories, and the following list.

In category naming, country names should not be abbreviated.

(Note: Links to articles are shown only for reference; links obviously cannot appear in the actual title of a category.)

Dealing with overlaps

When historical and political complexities (such as mergers and splits) create articles that belong to two countries, do not create a "Foo of X and Y". Instead, list articles in both "Foo of X" and "Foo of Y". For example, "Foo of Russia" and "Foo of the Soviet Union", not "Foo of Russia and the Soviet Union".

Categories by nationality

All categories whose subcategories are categories by nationality (roughly all categories that are members of Category:Categories by nationality) shall have a per-category naming convention which will apply to all of their subcategories. These naming conventions, their guidelines and their exceptions are listed here. Non-conformance to these naming conventions shall be treated as a criterion for "speedy category renaming" as defined on WP:CFD. Changing these conventions shall require a consensual discussion either directly at WP:CFD or publicized there.

Biographies

Subcategories of these categories are named "nationality ...".

Murderers - Musical groups - People by nationality and occupation - People by occupation and nationality - People

Socio-cultural topics

Subcategories of these categories are named "by nationality" rather than "by country", as they follow the national diasporas.

Art - Cuisine - Culture - Literature - Music - Plays - Society

However, many sub-topics of "Society" are "by country", and so are some cultural topics e.g. Architecture and Classical music.

How to name a nationality

A list of adjectival forms of place names is available on Wikipedia. In situations where multiple adjectives are possible, please note that no official policy exists as to which one is favoured. Note that the singular-form demonym and adjective for many nationalities are not interchangeable. (i.e. Icelander vs. Icelandic)

Some states do not possess unambiguous (i.e. Democratic Republic of the Congo) or universally-applicable (i.e. Bosnia and Herzegovina) adjectives. In these circumstances, users should use the format "Country foo", where Country is the unamended name of the country. Examples of this usage are Category:Democratic Republic of the Congo society, Category:Trinidad and Tobago people, Category:Bosnia and Herzegovina politicians, Category:Republic of the Congo culture, Category:Dominica people, Category:Dominican Republic athletes, Category:Saint Kitts and Nevis businesspeople, and Category:Antigua and Barbuda writers.

Works of art categories by artist

All categories whose subcategories are categories by creative artist (roughly all categories that are members of Category:Works by artist) shall have a per-category naming convention which will apply to all of their subcategories. These naming conventions, their guidelines and their exceptions are listed here. Non-conformance to these naming conventions shall be treated as a criterion for "speedy category renaming" as defined on WP:CFD. Changing these conventions shall require a consensual discussion either directly at WP:CFD or publicized there.

Music by composer

Subcategories of these categories are named "Compositions by [composer]".

Compositions by composer - Operas by composer - Symphonies by composer - Songs by composer

Music by performer

Subcategories of these categories are named "[Performer] works".

Albums by artist -- Songs by artist

Visual arts

Subcategories of these categories are named "[Artist] [works]", with exceptions for artists involved in more than one type of work.

Paintings by artist -- Sculptures by artist

Architecture

Subcategories of these categories are named "[Architect] buildings", with exceptions for architects involved in more than one type of work.

-- Category:Buildings and structures by architect

Literature

Subcategories of these categories are named "[Work(s)] by [writer]".

Works by writer -- Novels by writer -- Books by writer -- Essay collections by writer -- Essays by writer -- Picture books by writer -- Plays by writer -- Poetry by writer -- Screenplays by writer -- Short stories by writer -- Short story collections by writer

Stage and screen

Subcategories of these categories are named "[Works] by [Person]".

Films by director -- Plays by writer -- Screenplays by writer