Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Naming conventions

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In order to maintain some consistency in the naming of stub templates and their corresponding stub categories, several conventions for stub naming are used in stub deletion/merging/renaming, for new stub proposals, and by WikiProject Stub sorting while cleaning up stub organization. The following is a list of the most important conventions to take into consideration when naming a stub template and its stub category.

For a full list of stub types in use, see the Stub types list.


  • Stub template names should be in the form xx-stub (or xx-xx-stub, etc.), with the parts separated by hyphens, not spaces.
  • Capital letters should be used where (and only where) they are normally used – i.e., for proper nouns like personal or place names.
  • Where a place name is part of the stub, this name is normally (but not always) written in full (exceptions are listed below).
  • Stub template names with three parts (xx-xx-stub) or more are normally used only when an existing Wikipedia article category is divided into subcategories e.g., dividing biography stubs by nationality).
  • Stub category names should be in the form Category:England stubs, Category:Politics stubs — not Category:England-related stubs, Category:English stubs, Category:Politics-related stubs, Category:Political stubs.
  • These are only conventions, and may have exceptions where warranted, but the fewer exceptions there are, the better.
  • Many existing stubs and their categories do not follow these guidelines, but some of these may be changed to names which more closely follow these conventions.

Stub templates[edit]


Order and form[edit]

Very high-level stubs are formed by combining a subdivisional component or a major component and the stub component (e.g., {{Germany-stub}}, {{hist-stub}}, respectively). Most stubs are compound stubs, formed by combining one subdivisional and one or more major components (or no subdivisional but just two or more major components), and the stub component, in that order. Note that noun forms are used in templates rather than adjectival forms. When the name has three or more parts (xx-xx-stub, etc.), hyphens not spaces are used between all sections. This usually happens in two cases:

  1. When a compound "child" stub type is created by the intersection of two (or more) "parent" stub sorting topics (e.g. {{France-geo-stub}}, which is the intersection of {{France-stub}} and {{geo-stub}}).
  2. When the subject of a stub has two or more parts to its name (e.g. {{DC-Comics-stub}}, {{opera-singer-stub}}; the latter type should be avoided, by running words together, as in EXAMPLE HERE, since this allows creation of shorter compound stubs, e.g. EXAMPLE HERE.

Compound stubs, which make use of the major and subdivisional components, are formed by subdividing a subdivisional stub sorting topic into smaller, more specific, child subtopics of the original topics, most often by location. Thus, the majority of compound stubs are formed by a combination of a geographical location subdivisional topic and one major topic, e.g. {{Australia-bio-stub}}, or {{Kansas-geo-stub}}. Other intersections of two topics result in non-geographical compound stubs of the same form, such as {{sports-bio-stub}}. As topics (which usually but not universally coincide with categories) further subdivide, additional disambiguating major components may be added, as in {{India-sport-bio-stub}}.

Regardless, a standardized format should be used for the major component, and a (different) standardized format for the subdivisional component(s) if any, along with the fixed-format stub component. These formats are as listed below:

The stub component[edit]

All stub templates should have names ending in "-stub". Please note that there is a hyphen not space before the word "stub", and that it is entirely lower-case and singular (not "stubs").

The major component[edit]

Below is a list of some of the available major component general topic areas, used for the middle component(s) of compound stub names. Each major component refers to a very high-level, general Wikipedia article category which has been split, with a specific subdivisional component (and sometimes with other major components), to make the new child topic. Major components are used to create the most general high-level stub templates, such as {{bio-stub}}.

All major components are entirely lower-case (and, as shown, are separated from other components with hyphens.) Many of them are abbreviated, to avoid having to use long words like "geography" in thousands of stub templates, at the expense of some clarity — of current stub topics, the most ambiguous are probably bio-stub (biography, not biology) and geo-stub (geography, not geology) — but their number is limited so this is not seen as problematic.

  • -actor- (actor)
  • -album- (album)
  • -bcast- (broadcasting)
  • -bio- (biography)
  • -book- (book)
  • -compu- (computer)
  • -edu- (education)
  • -film- (film)
  • -geo- (geography)
  • -gov- (government)
  • -hist- (history)
  • -myth- (mythology)
  • -noble- (nobility or royalty)
  • -org- (organization)
  • -party- (political party)
  • -poli- (politics)
  • -politician- (politician)
  • -reli- (religion)
  • -road- (road)
  • -school- (non-university school)
  • -sci- (science)
  • -struct- (building or structure)
  • -theat- (theater/theatre)
  • -transport- (transport/transportation)
  • -tv- (television)
  • -university- (university)
  • -videogame- (video game)
  • -writer- (writer)

We also have a few with disambiguators:

  • -bridge-struct- (bridge (structure))
  • -rail-transport- (rail transport/transportation)

The subdivisional component[edit]

The subdivision component is used to create fairly high-level (and mostly geographical) simple stubs, like {{China-stub}} and {{Europe-stub}}, and to combine with major stubs to create compound stubs that split up the high-level, very general topics into more specific ones. Subdivisional component mostly correspond to specific Wikipedia article categories.

Subdivision of existing categories is most commonly done by location, either by country or region. With most countries and regions, the common name of the area is used as the geographical component. Stubs about Argentina receive {{Argentina-stub}}, those about India receive {{India-stub}}, and so on. For some countries, however, an abbreviated form of the name is used (as detailed below).

If a country has a two-word name, then occasionally this name will be written in full and concatenated (e.g., HongKong-stub). The parts of the name are not separated by a stub or hyphen (so the stub names "Hong-Kong-stub" and "Hong Kong-stub" are never used).

Character case[edit]

Subdivisional components use lower-case letters, except that proper nouns such as the names of people or places and acronyms are capitalized as they would be normally, as in {{IledeFrance-geo-stub}} (note "de" not "De"), and {{UK-stub}}. Note that as with other templates, the first character is not case-sensitive, so {{Japan-stub}} and {{japan-stub}} are equivalent.


Abbreviations are acceptable in the names of subdivisional components, since the templates are for the benefit of editors, not readers, and the template names do not appear on-screen in articles. Abbreviations can help in keeping the length of compound stubs to a minimum.

Ambiguous abbreviations should be avoided, however. For this reason, names like football-stub (which could refer to any of several sports) are not appropriate. Similarly, codes for country names are generally regarded as inappropriate, since geography stub templates can refer to either countries or regions (many of which share two letter abbreviations – Gabon and the US state of Georgia both use GA, for example) and non-geography stubs can refer to things other than country names (for instance, UA could refer to Ukraine or United Artists, and AI to Anguilla or artificial intelligence).

Some abbreviation subdivisional components (and resulting child templates) do exist, such as for the {{US-stub}} and {{UK-stub}} families.

Current abbreviated subdivisional components[edit]

The following is a possibly incomplete list of the abbreviations, acronyms or alternatives currently in use. Note that those cases in italics may soon be deprecated, replaced by more acceptable alternatives:


  • AfricaC – Central Africa
  • AfricaE – East Africa
  • AfricaN – North Africa
  • AfricaS – Southern Africa
  • AfricaW – West Africa


  • CentralAm – Central America
  • SouthAm – South America
  • US – United States
    • NYC – New York City


  • CAsia – Central Asia
  • MEast – Middle East
  • SAsia – South Asia
  • SEAsia – Southeast Asia
  • Taiwan – Republic of China (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei)


  • EU – European Union
  • UK – United Kingdom
    • NI – Northern Ireland
    • BritOT – British overseas territories


  • NZ – New Zealand
Places with complex names[edit]

Some places with complicated names are partially abbreviated for stub templates. These include the following:

  • Antigua – Antigua and Barbuda
  • BIOT – British Indian Ocean Territories
  • BosniaHerzegovina – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Marshalls – Marshall Islands
  • SaintVincent – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • SaoTomePrincipe – São Tome and Principé
  • TAAF – French Southern and Antarctic Territories
  • Trinidad – Trinidad and Tobago
  • USVirginIslands – United States Virgin Islands
Ambiguous place names[edit]

Some places share their names with other places. In these cases, it is usual to add the ISO two letter code to the end of a place name on stub temp[lates, to distinguish it from similarly named places elsewhere. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of examples:

  • CanterburyNZ – Canterbury Region in New Zealand, not the city in England
  • GeorgiaUS – The U.S. state of Georgia, not the independent nation in the Caucasus
  • PunjabIN – Punjab in India, not Punjab in Pakistan
  • VictoriaAU – the Australian state of Victoria, not the city in Canada

Mix and match[edit]

From the above lists and from the actual names of countries (not listed here) a large number of potential stub categories can be created which fit into standardized and rather predictable patterns. A few examples should demonstrate:

Stub template redirects[edit]

Redirects are used far less frequently with stub templates, but still exist. Redirects follow the same guidelines as the templates they redirect to, and because the naming guidelines are fairly prescriptive, there is less opportunity for properly named redirects to exist.

Stub categories[edit]

General form[edit]

The general form of stub category names is "Noun stubs" (e.g., Category:History stubs). The format "Adjectival stubs" (e.g., Category:Historical stubs) is not to be used. Note that the word "stubs" should not be capitalised. Stub category names should, except in specific cases, be singular (e.g., "Politician stubs", not "Politicians stubs").


Abbreviations should in general not be used in stub category names.

Deprecation of "-related"[edit]

At one time, stub categories often used the form Category:Subject-related stubs. These have now all been changed over to the consensus-accepted form of Category:Subject stubs. All new categories should avoid the use of the term "-related".

Agreement with permanent category names[edit]

Stub categories, where possible, should generally agree in name with their permanent (i.e., non-stub) equivalents. As this is not always possible and might lead to cumbersome category names, the following rule of thumb is generally used:

  • "Category: Foo" or "Category: Foos" → "Category: Foo stubs";
  • "Category: Fooian bars" → "Category: Fooian bar stubs";
  • "Category: Bars of Foo" or "Category: Bars in Foo" → "Category: Foo bar stubs"

Note that there are a small number of deliberate exceptions to both this format and to this rule overall.


There are, of course, some exceptions to these conventions, and some stub templates and categories that do not follow them. Some of these are due to the stub template being made by someone from outside the WP:WSS project, and these may be changed over at some stage to conform with these conventions. Others are for the convenience of editors, or because the name was the most logical one. WP:WSS is actively pursuing the renaming of some of these stubs and stub categories, although many of them "work well enough" that this may not be necessary.