Wikipedia:Category names

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", "France", "Hillary Clinton".
  • 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.
  • Do not write the category structure in names. Example: "Monarchs", not "People – Monarchs". This includes creating categories that are subpages of other categories.
  • 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.
  • When an article topic requires disambiguation, any category eponymously named for that topic should include the same form of disambiguation, even if no other articles are likely to have an eponymous category.

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

  • 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.


  • 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.

Nationality and occupation


The standard form for categories by ancestry, culture, or ethnicity is "FOOian people of BARian descent", where "FOOian" is the person's nationality (country of citizenship) and "BARian" is the person's ethnic ancestry (such as Category:Irish people of Ghanaian descent and Category:American people of German descent).


For categorizing people by residence, the form is People from Foo (not "Natives of Foo"). 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).

Place of burial

For categorizing people by place of burial, the category name is in the form Burials at Foo Cemetery.

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.


Categories regarding events in countries (along with years and time) are named "... in country." This guideline applies to:

Millennia - Centuries - Decades - Years - Establishments - Disestablishments

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 - Reservoirs - 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


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


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".

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

  • 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:



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 - Crime - Disasters - Education - Ethnic groups - Health - Human rights - Landmarks - Law enforcement - Mass media - Nature conservation - 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


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 - 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 (except to the extent that they are already in their respective article titles - for example, "United Kingdom", but not "UK" or "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland").

(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". The same applies for geographic features that cross national borders, for example "Foo of the United States" and "Foo of Canada", not "Foo of the United States and Canada".

Categories by nationality

All categories whose subcategories are categories by nationality (roughly all categories that are members of Category:People by nationality or Category:Works 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.


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

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

Socio-cultural topics

National subcategories of these categories are named using the nationality rather than the country name, as they follow the national diasporas. However, the container categories are named "by country", e.g. Category:Society by country and Category:Culture by country.

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

Note that many of the sub-topics of "Society" are named using the country name, 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 for a particular nationality (e.g., Argentine vs. Argentinean), discussions at categories for discussion have frequently opted for one alternative over another to ensure consistency in category naming. Note that the singular-form demonym and adjective for many nationalities are not interchangeable. (i.e., Icelander vs. Icelandic; New Zealander vs. New Zealand). Most category names use the adjectival form, not the noun-form demonym.

Some states do not possess unambiguous (i.e., "Congolese" for Democratic Republic of the Congo) or universally-applicable (i.e., "Bosnian" for Bosnia and Herzegovina) adjectives. In these circumstances, the format "Country FOO"—where Country is the unamended name of the country—has been selected for use.

The list below reflects the most recent consensuses on what form to use for particular nationalities. These adopted forms may be subject to change by consensus and proposals to do so can be made by nominating the affected categories at categories for discussion. References are included to discussions that have discussed particular name formats.

Current nationalities

Former nationalities

In general, the formats for people of former nationalities is less settled. The list below represents examples which are reasonably well settled. Many categories for people of former nationalities with a compound name use a "FOOs from Country" or "FOOs of Country" format.

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 at 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 composerOperas by composerSymphonies by composerSongs by composer

Music by performer

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

Albums by artistSongs by artist

Visual arts

If there is only one type of work with articles, the subcategory is "[type of works] by [Artist]", eg "Paintings by Foo". A "Works by Foo" category is only needed if there are two categories for different types (paintings and drawings, for example).

Paintings by artistSculptures by artist


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

Buildings and structures by architect


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

Works by writerNovels by writerBooks by writerEssay collections by writerEssays by writerPicture books by writerPlays by writerPoetry by writerShort stories by writerShort story collections by writer

Stage and screen

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

Films by directorFilms with screenplays by writerPlays by writerTelevision shows by writer

Name of the artist

The name used should match the name of the biography article about the person, including any disambiguator, e.g. Category:Books by Peter Carey (novelist). The only exceptions are categories for visual arts, where the name used for the artist may instead match usage within the articles on the works; e.g. Category:Paintings by Sergei Ivanovich Osipov does not have to follow the article name Sergei Osipov (artist).[112]

Works of art categories by subject

Categories by the subject which is depicted follow the usual naming for that subject within articles and citations (including spelling and capitalisation), rather than the name of the Wikipedia article on the topic. For example:


  1. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Afghan
  2. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#American
  3. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 May 15#People by nationality sub-category pages
  4. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Antigua and Barbuda
  5. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Argentine
  6. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2012 April 13#Armenian emigrants
  7. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Aruban
  8. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 May 27#Category:Azerbaijan surnames
  9. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 August 23#Category:Music of Belize
  10. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Bissau-Guinean
  11. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Bosnia and Herzegovina
  12. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Botswana
  13. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#British
  14. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 September 15#Brunei
  15. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 June 17#Category:Burma football clubs
  16. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Canadian
  17. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 April 5#Category:Cayman Islands footballers
  18. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 July 26#Category:Central African people
  19. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Comorian
  20. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Democratic Republic of the Congo
  21. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Republic of the Congo
  22. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Cook Island
  23. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 15#Category:Croatian people
  24. ^ a b Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2013 March 26#Category:Aruban people
  25. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 August 7#Category:Czech writers
  26. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Danish
  27. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Dominica
  28. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Dominican Republic
  29. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#East Timorese
  30. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2012 March 21#Category:United Arab Emirati people
  31. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 15#Category:English people
  32. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Equatoguinean
  33. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 June 10#Category:Falkland Islander people
  34. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Equatoguinean
  35. ^ a b User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Filipino / Philippine
  36. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Finnish
  37. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 September 21#Category:People from French Guiana
  38. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2012 November 15#Category:French Polynesian people
  39. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 July 11#Category:Law of Gabon to Category:Gabonese law
  40. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#from/of Georgia (country)
  41. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 January 21#Category:People from Ghana
  42. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2012 December 7#Category:Gibraltarian people
  43. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 May 6#Category:People of Greenland to Category:Greenlandic people
  44. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Guadeloupe
  45. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 October 24#Category:Guamanian musical instruments
  46. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 May 7#Haitian people
  47. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Indian
  48. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Ivorian
  49. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Kazakhstani
  50. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2015 October 31#Kiribati
  51. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2016 February 12#Kosovar or Kosovan people
  52. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Kyrgyzstani
  53. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Laotian
  54. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Lesotho
  55. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Liechtenstein
  56. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Luxembourgian
  57. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Macau
  58. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 15#Category:Macedonian people
  59. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 April 16#Category:Madagascan archaeologists
  60. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 January 29#Category:People of the Marshall Islands
  61. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 21#Category:People of the Federated States of Micronesia
  62. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Monegasque
  63. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 July 2#Category:Montenegro chess players
  64. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 January 29#Category:Montserrat people
  65. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Luxembourgian
  66. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#New Zealand
  67. ^ a b c Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 15#Category:South African people
  68. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Northern Ireland
  69. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 June 3#Category:Women of Pakistan to Category:Pakistani women
  70. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Papua New Guinean
  71. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 September 24#Booian Peruvians to Peruvian people of Booian descent
  72. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Polish
  73. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2016 June 23#Category:People from Puerto Rico
  74. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Saint Kitts and Nevis
  75. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 13#Category:Vincentian people
  76. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Salvadoran
  77. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 December 16#Category:San Marinese Wikipedians
  78. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 14#Category:People from São Tomé and Príncipe
  79. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Saudi Arabian
  80. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Scottish
  81. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Singaporean
  82. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Slovak
  83. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Slovenian
  84. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Solomon Islands
  85. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 October 12#Category:Somali people
  86. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 July 24#Category:Southern Sudan politicians
  87. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Spanish
  88. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 August 14#Category:People from Suriname
  89. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Swedish
  90. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 September 7#Swiss people
  91. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Tajikistani
  92. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Trinidad and Tobago
  93. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 February 19#Category:People from Tunisia
  94. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 October 14#Turks to Turkish people
  95. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2010 April 17#Category:Turkmen people
  96. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 June 10#Category:Turks and Caicos Islander people
  97. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 May 19#Category:People from Tuvalu
  98. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#United States Virgin Islands
  99. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Uzbekistani
  100. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 January 20#Ni-Vanuatu
  101. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Czechoslovak
  102. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 July 23#Category:Antillean baseball players
  103. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#West German
  104. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2017 September 13#Ottoman people
  105. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2020 December 3#Russian Empire people
  106. ^ Use for the state that existed from 1992 to 2006. From 1992 to 2003, this state was officially known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FR Yugoslavia), but in categories "Yugoslav" is used only for the larger state that existed from 1918 to 1992.
  107. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Serbia and Montenegro
  108. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Soviet
  109. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Republic of Venice
  110. ^ Use for the state that existed from 1918 to 1992. For the state that existed from 1992 to 2006 and was known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FR Yugoslavia) from 1992 to 2003, use "Serbia and Montenegro FOOs".
  111. ^ User:Good Olfactory/CFR#Yugoslav
  112. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2020 September 28#Various author and painter categories
  113. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2020 September 28#Entombment of Christ
  114. ^ Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2020 September 28#Art of mythology