This could be the start of a maths' exercise: "ABCDE is a pentagon."

In french, we would say "nom" (name) of the polygon to refer to "ABCDE", while "nature" of the polygon would refer to "pentagon".

Reading wikipedia, I figured out that, in english, "pentagon" is the name of this polygon. So, what is "ABCDE"? Is it possible to call it the name of the polygon, too, or is there any specific word?

Some context: I need a correct english word that I can use as a variable name in a software I develop, in order to store, for instance, the string "ABCDE" as a polygon's property whose name would be understood by anyone. For instance, if I write polygon.name, I guess anyone would guess it stores something like "triangle" or "pentagon" etc. Now it's about this "ABCDE": I cannot store it in polygon.name too. So, polygon.?????

  • 3
    The pentagon is the name of the shape; ABCDE is the name of a specific pentagon.
    – J.R.
    Nov 22, 2017 at 17:04
  • 2
    It is really just a path that describes the pentagon (although I do not know the mathematical term for it). BCDEA also describes the same pentagon, as does EDCBA. The same pentagon can be described by 10 different paths. For that reason, I would hesitate to call ABCDE a name.
    – Mick
    Nov 22, 2017 at 17:07
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about naming software elements Nov 22, 2017 at 17:07
  • 1
    This question is probably more suitable for Mathematics.
    – Mick
    Nov 22, 2017 at 17:09
  • 1
    While this may seem like a "naming" question (which would be off-topic), I think that understanding the different words in English used to describe the "name" of something and the "nature" of something is on-topic. The reason why someone wants to understand a particular aspect of the language shouldn't make the question off-topic. The software naming part of this question (in my opinion) is just context to help the folks answering it understand what is being asked, and not the question itself.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 24, 2017 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


What is the area of pentagon ABCDE, assuming it is regular and the length of a side is 5cm?

There, "ABCDE" is the name of the pentagon. Notice that the name comes after the noun.

In your version

ABCDE is a pentagon.

setting aside all typographic issues and treating it as a verbal utterance, ABCDE is like a variable name, comparable to "Assume x is an odd number greater than 1000". x is something of a name, a label.

  • I'd go for "name" too, then. Actually I finally found examples on web pages like here (§naming polygons), here or here.
    – zezollo
    Nov 22, 2017 at 20:31

Based on your description I would say that "pentagon" is the type of the polygon in question, and "ABCDE" is the name or label of that shape. So you should use polygon.type = pentagon and polygon.name = 'ABCDE'.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .