As the heading suggests, I'm wondering what you call an email address that is linked to a certain function rather than to a specific person. For instance, at my department at uni, there are three different people sharing the responsibilities of the director of studies, and so, there is a mail for this function (director of studies), that all three of them have access to. In my own language we call this a "function mail", but I haven't found very convincing support for this in English, so I'm wondering if it's called something else?

Thank you!

3 Answers 3


As someone who has maintained these kinds of email addresses in a helpdesk job, we called these generic email addresses

  • 1
    Yes. Shared inbox, or generic inbox. Commented Jul 31, 2021 at 7:43

I would probably call this a "shared address". But I don't believe there is any term in English describing this sort of thing.

Note that there are plenty of function-based addresses that can still be routed to just one person, webmaster@domain or postmaster@domain for example. While large companies may have more than one person handle these addresses smaller ones are very likely to have just one.

  • Very good point! The feature I'm after is its being generic/function-based rather than shared :)
    – Helen
    Commented Jul 31, 2021 at 11:39

I would call this an institutional email address.

  • 3
    not sure that is quite right. An institutional email address is one provided by your institution. So if I work at the bbc, my institution email address might be [email protected] Unlike my private email address that is provided by my isp or gmail/hotmail etc. An institutional email address doesn't have to be tied to a role or function.
    – James K
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 21:47

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