I recently heard about the possibility of submitting a proposal for a book to the publisher as "NN". I assume it has something to do with the fact that a couple of possible contributors have not yet confirmed their contribution but the editors want to go ahead anyway and submit the proposal already.

Am I right with my assumption? If so, what does "NN" stand for?


2 Answers 2


Nomen nominandum, "a name to be named" - if you don't know the person's name yet, this indicates that you will supply the name later.

Which sounds a bit more reassuring than a simple nomen nescio, "I don't know the name".

  • 1
    I had only ever heard the second (in the plural - nomen nescimus) as the meaning of the abbreviation.
    – Floris
    Jul 6, 2015 at 21:42

I think "Nomen Nescio" is the correct expansion of NN.

My source:

Introduction to Scientific Publishing: Backgrounds, Concepts, Strategies By Andreas Öchsner; 
Page 77, table 7.3: "Some standard abbreviations from Latin language":

N.N. -- Uknown name, used as a placeholder for unknown names, (from Latin 'Nomen Nescio')

Google books link.

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