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?


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 '15 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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.