Terminology

Find guidelines for how to use common words and phrases associated with GitHub products, features, and other technologies.

Terminology

Frequently used words and phrases

This section covers commonly named features, products, and technical terms. It isn’t exhaustive, but it may help answer your questions as you write about GitHub. For more on capitalization and other grammar rules, see the “Grammar and usage” section of this guide.

Characters

We use several characters associated with our products and community. Here’s how to refer to them:

  • Hubot
  • Mona (also: Mona the Octocat)
  • Octocat

Note: Always capitalize Octocat to uphold our trademark. Never gender a mascot unless specified in an origin story. Use she/her pronouns for Mona.

Common acronyms and abbreviations

Some acronyms and abbreviations are so commonly used, we don’t have to spell them out. Acronyms for programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and other tools are often more familiar than spelled-out phrases. When in doubt, see if your acronym made it to the American Heritage Dictionary. And use your best judgment when writing for your audience.

Some common acronyms:

  • API
  • CI/CD
  • CSS
  • DevOps
  • DevSecOps
  • HTML
  • JSON
  • LISP
  • npm
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • Sysadmin
  • XML

Events

Official GitHub events are in title case.

  • GitHub Satellite
  • Git Merge
  • GitHub Universe

Note: We often use the full name of the event in the first mention and drop the “GitHub” in subsequent mentions.

Features, functionalities, and product elements

Most of our features are in sentence case.

  • actions (instances of GitHub Actions)
  • blame
  • branch
  • Code of Conduct
  • contribution graph
  • contribution guidelines (CONTRIBUTING.md or CONTRIBUTING file)
  • dashboard
  • Dependabot alerts (formerly security alerts for vulnerability alerts)
  • Dependabot security updates (formerly automated security updates)
  • Dependabot version updates
  • dependency graph
  • dependencies
  • diff
  • discussions (instances of GitHub Discussions)
  • Security Advisory (“advisory” after the first use)
  • Insights
  • integrations
  • issue
  • licenses (LICENSE.md or LICENSE.txt)
  • mention
  • milestone
  • organization
  • Privacy Statement
  • profiles
  • project board
  • project management
  • pull request
  • README (README.md or README file)
  • repository insights graphs
    • the code frequency graph
    • the commits graph
    • the contributors graph
    • the network graph
    • Pulse (also: the Pulse overview)
  • newsfeed
  • notifications
  • repository
    • repository owner
    • repository admin
  • reviews
  • star
  • team
    • team admin
    • team owner
  • Terms of Service
  • timeline
  • secret scanning (unless referring to GitHub Secret Scanning, specifically) (formerly token scanning)
  • wikis (unless referring to GitHub Wikis, specifically)

Product subscriptions and accounts

Most of our products are in title case, while accounts are in sentence case.

  • GitHub Free
  • GitHub Pro
  • GitHub Team
  • GitHub Enterprise
    • GitHub Enterprise Cloud
    • GitHub Enterprise Server
  • organization account
  • enterprise account
  • personal account

Process

Use these common terms to describe a typical GitHub workflow:

  • branch
  • clone
  • code reuse
  • code review
  • code scanning
  • collaborator
  • comment
  • commit
  • CI
  • CD
  • contributor
  • deploy
  • fetch
  • fork
  • issue
  • merge
  • project management
  • protected branches
  • pull
  • remote
  • scheduled reminders
  • secret scanning

Products, ecosystem, and programs

Use these terms to refer to the apps, services, and programs in the GitHub ecosystem:

  • Atom Editor (also correct: Atom)
  • Electron
  • Campus Experts
  • Checks API
  • Dependabot
  • Gists
  • Git Large File Storage (LFS)
  • GitHub
  • GitHub Advanced Security
  • GitHub Apps
  • GitHub Actions
  • the GitHub Blog
  • the GitHub Changelog
  • GitHub Community Forum
  • GitHub Classroom
  • GitHub Codespaces
  • GitHub Connect and its feature set:
    • unified billing
    • unified business identity
    • unified contributions
    • unified search
  • GitHub Desktop
  • GitHub Discussions
  • GitHub for mobile
  • GitHub Insights
  • GitHub Integration for Visual Studio
  • GitHub Learning Lab
  • GitHub Marketplace
  • GitHub Packages
  • GitHub Pages
  • GitHub Private Instances
  • GitHub Public Roadmap
  • GitHub Sponsors
  • GitHub Student Developer Pack (the Pack)
  • GitHub for Unity
  • GitHub Wikis
  • GraphQL API (also correct: the GitHub API, the GitHub API v4)
  • Hubot
  • The ReadME Project (The “t” in “the” is should be capitalized to be “The ReadME Project”, no matter where it is in a sentence)
  • REST API (also: the GitHub API, the GitHub API v3)
  • Teletype for Atom (also correct: Teletype)

Referring to GitHub

GitHub is always spelled in camel case with an uppercase G and and uppercase H. Here are a few of the ways we talk about GitHub:

  • GitHub is a platform: GitHub is a platform where people work together on code.
  • GitHub is a community: The GitHub community refers to the millions of people who learn, share, and work together on GitHub.
  • GitHub is an ecosystem: Thousands of apps and services integrate with GitHub. The GitHub ecosystem refers to the GitHub platform and all of the text editors, development environments, and integrations that work with our platform.

Referring to GitHub features and product elements

There are two ways we refer to UI elements—like tabs and menus—in our writing. Use bold to highlight a word that people should click on, like a button or a link.

And when referring to unclickable page names and sections, write them as they appear in the interface in quotation marks. Make sure all UI references match the capitalization in the interface.

Example: Go to the “Marketplace Purchases” section, and click Edit to upgrade your app.

For more on referring to interface elements, see the “Grammar and usage” section of this guide.