As in "Original Poster". How do I refer to the user who asked the question in the third person, other than by account name?

  • Also what is the collective term addressing people who either 1. asked in the first place or 2. ever got involved in editing the question? Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:49
  • I usually prefer to write original poster rather than OP. With that said, I still think most readers will understand what "OP" means. Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 11:31

4 Answers 4


It's usually just "OP". It's so common that it is understood that you're referring to the asker of the question.

  • 10
    Since 2011 "OP" has become less widespread than it was: it's sometimes ambiguous (e.g. in comments on one answer, it could mean the original poster of the question or the original poster of the answer being commented on), and it's forum-jargon, whereas SE has succeeded in reaching users who never liked or regularly used forums. Many veteran users still say OP but "asker" and "answerer" seem to be gaining traction as 100% unambiguous options that no-one needs to google the first time they see them. Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 17:34
  • 7
    I would strongly recommend to use "Asker" and "Answerer" instead. It is crystal clear and newbies don't have to cope with SO jargon as soon as they enter into this world. Imagine a question discussing operands, operators and Opcodes in programming world.
    – RBT
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 0:21
  • OP : 2 chars; Asker: 5 chars; Answerer: 8 chars; Maybe people use it for saving the character count so that they can add more to the content😅 Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 17:07

Referring to the person who asked the question:

  • OP
  • Asker
  • Question author (or "original author", or just "author")
  • Person who asked the question
  • Blankman

Referring to the person who answered the question:

  • OP
  • Answerer
  • Answer author (or "original author", or just "author")
  • Person who answered the question
  • Jon Skeet
  • 4
    Blankman, Jon Skeet? Huh? :P
    – user153011
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:27
  • Not sure about Blankman but let me introduce Jon Skeet... Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:29
  • 15
    @Nyuszika7H Blankman asks a lot of questions. Jon Skeet answers a lot of questions. Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:29
  • @Dan I knew Jon Skeet, but not Blankman.
    – user153011
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:31
  • 1
    I use "question author" or "post author" myself. But that's because OP has a different meaning for me so I prefer to avoid its usage.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:39
  • @Grace: good one, I've seen that as well. And yeah, I recall upon first encountering OP and thinking it referred to "Operator"... Very confusing.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 15:47
  • 20
    let me introduce you to blankman
    – TMB
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 2:03
  • 4
    Literally laughed out loud at the final bullet point on each list... :-) Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 14:24
  • 1
    Gordon Linoff has >8000 answers more now ;)
    – MA-Maddin
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:54
  • I am blankman, hear me roar.
    – Blankman
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 0:09
  • Heh... Good to see you sticking it out, @Blankman - with 100k+ from questions the other week to boot!
    – Shog9
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 0:33
  • Maybe "Questioner" is better? Why? Often one can refer to the Q or the A. Everyone Is likely to presume that what Q&A stand for is Question and Answer. And, often one can use Q & A such that it could be considered ambiguous whether they refer to Question or Questioner, and Answer or Answerer. Furthermore, often they can be used in a sentence that can be read, and makes sense either way. e.g. "The A says that X=Y..." or "The Q asks about the meaning of OP." Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 3:15

It is Original Poster, or OP for short.


I think it makes it clearer for the Stack Exchange network as a whole i.e. IT and non-IT people, English speakers and people whose first language is other than English, etc, if we state a preference to use the words that are most likely to come out in common language:

  • Asker - the person that asks a question
  • Answerer - a person that answers a question

I think OP was OK to use when all/most Stack Exchange sites were being used mainly by people who were highly computer literate and English-speaking, but now we should use language that is more accessible to our whole user base.

  • Questioner can also be used in place of Asker.
    – 286110
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 19:24
  • 4
    @Firelord I think questioner has overtones of interrogation or court room behaviour rather than seeking help - and so I would not use it.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 20:07

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