Javascript Variable Names from


This month, I’m participating in the Critical Code Studies Working Group. As part of that, this post focuses on a detail of tiny size but vast proliferation: JavaScript variable names. They are created by humans or machines for other humans or machines. Regardless of how they were generated, variable names are chosen by someone (a programmer) or something (minimizing or obfuscation software). They are texts written across the web, hidden just below the surface of the browser and easily accessible, yet they do not form the written text we see on the screen or the semantic markup of HTML.

Specifically, this post focuses on a list of all 175 JavaScript variable names from, which can be viewed here: At first glance the JavaScript variable names are seemingly random, but on a closer read they fall into a few different categories, which may help us better understand them.

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