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Golang Naming Conventions Cheat Sheet by [deleted]

A quick reference guide for idiomatic, non-idiomatic and abbreviation conventions in golang.

Why naming is important?

Critical for Readab­ility = Mainta­ina­bil­ity
The naming is important because it is very critical for readab­ility and if you can't read the code, you can't properly maintain it.

Imagine a book that you don't unders­tand, and someone comes to you and asks you to fix the typos in it.

Can you really do it, without unders­tanding it?
There are only two hard things in Computer Science:
cache invali­dation and naming things.
- Phil Karlton


func Read(buffer *Buffer, inBuffer []byte) (size int, err error) {
        if buffer.empty() {
        size = copy(
        buffer.offset += size
        return size, nil
This code is unnece­ssarily verbose. Everything has been declared in English words, which generally should be avoided. From the readab­ility and mainta­ina­bility perspe­ctive, this code is not good.


func Read(b *Buffer, p []byte) (n int, err error) {
        if b.empty() {
        n = copy(p, b.buf[]) += n
        return n, nil
This code is very concise and idiomatic and it's easy to understand and maintain.


Use the first few letters of the words

var fv string // flag value

Use fewer letters in smaller scopes

var byte­sRead int // number of bytes read
var n int // number of bytes read

Use the complete words in larger scopes

package file
var file­C­losed bool
Imagine that this variable is declared in the package block of the  ­­fil­e­  package.

It's a package level variable and therefore it's in a larger scope. Don't use abbrev­iations there and don't mix caps in the name. fil­e­  starts with a lowercase letter.

Use mixedCaps like this

type pl­aye­r­Score struct

Use all caps for acronyms

var local­Api string
var local­API string

Do not stutter


Do not use under_­scores oR LIKE_THIS

const MAX_­TIME int
const MaxT­ime int
const N int

Abbrev­iation - Rules

Abbrev­iations should be pronounceable.

Abbrev­iations should have at least one vowel.

Abbrev­iations should not split up plos­ive­/li­quid combin­ations but as plos­ive­/pl­osi­ve, for example, the  ­ct in dict­ion­ary or pt in caption.

Abbrev­iations should not have more than three conson­ants in a row and should usually end in a conson­ant, unless the vowel is needed for discri­min­ation, for example, alg and algo.

All of the letters in the abbrev­iation should be present in the long form and in the same order, and need not appear in sequence in the long form, for example, recv and rece­ive.

There are a few exceptions to the above rules for common, well-e­sta­blished forms.

ct and pt can be used for ­c­tion and ption if the abbrev­iation would be too short otherwise, for example, act and opt.

There are also other types of prefixing, for example, the three-­letter prefixes used to distin­guish field names in the same database table.

Examples would include cusID for customer ID and ordID for order ID.

Those prefixes don't need to follow the same rules.

Length/Meaning and Interp­ret­ation
An abbrev­iation should be less than or equal to half the length of the original form.

Abbrev­iations should be at least three letters long.

Abbrev­iations should not be whole words that mean something else.

Abbrev­iations should not just consist of the prefix of a word, for example, sym for symbol or syl for syllable.

Abbrev­iations shou­ldn't be ambigu­ous. However, if the names are different that no confus­ion can result, they are OK.


var a int
// array
var arg []string
// arg­ument
var b []byte
// buffer
var b byte
// byte
var bs bytes
// by­tes
var buf []byte
// buffer
var c int
// ca­pacity
var c int
// ch­aracter
var dst int
// ds­t­ination
var err error
// error value
var fv string
// flag value
var i int
// index
var l int
// length
var m int
// another number
var msg string
// ms­age
var n int
// number or number of
var num int
// number
var off int
// offset
var op int
// op­eration
var parsed bool
// parsed ok?
var pkg string
// pa­c­k­age
var pos int
// pos­ition
var r rune
// rune
var r io.Reader
// reader
var s string
// string
var seen bool
// has seen?
var sep string
// sep­arator
var src int
// so­u­rce
var str string
// string
var v string
// value
var val string
// value
var w io.Writer
// writer
...the list goes on and on...

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