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Bicapitalization or camel case, frequently applied to the term itself and written CamelCase, is the capitalization of more than one word within a compound word[?] or multi-word symbolic name[?]. It is also known as BumpyCase, StudleyCaps, WikiWord, with intentional capitalization seen at them.

Originating with a naming convention[?] in the C programming language, it spread via hacker culture into mainstream use and became fashionable for corporate trade names during the popularization of the personal computer in the 1980s and 1990s. It is file name convention on Amiga computers. In the original version of the WikiWiki software, CamelCase was used for automatically making links.


The following do not strictly qualify as bicapitalization, but are CamelCase for the purposes of the original version of the WikiWiki software:
  • AlabamA (CamelCased words need at least two capital letters)
  • aNaRcHy cAsE

C and many later programming languages are case sensitive and allow symbolic names[?] of arbitrary length, while requiring these to contain no whitespace (spaces, tabs, etc.), which can make longer symbols harder to read. One solution to this problem is to replace spaces with underscores, but these are difficult to type due to their location on the keyboard.

Another solution is to use lower-case letters for most of the symbol, with upper-case at the starts of separate words. For instance, if one wanted to name a symbol "the colour of the bar", this would typically be camel cased as "TheColourOfTheBar". In lower camel case it would be "theColourOfTheBar". Coding standards, which many software developers adhere to, outline preferred uses of CamelCase for method names, fields and properties.

CamelCase is also the original wiki convention for creating hyperlinks, with the additional requirement that the capitals are followed by a lower-case letter, hence AlabamA and ABc will not be links, see http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiCase.


  • InterCaps
  • NerdCaps
  • BiCapitalized
  • BumpyCase
  • HumpBackNotation
  • InternalCapitalization
  • StudlyCaps
  • CamelHumpedWord
  • CapWords (used in the Python style guide: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0008)

Link: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?CamelCase

CamelCase and Wikipedia Wikipedia started using CamelCase at first, but then converted to free links - by putting [[square brackets]] around phrases to be linked. On January 27, 2001, Clifford Adams, author of the original UseMod software used for Wikipedia, posted the following to the Wikipedia mailing list:

    I've done a lot of thinking about WikiLinking recently, and I'm not sure 
 that the WikiName (capital letters) convention is a good fit for the  
 encyclopedia.  The AccidentalLinking is a nice feature, but it has a price in 
 harder-to-read links and confusing conventions.

    For instance, when I recently wanted to link to "democracy", I first did a
 search to see if someone else had linked the name (I thought someone might
 have already used "DemoCracy").  I found that nobody else had linked that
 name, so I made the link "DemocracY" (to follow the new convention of
 last-letter-capitalized).  In short, it took me far more time to make that
 link than it would have to just type [[democracy]].  Someone unfamiliar with
 the local wiki conventions might guess otherwise on another page and link to a
 separate "DemoCracy" or even "DeMocracy".  Ick.

    To make a longish story short, I added code (about 150 new lines of Perl)
 to my development copy to allow (site-optional) "Free" linking within [[double
 brackets]].  You can use spaces, numbers, commas, dashes, and the period
 character in these kinds of links.  Valid link names include [[George W.
 Bush]], [[China-Soviet Relations]], [[Physics]], [[music]], and [[Year 2000
 bug]].  User names can also use these new links.  Internally and within URLs
 the spaces are replaced with _ (underline) characters, which are translated
 back to spaces for display purposes.

Later, with the introduction of the new Wikipedia software in January 2002, support for CamelCase links was dropped altogether. By this time almost all CamelCase links in articles had been removed anyway. CamelCase can still be found in the non-encyclopedia parts of Wikipedia, such as Talk pages, where the links have not been updated. Many Wikipedians have CamelCased user names, either as a leftover from the early days, or carried over from other wikis.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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