Very mundane question. My team is setting up a security master db that includes listed option contracts. I'd like to store the "put or call" attribute in a well-named field, one that won't be confused with other concepts.

  • OptionType seems too vague. It could refer to the contract size or the type of underlying security (stock, bond, index).
  • OptionSide seems ambiguous with the concept of a long or short position.

Any other suggestions?

  • $\begingroup$ I have seen Right used often. As in the Right that the owner of the option has. $\endgroup$
    – amdopt
    Apr 6 '17 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Good idea, but it could be confusing because it sounds like "write", as in to write a covered call. $\endgroup$
    – Jacob
    Apr 6 '17 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ You could call it Option Directionality but is an ugly word.Option Type is probably best, and frequently used. PorC is the vairiable I use in my code. $\endgroup$
    – noob2
    Apr 6 '17 at 14:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ CallOrPut or IsPut as a bit. $\endgroup$
    – rbm
    Apr 6 '17 at 14:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DaneelOlivaw style would almost certainly be confused with exercise style. $\endgroup$
    – will
    Apr 6 '17 at 17:48

Hull (Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives) calls that the "type" of the option (emphasis added):

there are two types of options. A call option... A put option...

So does NASDAQ:

Option Types: Calls & Puts

I have seen optionType used in many places to identify if the option is a call or put. I certainly wouldn't complain about PutCall or some other more specific name, but Type should not conflict with other attributes.

OptionType seems too vague. It could refer to the contract size or the type of underlying security (stock, bond, index).

I can't see how the contract size could be considered a "type". I would consider stock, bonds, index, etc. the type of the underlying, which could be an attribute on the option, but would be more appropriate in a separate entity that represents the underlying instrument.

*To be fair, there are also sites that call American and European the "type" of the option, but I have always seen that called the exerciseType to disambiguate that from put/call.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ IMO in a programming context, Type is too vague. Exercise type, Instrument type, Underlying type, Settlement type, Strike type, Exotic type to name a few. $\endgroup$
    – msitt
    Apr 6 '17 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ @msitt fair enough, but the context should disambiguate it. InstrumentType would be the Type on a more general Instrument table/class. UnderlyingType would the the Type on an underlying instrument. (not sure what SettlementType, Strike Type, and ExoticType are to know how to classify those). My point is OptionType is not a completely ambiguous term. PutCallType would be less ambiguous, but is not an industry standard term. $\endgroup$
    – D Stanley
    Apr 6 '17 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I'm being slightly pedantic. In the context of an option, I too would guess Type is Call or Put. $\endgroup$
    – msitt
    Apr 6 '17 at 23:12


As others have mentioned "Type" and "Class" are too generic to be used here.


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