We have revisions (the previous versions) of a saved document in a database application. If the document is deleted, the revisions still exist.

What would be a better word, other than zombies, for the menu item describing revisions that have no parent document?

  • 9
    I see 'orphaned' commonly used in technical jargon, though it really depends who your target user is.
    – Rotem
    Jun 20 '17 at 8:36
  • 2
    "If the document is deleted, the revisions (the history versions of the document) still exist." - somehow, memory leak is the first term that comes to my mind (but that is obviously not suitable as a menu caption). Other than that, would it be unsuitable in this context to be explicit and write "revisions of deleted documents" or "version history of deleted documents"? Jun 20 '17 at 8:41
  • 1
    You mean records (child) related to deleted records (parent)? The usual term is orphan (child without parent)
    – roetnig
    Jun 20 '17 at 8:57

"Orphaned documents" was my first thought. But if you keep those review documents intentionally, and you want to navigate to them, the "Deleted documents" (in fact their reviews) is what I would use.


"Archive" might be the name of the menu item. It depends on the intention but if it is to use old revisions as template or example for new documents you could also think of terms like "old versions" or "version history" or a mix of them.

Depending on the context and audience it could be better to be more descriptive though, something like:
"Revisions without original document". And if that's to long, claim more space or rethink the design in favour of clarity.


So after considering all of the above and a few other options, we have decided for now to go with: 'Revisions Bin' - which has some association to 'recycle bin' but its for the revisions.........(similar to the recycle bin, user will be able to 'restore' a revision from this bin to become a 'real' document)

  • What about 'Inactivated'? You can 'inactivate' a document, but later activate it again?
    – aslet
    Jun 27 '17 at 11:59
  • The document was Not 'deactivated', it was 'deleted'.
    – Danielle
    Jun 29 '17 at 12:40
  • Another idea that came up was: 'shadow copies'.. but still, 'Revisions Bin' was chosen :)
    – Danielle
    Jul 2 '17 at 6:51

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