Python variables are bound to types when used?

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Thu Oct 20 01:47:26 CEST 2005

Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 20:06:53 +0000, Grant Edwards wrote:
>>>Now, in Python variables are bound to types when used, right?
>>Python doesn't have variables.
>>Python has objects of various types.  You can bind 0 or more
>>names an object.
> I frequently use "variable" as a synonym for "name" when talking about
> Python code. Do people think I am wrong to do so?

It depends on context and audience. If you're talking about Python code
with other relatively experienced Pythonistas, no I don't think it's
wrong. When you're talking about Python versus other languages where
"variable" corresponds with "a possibly typed memory location", or
you're talking with someone who is coming from such a language, then
it's probably best to talk about names and objects. Such pedantry is
useful in the latter cases but not so much in the former.

Robert Kern
rkern at

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
 Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
  -- Richard Harter

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