Syntax error when importing a file which starts with a number

MRAB google at
Mon Mar 23 19:21:17 CET 2009

simon.woolf at wrote:
> Hello, all.
> I don't suppose anyone has any idea why it seems to be impossible to
> import any file which starts with a number?  You get a syntax error,
> whether the file exists or not.
> Try it yourself:
>>>> import foo
> ImportError: No module named foo
>>>> import 1foo
>   File "<stdin>", line 1
>     import 1foo
>            ^
> SyntaxError: invalid syntax
> Is this just me, or has anyone else run into it?  Is it a known bug?
> (If so, I can't find it on a bug tracker or in any Google searches).
> It's a bit annoying, as I have an enforced naming scheme.  Any way
> round it?
A module name must be a valid identifier. For example, if you do:

     import foo

then you can write:

but if it allowed:

     import 1foo

then you'd be stuck because you can't write:

You also aren't allowed to have spaces in a name, so no, it's not a bug.

I suppose that if there was a demand for this kind of thing then quoting
could be used for the filename:

     import "1foo" as one_foo

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