Variable and Parameter Names in Hugo (featuring camelCase⁠🐫 and snake_case⁠🐍)
Updated  2022-April-21

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2022-August-25  As of today, this evolving⁠[1] article has been on the web for 1 year.🎂


In this article, the words parameter and variable are synonyms.

A variable name that a Hugo user creates is called a custom variable or a user-⁠defined variable.


Allowed characters in Hugo variable names

The names of Hugo variables (including those specified in config files and front matter)…

  • can contain underscores (_) and alphanumeric characters,

  • must start with an underscore (_) or alpha character,

  • and must not contain a dash character (-).[2]

User-defined variables in a layout file must start with a dollar sign ($).


Case sensitivity of Hugo variable names


Built-in variables

In a Hugo config file, built-in variables — such as baseURL, enableEmoji, enableInlineShortcodes, languageCode, Permalinks, themes, themesDir, and title — are sometimes case sensitive so I recommend that you specify them using the upper- and lower-case letters that are specified in


The casing used in the variable names enableEmoji, enableInlineShortcodes, languageCode, and themesDir is called camelCase⁠🐫.⁠[3]


Page-level variables

“Page-level .Params⁠[4] are only accessible in lowercase.”


Custom variables

Because of the above and other case-sensitivity issues, bep, Hugo’s lead developer, recommends all lower case snake_case🐍 — for example $this_year and $that_year — for custom variable names. For more about this recommendation, see’s Best practices for naming variables etc [2020-⁠May].


Hugo variable references

See also


1. Many Infinite Ink articles, including this one, are evergreen and regularly updated.
2. The Unicode name for the “dash” character (-) is “hyphen-minus,” but its proper name is rarely used. Instead, it is usually called “dash,” “hyphen,” or “minus.” Details are at’s Hyphen-minus.
3. Sometimes this type of casing is called “lower camelCase.”
4. Page-level .Params are usually specified in front matter.

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