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Custom Skill - Invocation Name

Common Questions:

  • Can I change the Invocation Name for my Skill after it's gone Live?
    • No, you cannot change the invocation name after a skill is certified and published.
  • My live skill's Invocation Name isn't working correctly anymore. What should I do?
    • Raise a Contact Us case with your skill's information so that we may investigate for you.

An invocation name must meet the following requirements:

  1. The skill invocation name must not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of an entity or person.
  2. One-word invocation names are not allowed, unless:
    • The invocation name is unique to your brand/intellectual property, or
    • (German skills only) The invocation name is a compound of two or more words. In this case, the word must form an actual word in the skill’s language to ensure that Alexa can recognize it.
  3. Invocation names which are names of people or places (for example, “molly”, “seattle”) are not allowed, unless they contain other words in addition to the name (for example, “molly’s horoscope”).
  4. Two-word invocation names are not allowed if one of the words is a definite article (“the”), indefinite article (“a”, “an”) or preposition (“for”, “to”, “of”). For example, “a bicycle”, “an espresso”, “to amuse”, “for fun”.
  5. The invocation name must not contain any of the Alexa skill launch phrases and connecting words. Launch phrase examples include “launch”, “ask”, “tell”, “load”, “begin”, and “enable”. Connecting word examples include “to”, “from”, “by”, “if”, “and”, “whether”. See Understanding How Users Invoke Custom Skills for a complete list of skill launch phrases and connecting words.
  6. The invocation name must not contain the wake words “Alexa”, “Amazon”, “Echo”, “Computer”, or the words “skill” or “app”.
  7. The invocation name must contain only lower-case alphabetic characters, spaces between words, possessive apostrophes (for example, “sam’s science trivia”), or periods used in abbreviations (for example, “a. b. c.”). Other characters like numbers must be spelled out. For example, “twenty one”. The name must be easy to pronounce correctly and be phonetically distinct to avoid being misinterpreted as other similar sounding words.
  8. Note: For acronyms, the invocation name must contain single letters, each followed by a period and a space. The invocation name cannot spell out phonemes. For example, a skill titled “USC Trivia” would need “USC” represented as “u. s. c. “ and NOT “you ess see”.
  9. The invocation name must not create confusion with existing Alexa features. If your skill invocations overlap with common Alexa commands, users may get confused by Alexa’s response and not enable your skill. For example, if your invocation name is too similar to the built-in “weather” command, Alexa may sometimes respond with your skill and sometimes respond with the built-in weather feature, providing an inconsistent user experience.
  10. The invocation name must be written in each language you choose to support. For example, the German version of your skill must have an invocation name written in German (although including English words is acceptable), while the English (US) version must have an invocation name written in English. Note that this requirement does not apply to proper nouns like names and places in other languages.

More details about Choosing the Invocation Name can be found in our documentation.

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Harper contributed to this article jennjin contributed to this article