Nanotechnology's growing applications are fueled by the synthesis and engineering of a myriad nanostructures, yet there is no systematic naming or classification scheme for such materials. This lack of a coherent nomenclature is confusing the interpretation of data sets and threatens to hamper the pace of progress and risk assessment. A systematic nomenclature that encodes the overall composition, size, shape, core and ligand chemistry, and solubility of nanostructures is presented. A typographic string of minimalist field codes facilitates digital archiving and searches for desired properties. This nomenclature system could also be used for nanomaterial hazard labeling.