This paper seeks to
elucidate when and where between 1844 and 1950 Argelander first proposed his
system of variable star nomenclature. After the letters R through Z were nearly
exhausted in a few constellations, numerous further schemes were suggested.
Here only the ones accepted, first by the Astronomische Gesellschaft and later
by the International Astronomical Union, are discussed. Examples of possible
confusions between the Argelander designations and the same names earlier
assigned to other stars, especially by Lacaille in 1763, not previously cited
elsewhere, are given.