Assign names to vector entries without assigning the vector a variable name?

In R, is it possible to assign names to components of a vector without first assigning that vector to a variable name? The normal way is obviously:

z <- 1:3
names(z) <- c("a", "b", "c") #normal way
names(1:3) <- c("a", "b", "c") #throws an error

The second way throws "Error in names(1:3) <- c("a", "b", "c") : target of assignment expands to non-language object"

According to the doc, the expression is evaluated as

 z <- "names<-"(z,
     "[<-"(names(z), 3, "c2"))’.

So no shock it doesn't work, I'm just wondering if there's a work around.

Ideally, it'd be nice to have something like:

names(z <- 1:3) <- c("a", "b", "c")
> z
a b c 
1 2 3 

Just seems like a waste of space to put that on two different lines.


How about using setNames(), which seems even cleaner/clearer than your suggested ideal?

z <- setNames(1:3, c("a", "b", "c"))
# z
# a b c 
# 1 2 3 

Always thought this was a little cleaner, also don't need an additional package:

z <- c(a=1, b=2, c=3)
# z
# a b c 
# 1 2 3 

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