How do I rename relationships in Neo4j?

I realized only after importing a ton of nodes that I had created relationships called START, which is a reserved keyword. Querying the DB through the Cypher console hence always complains about the reserved keywords:

SyntaxException: reserved keyword "start n=node(0) match n<-[:START]-r return count(r)"

The only workaround that comes to mind is creating new copy relationships with a different name and then deleting the old ones.

Is there an easy way to rename all of these relationships or some way to escape reserved keywords in Cypher?


You are right. You cannot rename an already existing relationship. You'd have to run through all relationships, create the new one in parallel (including all properties) and then remove the old one.

You may also want to consider quoting the reserved word START in your cypher queries with backticks and leave the relationships as they are:

start n=node(0) match n<-[:`START`]-r return count(r)

To do the equivalent of a rename, you can create a new one and delete the old one like so:

match (n1)-[old:`Start`]->(n2)
create (n1)-[new:StartDate]->(n2)
delete old

n.b. use backticks like those around `Start` to escape reserved keywords

match (n1)-[old:`Start`]->(n2)
create (n1)-[new:StartDate {propName:old.propName, ...}]->(n2)
delete old

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