What’s in a name?

There are many good languages that have poor names.

C → Because it comes after B?
Java → Was it meant to be named after coffee, or the island?
Python → a big snake?
C++ → Better than C?
Perl → **BORING**

And anything that is just an acronym is just shear laziness. There are some names that I think are okay – Pascal(Blaise Pascal), Julia (from a random conversation), Oberon (moon of Uranus). But what about some really cool names? Here are some words that I like, and I think would invoke more interesting discussions than “C”.

zephyr → a soft gentle breeze, commonly used to name trains, a famous one which was streamlined. Now the name of an operating system.
rhubarb → a plant. Might be a good name for a recursive language.
Awa → Māori for river. Easy to say, short, sweet.
foehn → German for a dry warm wind. Just sounds nice. More European?
chinook → wind, helicopter (is there a wind thing happening here?)
Pålegg → anything put on a piece of bread (Norwegian). A language with the lot!
Boketto → no real translation from Japanese (staring at the sky without a thought?)

Sometimes the best name for a language is something that has no meaning. Maybe it rolls off the tongue nicely, or maybe it just sounds cool.


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