How 13 Programming Languages Got Their Names

Programming language names are usually pretty formulaic and boring, except when they're not. Here are the inspirations behind some of the more creative ones.
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Image courtesy flickr/Jack Dorsey

Programmers generally agree that one of the hardest tasks in software development is naming things. One of things they have to name, though not very often, are new programming languages. When a new language is designed, the name chosen for it often follows one of several formulas: it's an acronym or abbreviation based on what it is (e.g., BASIC, COBOL, TCL, LISP), the name is derived from an existing language (e.g., C++, C#, CoffeeScript) or it's named after someone famous from math or computer science (e.g., Ada, Pascal, Turing). Sometimes, though, language designers get more creative when choosing a name. Here are the stories behind 13 of the the more unusual programming language names.

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