The Python programming language was named after the British comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus because the creator, Guido Van Rossum, was a fan and wanted his language to be short and unique, like that of the TV series. So how did the cast of Monty Python decide on their name? It was a completely arbitrary string of random words meant to be funny, and that's that. But, yes, Python was inspired by the deadly snake. This serpent, in turn, was named after the mythical scourge of Apollo's temple at Delphi in Greek mythology, and that almost definitely gets its name from the old name for the island of Delphi, Pytho. Further analysis suggests that the island name originates from the Greek root pythein, meaning "rot", from Proto-Indo-European dheub, meaning "hollow". So, here we have a language named after a comedy named after.a snake named after a monster named after an island, which has intriguing origins of its own. Etymology is awesome!
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd