Pythonistas? <- Re: OT: Perl programmers?

George Partlow pricerbumanto at
Mon Feb 11 20:43:18 CET 2002

<brueckd at> wrote in message news:<mailman.1013399900.24051.python-list at>...
> On Sun, 10 Feb 2002, Fernando Pérez wrote:
> > David Eppstein wrote:
> >
> > >> Pythonista - Pie thun ee sta
> > >> I took it as a unintended play on Sandanista, which is a group of  "freedom
> > >> fighting" rebels in Nicaragua.
> > >
> > > I think it's a normal Spanish suffix, but it seems to be moving into
> > > English -- I've also seen "Gapatista" used by some Calif. activists
> > > <>
> >
> > Indeed, it's just the Spanish form of the 'ist' English suffix (pianist,
> > violinist, etc.) It simply means 'who performs an activity'.
> Could be from a number of languages; I always assumed quasi-Esperanto:

That would have to have the emphasis on the "quasi"; in Esperanto we
don't have the letter "y" or the digraph "th" (the theta sound), so
the name of the snake is "pitono", giving (presumably) "Pitonisto"*...
which doesn't prevent someone writing in Esperanto in Usenet from
typing "Python-isto", of course (and then the reader gets to mentally
pronounce it however he or she wants to, or tends to pronounce
"Python" in his or her native language).  I vote for the "analogous to
Sandinista" explanation.

> "-ist" - an individual professionally or avocationally occupied with the
> idea or activity defined by the root [1].
> Of course, in either Spanish or Esperanto it would more commonly be
> "Pythonisto" anyway, so who knows.
> -Dave
> [1]


*Another possibility would be to try to reproduce the English
pronunciation of the name in Esperanto: "Pajtan".  At least this would
give something that's obviously the programming language rather than
the snake This seems like a bad choice, though, since it's not
especially recognizable when read, whereas most people know "Python"
when they read it, however they may pronounce it.

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