Programming language Coq is looking to rebrand due to sounding like the English slang term for a certain male anatomy body part.

Coq is a dependently-typed functional programming language first created by Gérard Huet and Thierry Coquand. The development of Coq has been supported since 1984 by INRIA, École Polytechnique, University of Paris-Sud, Paris Diderot University, and CNRS. However, the name of the language and its association with the male anatomy has supposedly put some people off participating in the language’s development. Almost three decades on, Coq’s project wiki – last updated on Friday – says that it’s looking to change the name. The project wiki, last updated on Friday, claims:

“This similarity [with the male anatomy slang term] has already led to some women turning away from Coq and others getting harassed when they said they were working on Coq. It also makes some English conversations about Coq with laypersons simply more difficult.”

Many suggested alternative names have continued to be problematic. The Latin word for rooster, gallus, was rejected for sounding too much like a phallus. “Cocon”, suggested as the French word for cocoon was rejected for similar reasons as “con” is French slang for a part of the female anatomy.

Coqi sounds like it could have potential, right? With the added “i” standing for induction, the mathematical proof technique? Nope, Coqi apparently sounds like “коки” in Russian which is slang for another feature of the male anatomy.

Before we start thinking every suggestion is going to somehow be linked to genitals in the vast and ever-growing slang vocabularies of at least one language, the suggestion of “Coquand” is proving to be a fairly popular option. The name doesn’t stray too far from the original while removing the direct problematic association and paying homage to one of the original creators, Thierry Coquand.

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