The name [Hadoop] is a homey story going back 10 years—into the realm of a toddler’s experimentation with old-fashioned human language. Cutting’s son, then 2, was just beginning to talk and called his beloved stuffed yellow elephant “Hadoop” (with the stress on the first syllable).
“Being a guy in the software business, we’re always looking for names,” Cutting said. “I’d been saving it for the right time.” …
“I like having the silly roots,” Cutting said. “You want to keep some fun and levity in things. It’s too easy to get too serious, especially when you’re talking about enterprise business software. It’s pretty serious stuff, pretty dry. … It makes people who are working on it think they’re having a little fun. It makes people feel more comfortable around the tech.”
The son (who’s now 12) to whom Hadoop once belonged is staying in the background, but he’s not especially happy about it.
“I’ve tried to draw a line around not having my kid too associated with it,” Cutting said. “He’s always frustrated with this. He’s always saying ‘Why don’t you say my name, and why don’t I get royalties? I deserve to be famous for this, Dad.’ “