Why are many ports of languages to .net prefixed with ‘Iron’?

IronPython came first and the rest followed. As for why IronPython is called IronPython, Jim Hugunin goes into that in this video (at about 14:00). He says it was partly to avoid calling it Language.NET or Language#, and the idea is that Iron languages are:

  • True language implementations

    • True to the language
    • True to the community
    • True to the experience
    • Excellent performance
  • Great integration with .NET

    • Easy to use .NET libraries
    • Easy to use other .NET languages
    • Easy to use in .NET hosts
    • Easy to use with .NET tools

And a slightly specious acronym explanation, which came after the name:

Implementation Running On .NET.

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