What’s in a name? The meaning behind Kororaa

Many users have asked me why Kororaa is called Kororaa. It’s hard to spell and it’s hard to say (it’s even a rude word in some languages, sorry about that). Well, I’d like to share the meaning behind the name.

The word Kororaa is an alternate spelling of the Māori word Kororā, which is a name given to the smallest of all penguin species, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor):

Korora Penguin
(Photo from Wikipedia licensed under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

They are also known as little blue penguins, but when I was in school I knew them as fairy penguins (I guess I could have called my distro Fairy Linux instead).

These gorgeous little penguins stand at just 30cm (12″) tall for fully grown adults. They are native to Australia (where I come from) and New Zealand, although there have also been reported sightings from Chile (where they are known as Pingüino pequeño or Pingüino azul).

Not only are they the cutest penguins around, they are also the penguins responsible for the Linux mascot, Tux. That’s right! Linus was visiting Canberra and while at the National Zoo and Aquarium was bitten on the finger by one of these little penguins. Later, when it came time to think of a mascot for Linux, Linus couldn’t get that cute little blue penguin out of his head and so Tux was born.

Story behind Tux
(Photo from Wikipedia licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

So, Kororaa might be hard to spell and it might be hard to say, but it’s a real word and it has real meaning 🙂

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