How did the Raspberry Pi get its very famous name? And who came up with the idea to call a budget computer after an item of food?

  • 4
    after an item of food, like an apple? Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


According to this question on the offical forum, the founders wanted a fruit name for nostalgia and Pi comes from Python.

  • 1
    And it was version 3.14 of the protype.
    – Milliways
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 3:47

Raspberry is from an old tradition: there was Tangerine Computer Systems. In the mid-1980s there was a British company called Apricot Computers which competed with Apple (yet another fruit) and PC computers. Even before that there was also another British company called Acorn (being a nut, it qualifies as fruit).

And of course there's also: BlackBerry, Cherry Corporation (now known as ZF Electronics), Papaya Studio, etc...

Meaning that if you want to start a new company and don't want to get sued, you'd better choose any name but that of a fruit.

  • 5
    Acorn is particularly relevant since they built the BBC Micro, which was targeted at education (as is the RPi), was based in Cambridge (down the road from RPi), and was the originator of ARM chips (as used in the RPi, as well as a huge number of phones and tablets).
    – IMSoP
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 21:28
  • 1
    @IMSoP, I think there's even more of a relationship between Acorn and RPi than that, but I can't remember where I read it.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 12:09
  • Well. I guess I should pick a vegetable. How does "Carrot Electronics" sound?
    – Aloha
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:08

As we all can easily imagine (and as was said before), a fruit name was chosen because of tradition. What is not so well known, is that Pi does stand for:

Python Interpreter.

It was originally planned to equip the Pi with a built-in interpreter for python, just like the C64 had a built-in Basic iterpreter. You can read more about this at the Pi's german Wikipedia page.

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