The Name of the Language

The Viking ship is used as the logo for Q'Nial to reflect the Nordic origin of the name Nial. On the suggestion of Prof. Ole Franksen of the Technical University of Denmark, the acronym NIAL was chosen to describe the features of the language: an interactive language with nested arrays and nested control structures, and to be suggestive of the motivations behind the language.

A strong motivation in the design of Nial was to use "laws" or "identities" that hold universally so that consistent properties hold and can be explained easily.

The oldest Nordic saga, Njal's Saga, is the story of the coming of the rule of law to the Viking settlements on Iceland around the year 1000 AD. Since Njal is also sometimes spelled "Nial", the name was chosen for the language to remind users of the importance of the universal laws of data incorporated into the design of the language.