With java being a kind of hot beverage, the new language was named after another hot beverage – Chai, which is the word for “tea” in many world languages and, in particular, a popular kind of spicy milk tea consumed in India.
Later, when the novel implementation technique behind ChaiScript was ported from C++ to Rust,
C was changed to an
R to make it “RhaiScript”, or just “Rhai”.
– Rhai author Johnathan Turner