An esoteric programming language (sometimes shortened to esolang) is a programming language designed to test the boundaries of computer programming language design, as a proof of concept, as software art, as a hacking interface to another language (particularly functional programming or procedural programming languages), or as a joke. The use of the word esoteric distinguishes them from languages that working developers use to write software. The creators of most esolangs do not intend them to be used for mainstream programming, although some esoteric features, such as visuospatial syntax,[1] have inspired practical applications in the arts. Such languages are often popular among hackers and hobbyists.[citation needed]

Usability is rarely a goal for designers of esoteric programming languages; often their design leads to quite the opposite. Their usual aim is to remove or replace conventional language features while still maintaining a language that is Turing-complete, or even one for which the computational class is unknown.