I think you'll find it's a play on words from the Ubuntu marketing blurb, which says
"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word that means "humanity towards others"
They don't specify which language either, and they (Canonical, the company that sponsors Ubuntu) are (South)African.
Ubuntu seems to be getting quite popular because it doesn't need much (if any) configuration on modern boxes. Linux the easy way
Me, I'm a long-term SuSE user, though I have used other distros (including Slackware).