Eragrostis is derived from the Greek eros meaning love, and agrostis, grass, in allusion to the loose dancing spikelets. Tenella meaning tender, delicate.
According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineae is also exempted and conserved under 'NominaConservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.