When facing new programming jargon words, I first try to reason about them from an semantic and etymological standpoint when possible (that is, when they aren't obscure acronyms). For instance, you can get the beginning of a hint of what things like Polymorphism or even Monad are about with the help of a little Greek/Latin. At the very least, once you've learned the concept, the word itself appears to go along with it well. I guess that's part of why we name things names, to make mental representations and associations more fluent.
I found Functor to be a tougher nut to crack. Not so much the C++ meaning -- an object that acts (-or) as a function (funct-), but the various functional meanings (in ML, Haskell) definitely left me puzzled.
From the (mathematics) Functor Wikipedia article, it seems the word was borrowed from linguistics. I think I get what a "function word" or "functor" means in that context - a word that "makes function" as opposed to a word that "makes sense". But I can't really relate that to the notion of Functor in category theory, let alone functional programming. I imagined a Functor to be something that creates functions, or behaves like a function, or short for "functional constructor", but none of those seems to fit...
How do experienced functional programmers reason about this ? Do they just need any label to put in front of a concept and be fine with it ? Generally speaking, isn't it partly why advanced functional programming is hard to grasp for mere mortals compared to, say, OO -- very abstract in that you can't relate it to anything familiar ?
Note that I don't need a definition of Functor, only an explanation that would allow me to relate it to something more tangible, if there is any.