Java strives to be "compile once". Which means it has to have a way of having a common environment or "machine" for it's compiled code to run on. The JVM is this "machine" and since it doesn't really exist, but is the result of a program running on the "real" machine, it is virtual. Hence the title Virtual Machine... for Java: JVM.
You showed up just in time for the waffles! And this tiny ad:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop