The name tantalum comes from the Greek tale of Tantalus who was eternally tortured by unsatisfied temptation when he was condemned* to stand in chin-deep water under a tree which grew perfect fruit. The water which would quench his thirst would drain if he bent to drink it and the branches of the tree would move out of his grasp if he’d try to reach for the fruit (hence the word ‘tantalize’). According to the wiki, Anders Ekeberg, who discovered tantalum, wrote:
This metal I call tantalum … partly in allusion to its incapacity, when immersed in acid, to absorb any and be saturated.
The story also goes that it was named this way in part because of the hard time chemists had in purifying the element from its ores.
*oh, he was condemned for offering his son as a sacrifice to the gods…. by cutting him up, boiling him, and serving him to them…