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There is no scientific principle involved in the naming of quantities.
However, whilst anything that has mass and velocity has the ability to do work, a coiled spring and a charged battery also have the ability to do work, unrelated to their mass or speed. Therefore energy is always the ability to do work, and anything that has momentum also has energy, but the converse is not necessarily true.
But when your stationary neutron decays, the sum of the pion and proton masses is less than the rest mass of the proton and they have kinetic energy equal to the mass difference.
Maybe the definition of energy having the ability to do work, then contradicts the ideas of zero point energies?
For me.. Energy means its going to do something even if I dont know what that something is.. a potential by all means and purposes..