# What is so "potential" about action potentials?

When an action potential is propagating through a neuron, it seems to me that the time for "potential of action" is over, and that we are now just in a state of "action". Why don't we just call action potentials "action"? Where is the potential for action when the neuron itself is undergoing action? In fact, when a neuron is at rest, it is said to have a "resting potential". To me this seems more like a "resting state" and an "action state". So what is so potential about "action potentials"?