yes, construct uses some programming terms for things, but to try to abstract it into something else would be more confusing.
what do you call something that you can use to store any value in any form you can think of?
want to remember a sentence someone typed in, need to remember the name of something, need to remember the x coordinate of something, need to remember the angle of something? need to remember a value that represents a characters emotional state? need to remember the value you're plugging into an equation? a player's score? the 3rd item in someone's inventory?
what are you going to call something that can do all these things?
I think variable is as good a word as any, and even if we called it box, or memory cell, the concept would still need to be explained to a lay person. Don't be intimidated by words. if you want to do away with variables altogether, you're going to severely limit the power of your software, if not, it's the best word, because as caspis said, you're going to alienate people who enjoy programming already.
variables are just one example. functions is another one. functions do something. that something can be a complex math equation, renaming a character, resetting the game, putting some objects in order. anything you can program, you can make a function...it's a shortcut in a sense.
like if we had a function called "get ready for school"
but we just explain that once and from now on we just tell construct to "get ready for school"
you don't have to work those things out over and over again. it's useful, it's powerful, it's necessary in any powerful language. what would we call it? a tasklist? it's still the same thing no matter what it's called, and other than the first second where you say "ok, so what's a tasklist?", instead of "ok, so what's a function?", there's really no difference
also, you'd be surprised by how much you can do without variables, functions, z-orders, exclusion, etc, anyway.
one more example, this one is a simpler concept
z-order is what's in front of what
so if the tree and the guy are at the same spot, which one should be in front, and which one should be obscured by it? what's the order of all the objects?
what should we call z-order, front-to-backness? I can't think of a word that will explain that sentence to someone. and as before, now you understand z-order, so it doesn't matter that it was called that.
don't allow yourself to be intimidated by a few new words, you might be surprised by how easy things are in construct. also, kodu, is not nearly as flexible as construct. Other than the 3d aspect, you could create a program like kodu in construct. kodu is legos, construct is a factory. construct is a real development tool. kodu is like a fun toy that let's you play around with some programming concepts. know what I mean? it's like the difference between MTV music maker for playstation, and FL Studio, or the difference between sony eyetoy movie editor and adobe premiere.
those other things are fun, and let you be a little creative, but they aren't serious tools.