Word Origin & History

mid-15c., "turned the wrong way," from O.N. afugr "turned backwards, wrong, contrary," from P.Gmc. *afug-, from PIE *apu-ko-, from base *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Obsolete since 17c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

awk definition

1. (Named from the authors' initials) An interpreted language included with many versions of Unix for massaging text data, developed by Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan in 1978. It is characterised by C-like syntax, declaration-free variables, associative arrays, and field-oriented text processing.
There is a GNU version called gawk and other varients including bawk, mawk, nawk, tawk. Perl was inspired in part by awk but is much more powerful.
Unix manual page: awk(1).
netlib WWW ( netlib FTP (
["The AWK Programming Language" A. Aho, B. Kernighan, P. Weinberger, A-W 1988].
2. An expression which is awkward to manipulate through normal regexp facilities, for example, one containing a newline.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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