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shebang

[shuh-bang] /ʃəˈbæŋ/
noun
1.
Informal. the structure of something, as of an organization, contrivance, or affair:
The whole shebang fell apart when the chairman quit.
2.
a primitive dwelling; shack; shanty.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65, Americanism; origin uncertain (perhaps alteration of char-À-banc, though sense shift unclear; shebeen, often cited as the source, is implausible both phonetically and semantically)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shebang
  • The more you beat, the more bubbles with a protein coating are created and the more the whole shebang fluffs up.
  • The whole shebang won't happen tomorrow, but the trajectory is clear.
  • Don't end a story with the whole shebang having been a suicide note.
  • The whole shebang reaches a kind of balance called hydrostatic equilibrium.
  • You're overlooking the subjectivity of the whole shebang.
  • There am straw in de tick and right off de whole shebang am on fire.
British Dictionary definitions for shebang

shebang

/ʃɪˈbæŋ/
noun (slang)
1.
a situation, matter, or affair (esp in the phrase the whole shebang)
2.
a hut or shack
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shebang
n.

1862, "hut, shed, shelter," popularized among soldiers in the U.S. Civil War, but like other Civil War slang (e.g. skedaddle) of uncertain origin. Perhaps an alteration of shebeen (q.v.), but shebang in the sense "tavern," a seemingly necessary transitional sense, is not attested before 1878 and shebeen seems to have been not much used in the U.S. Bartlett's 1877 edition describes it as "A strange word that had its origin during the late civil war. It is applied alike to a room, a shop, or a hut, a tent, a cabin; an engine house." Phrase the whole shebang first recorded 1869, but relation to the earlier use of the word is obscure. Either or both senses also might be mangled pronunciations of French char-à-banc, a bus-like wagon with many seats. For an older guess:

[Shebang] used even yet by students of Yale College and elsewhere to designate their rooms, or a theatrical or other performance in a public hall, has its origin probably in a corruption of the French cabane, a hut, familiar to the troops that came from Louisiana, and constantly used in the Confederate camp for the simple huts, which they built with such alacrity and skill for their winter quarters. The constant intercourse between the outposts soon made the term familiar to the Federal army also. ["Americanisms: The English of the New World," Maximillian Schele De Vere, New York, Charles Scribner & Co., 1872.]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shebang in Technology
operating system
(Or "shebang line", "bang path") /sh*-bang'/ (From "sharp" and "bang") The magic cookie "#!" used in Unix to mark the start of a script, e.g. a shell script or Perl script.
Under Unix, if the first two bytes of an executable file are "#!", the kernel treats the file as a script rather than a machine code program. The word following the "!" (i.e., everything up to the first whitespace) is used as the pathname of the interpreter. For example, if the first line of an executable is
#!/usr/local/bin/perl
the script will be treated as a Perl script and passed as an argument to /usr/local/bin/perl to be interpreted. Some variants of Unix also allow one or more parameters to be passed to the interpreter, for example, you can write
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
and the script will be started as if you typed
/usr/bin/perl -w
on the command line. Also, most modern kernels ignore any whitespace between the "!" and the interpreter pathname. Even some modern kernels have fairly small limits (e.g. 32) on the length of line they will accept, making long pathnames and arguments somewhat unportable.
[Does anyone call this a "magic string"?]
(1998-05-06)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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13
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