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Meaning of AWK

Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Awk\ ([add]k), a. [OE. auk, awk (properly) turned away;
    (hence) contrary, wrong, from Icel. ["o]figr, ["o]fugr,
    afigr, turning the wrong way, fr. af off, away; cf. OHG.
    abuh, Skr. ap[=a]c turned away, fr. apa off, away + a root
    ak, a[u^]k, to bend, from which come also E. angle, anchor.]
    1. Odd; out of order; perverse. [Obs.]
    2. Wrong, or not commonly used; clumsy; sinister; as, the awk
       end of a rod (the but end). [Obs.] --Golding.
    3. Clumsy in performance or manners; unhandy; not dexterous;
       awkward. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]
  2. \Awk\, adv.
    Perversely; in the wrong way. --L'Estrange.
Computing Dictionary

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]