Complete Definition of "shebang"

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English

Etymology
Origin proposed <ref>Take our Word and Word Origins</ref>: Known to go back at least to year 1862 (w:Walt Whitman|Walt Whitman), shebang is suspected to originate from the French word char-a-banc, which was a bus-like wagon with a lot of seats, but no specific connection has been proven as of now. Later, w:Mark Twain|Mark Twain used it to describe a vehicle, as well as "any matter of present concern".

Alternative spellings
chebang

Noun
en-noun|-

  1. Any matter of present concern; thing; or business, most frequently used in the phrase whole shebang|the whole shebang.

#*1934 â w:Robert E. Howard|Robert E. Howard, s:Sluggers on the Beach|Sluggers on the Beach:
#*:"Before I'd share anything with you," he said bitterly, "I'd lose the whole shebang."

  1. obsolete A vehicle.<ref>Take our Word</ref>

#*1871 December 14, w:Samuel Clemens|Samuel Clemens, âRoughing Itâ (lecture), printed in Fred W. Lorch, âMark Twain's Lecture from Roughing itâ, in American Literature, volume 22, number 3 (November 1950), pages 305:
#*: [â¦] So they got into the empty omnibus and sat down. Colonel Jack says: â...What is the name of this.â<!-- [sic] period, not question mark --> Colonel Jim told him it was a barouche. After a while he poked his head out in front and said to the driver, âI say, Johnny, this suits me. We want this shebang all day. Let the horses go.â

  1. archaic A lean-to or temporary shelter; probably of Celtic origin. (This meaning is now lost in use, except in the expression, "there goes the whole shebang", refering to a house lost or destroyed.)

#*1889 â w:Bret Harte|Bret Harte, s:The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh|The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh
#*:They say that old pirate, Kingfisher Culpepper, had a stock of the real thing from Robertson County laid in his shebang on the Marsh just before he died.

  1. computing The character string "<tt>#!</tt>" used at the beginning of a computer file to indicate which interpreter can process the commands in the file. Chiefly used in Unix and related operating systems.

Derived terms
whole shebang

References
<references />
Shebang. Cassell's Dictionary of Slang By Jonathon Green, Sterling Pub. Co., Inc. 2006, p. 12611
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Word Origins

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vi:shebang

Revision and Credits for"shebang"
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