How Did Bash Get It’s Name

Shell Programming

When it comes to the history of programming, there are many fascinating stories behind the names of popular tools and languages. One such example is the name “Bash,” which is the name of the popular Unix shell and command language. The story of how Bash got its name is quite interesting and provides insight into the world of software development.

The name “Bash” stands for “Bourne Again SHell.” It is a play on words, referencing the fact that it is a replacement for the Bourne Shell (sh), which was one of the original Unix shells. The addition of “Again” in the name not only pays homage to the Bourne Shell but also emphasizes the idea of a “rebirth” or “renewal” of the shell concept.

Personally, I find this naming convention quite clever. It not only acknowledges the heritage of the Bourne Shell but also signals that Bash is an evolution of the original concept. As a developer, I appreciate the nod to tradition while embracing innovation.

The concept of “Bourne Again” also reflects the open-source nature of Bash. The “again” part of the name suggests a continuation and improvement upon the original, which aligns with the open-source philosophy of building upon existing work to create something better.

The creation of Bash traces back to Brian Fox, who developed it as a free software replacement for the Bourne Shell. The name not only represents a technical evolution but also reflects the community-driven ethos of open-source software development.

Looking back at the naming of Bash, it’s clear that there’s a lot more to a name than meets the eye. It’s not just a label; it’s a reflection of the values and evolution of the software it represents. As a developer, I find these stories behind the names to be inspiring and a reminder of the rich history and culture surrounding the tools we use every day.


In conclusion, the name “Bash” encompasses a blend of technical homage and open-source principles. It’s a reminder of the deep roots and continuous evolution of software development. Understanding the story behind the name offers a unique glimpse into the ethos and spirit of the programming community.