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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"the alphabet," late 13c., abece. Sense "rudiments or fundamentals (of a subject)" is from late 14c. From 1944 (in a "Billboard" headline) as a shortening of American Broadcasting Company. Related: ABCs.


n. 1 (context US usually plural only uncountable English) The alphabet. (First attested from around (1150 to 1350).)(R:SOED5: page=3) 2 (context obsolete poetry English) A type of poem in which the lines start with the letters of the alphabet in order. (Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 17th century.) 3 (context obsolete English) A primer for teaching the Latin alphabet and first elements of reading. (Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 17th century.) 4 The fundamentals of any subject. (First attested in the mid 16th century.) 5 (context UK rail transport English) A British alphabetized guidebook for trains and their stations.


ABC are the first three letters of the Latin script known as the alphabet.

ABC or abc may refer to:

ABC (programming language)

ABC is an imperative general-purpose programming language and programming environment developed at CWI, Netherlands by Leo Geurts, Lambert Meertens, and Steven Pemberton. It is interactive, structured, high-level, and intended to be used instead of BASIC, Pascal, or AWK. It is not meant to be a systems-programming language but is intended for teaching or prototyping.

The language had a major influence on the design of the Python programming language (as a counterexample); Guido van Rossum, who developed Python, previously worked for several years on the ABC system in the early 1980s.

ABC (band)

ABC are an English new wave band that first came to prominence in the early 1980s. Their 1982 debut album, The Lexicon of Love, was a UK number one and they achieved ten UK and five US Top 40 hit singles between 1981 and 1990. The band, now essentially a vehicle for singer Martin Fry, continue to tour and released their ninth studio album, The Lexicon of Love II, in 2016.

ABC (newspaper)

ABC is a Spanish national daily newspaper published in Spain. It is the third largest general-interest newspaper in Spain, and the oldest newspaper still operating in Madrid. ABC is often referred to as a newspaper of record from Spain, along with El País and El Mundo.

ABC (1906 automobile)

The ABC was an American high wheeler automobile built by Amedee B. Cole in St. Louis, Missouri, USA from 1905 to 1910.

Known as the Autobuggy from 1906 to 1908, it was billed as "the cheapest high-grade car in America", and was available with two-cylinder and four-cylinder engines, friction drive, and pneumatic or solid tires. The drive system used a cone and two bevel wheels, one for forward and the other for reverse. This allowed it to reach its top speed in either direction. A larger engine was fitted in 1908, and the wheelbase grew from to . Its high ground clearance made it popular in rural areas.

Later models were more conventional with two- or four-cylinder engines, but the market for high wheelers was disappearing and the company folded in 1910.

Confusingly, there was another Auto-Buggy made by Success, also of St Louis.

ABC (1920 automobile)

The ABC was an English car manufactured between 1920 and 1929 by ABC Motors.

It was a light car (305 kg), powered by a 1203 cc flat-twin, air-cooled engine designed by Granville Bradshaw (the man who was also responsible for the ABC Motorcycle). The engine however was difficult to start, loud, inefficiently lubricated, and prone to breakages, particularly the quite long, exposed push rods. Over time quality improved dramatically. Combined with the vehicle's light weight, the powerplant made the car quite fast for its size, capable of speeds pushing 60 miles per hour, and boasting quite good acceleration. ABC was originally part of the Harper Bean combine, and was based in Hersham, Surrey and Harper Bean supplied castings, stampings, and forgings utilized on the first ABCs. The car was expensive; in 1920 it sold for £414 but came down to £265 for a four seater in 1923.

The "radiator" cap was actually the fuel tank filler, which led to problems when mechanics not familiar with air-cooled cars topped off the fuel tank with water.

In 1925 a more refined version came featuring stronger valve gear, a better system of lubrication, and enclosed pushrods. Front wheel brakes became an option.

The company introduced a Super Sports model in 1925 with a 1320 cc engine. This was the only model offered for the last four years of ABC's production.

ABC (1922 automobile)

The ABC was a light car planned and advertised by the Arthur-Boynton Company of Albany, New York in 1922. It never materialized; had production begun, the car would have sold for $300.

ABC (stream cipher)

In cryptography, ABC is a stream cypher algorithm developed by Vladimir Anashin, Andrey Bogdanov, Ilya Kizhvatov, and Sandeep Kumar. It has been submitted to the eSTREAM Project of the eCRYPT network.

ABC (Australian TV channel)

ABC (formerly known as ABC National Television or ABC TV from 1956 until 2008, and as ABC1 from 2008 until 2014) is a national public television network in Australia. Launched on 5 November 1956 it is the responsibility of the ABC's television division, and is available nationally.

ABC (TV station)

ABC is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's television station in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The station began broadcasting on 18 December 1962 and broadcasts from studios in Dickson. Its main transmitter is at Black Mountain.

ABC (The Jackson 5 album)

ABC is the second studio album by The Jackson 5 and was issued on May 8, 1970 by Motown Records. It featured the No. 1 singles, " ABC" and " The Love You Save". Also present on the LP are several notable album tracks including a cover of Funkadelic's "I'll Bet You", "I Found That Girl" (the only lead song from brother Jermaine), and "The Young Folks" originally recorded by the Diana Ross-led version of The Supremes.

The album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart and at No. 1 on the Billboard Black Albums chart. It was named No. 98 on the VH1 All-Time Albums Top 100. It remains one of the Jackson 5's most popular efforts selling over 5.7 million copies worldwide.

ABC (The Jackson 5 song)

"ABC" is a 1970 number-one hit by the Jackson 5. First aired on American Bandstand on the ABC network) on February 21, 1970. It was released on February 24."ABC" knocked The Beatles' Let It Be off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, and was number one on the soul singles chart for four weeks. It was written with the same design as their first 1970 hit ' I Want You Back'. ABC was performed on the American Bandstand (21st February, 1970), Ed Sullivan Show (10th May, 1970), The Groovy Show (10th June, 1970), Flip Wilson Show (4th November, 1971), Save the Children Benefit Concert (September, 1972), The Jackson 5 Show (5th November, 1972), Royal Variety Show (5th November, 1972), One More Time (10th January, 1974), Sandy In Disneyland (10th April, 1974) and The Jacksons TV Series (7th July, 1976).

It is considered one of the band's signature songs. It is one of the shortest titles to hit #1, and is the first alphabetically in a list of #1 its on the Billboard Hot 100.

50 Cent told NME that the song was the first he remembered hearing: "I've always loved MJ, so I guess it was probably a good place to start music: right here, with the ABCs."

ABC (Yet Another BitTorrent Client)

ABC is a free software, open source BitTorrent client based on BitTornado. It supports a queueing system with priority, global and local (per torrent) preference setting for downloading torrent (including upload and download rating limit), three upload options to do with completed file, and a system named Upload Rate Manager (URM) to force torrents out of queue if there is not a pre-set amount of upload activity. There is also an extensive web interface in ABC, allowing for other applications to view and change torrents and preferences remotely.

It is written in Python using wxPython.

The BitTorrent clients Tribler and Torrent Swapper build on ABC.

ABC (computer virus)

ABC, discovered in October 1992, is a memory-resident, file-infecting computer virus which infects EXE files and may alter both COM and EXE files. ABC activates on the 13th day of every month.

Upon infection, ABC becomes memory-resident at the top of system memory but below the 640 K DOS boundary and hooks interrupts 16 and 1C. The copy of [[]] pointed to by the COMSPEC environment variable may also be altered. ABC infects/alters COM and EXE files as they are executed.

After infection, total system memory, as measured by the DOS CHKDSK program, will not be altered, but available free memory will have decreased by approximately 8,960 bytes. Altered, but not infected, COM or EXE files will have 4 to 30 bytes added to their length. Infected EXE files (COM files are never infected) have a file length increase of 2,952 to 2,972 bytes, and ABC is located at the end of the infected EXE. An altered/infected file's date and time in the DOS disk directory listing may have been updated to the current system date and time when the file was altered/infected.

No text strings are visible within the viral code in infected EXE files, but the following text strings are encrypted within the initial copy of the ABC virus:

ABC_FFEA Minsk 8.01.92 ABC

ABC causes keystrokes on the compromised machine to be repeated. It seems double-letter combinations trigger this behavior, e.g. "book" becomes "". System hangs may also occur when some programs are executed, a likely side effect of ABC-induced corruption.

The ABC virus is not to be confused with the ABC keylogger trojan, written in 2004 by Jan ten Hove.

ABC (Jin album)

ABC is a 2007 album by Chinese-American rapper Jin. ABC is Jin's fourth overall album, which was released on February 20, 2007. In 2008 the album was re-released by Universal Music Hong Kong with different album art.

ABC (Swedish news programme)

ABC is the name of a regional news programme for Stockholm County and Uppsala County in Sweden broadcast by Sveriges Television (SVT). The programme was started in 1987, making Stockholm and Uppsala the last counties in Sweden to receive regional television news.

The programme is broadcast from the SVT news studio in Stockholm and has a local office in Uppsala.

The name comes from the county letters for Stockholm (AB) and Uppsala (C).

Since 25 August 2008 Uppsala County has an own programme called SVT Uppland.

ABC (Anna Book song)

ABC is a song written by Martin Contra, Björn Frisén and Keith Almgren. With lyrics related to school, it was performed by Anna Book at Melodifestivalen 1986, where it ended up on a 5th place.

The song stayed at Svensktoppen for four weeks during the period of 30 March-20 April 1986, peaking at first place during the second week.

ABC (food)

ABC is an Indonesian based food division of the H. J. Heinz Company, based in Jakarta, and manufactures sauces, condiments, juices and syrups. ABC brand was previously owned by PT. ABC Central Food, a company that was bought by Heinz in 1999.

PT. Heinz ABC is the largest Heinz's business in Asia, and one of the largest in the world; employing 3000 employees, 3 production facilities, 8 packing facilities, and extensive distribution network in Java and other parts of Indonesia. Today ABC is one of 15 brands owned by Heinz worldwide.

ABC (medicine)

ABC and its variations are initialism mnemonics for essential steps used by both medical professionals and lay persons (such as first aiders) when dealing with a patient. In its original form it stands for Airway, Breathing and Circulation. The protocol was originally developed as a memory aid for rescuers performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the most widely known use of the initialism is in the care of the unconscious or unresponsive patient, although it is also used as a reminder of the priorities for assessment and treatment of patients in many acute medical and trauma situations, from first-aid to hospital medical treatment. Airway, breathing, and circulation are vital for life, and each is required, in that order, for the next to be effective. Since its development, the mnemonic has been extended and modified to fit the different areas in which it is used, with different versions changing the meaning of letters (such as from the original 'Circulation' to 'Compressions') or adding other letters (such as an optional "D" step for Disability or Defibrillation).

In 2010, the American Heart Association and International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation changed the recommended order of CPR interventions for most cases of cardiac arrest to chest compressions, airway, breathing or CAB.

ABC (magazine)

ABC was an Italian weekly magazine published between 1960 and 1977.

ABC (Kreidler album)

ABC is an album by electronica group Kreidler, released in 2014. It marks the 20th anniversary of the band.

Usage examples of "abc".

She looked at the anchorwoman on ABC and wondered if Hartline had forced his way with her, too.

It was a look that drew teenie-boppers and at the same time assured Mom and Dad that he was really an okay guy, probably a class cutup but nothing to worry about, kike the assessment from another ABC brain-anail-American comedian.

Republican at Fox News can trump the propagandistic effect of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC combined and swing a presidential election, the Democrats may as well give up right now.

The Omaha ABC affiliate claimed a viewership of almost a million people throughout eastern Nebraska.

Within the next fifteen minutes, ABC, NBC and CBS all carried bulletins including short segments of the Jessica tape.

Originally the agency had wanted to call the donuts RWsrotating wheelsbut ABC News had called the first one a donut and the name had stuck.

Clinton administration staffers, only the one who never worked for any Republican administration is the one who landed a permanent position at ABC News.

ABC News has also learned that the crew of the Boeing 727 believes the bomb is counting down toward an automatic detonation less than three hours from now.

Vereen had been invited to perform for the Reagan Inauguration and had accepted only on the condition that he could tell the entire "Blackface" story - but the whole first half of Vereen's show, depicting Bern Williams and blackface, was censored by Reagan's people on ABC TV, contrary to the special agreement Vereen had with them.

CNN at 7:08 , CBS at 7:20 , NEC at 7:37 , ABC at 7:50 , Fox at 8:08 , all from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where the cameras were already set up.

We accompanied Calvin while he delivered pay checks to the ABC stores in Murfreesboro, Ahoskie, and Winton.

After he had run through the list in the ABC book, he sent back a couple of blank pages from the book with very crude drawings on them-drawings that looked as if they had been made with crumbly charcoal.

Of all the unworthy catalogues we might have sent, that ABC book was the worst.

I was not particularly fond of the ABC books, of which three others were ]mblished by Walker by 1972.

But we ran across one of the old ABC books he'd had when he was just a toddler and decided it was even better than the dictionary.