use a literal bang (exclamation point) in a command

echo '!'whammy
Seems obvious, but other seemingly simple ways to use it don't work: echo !whammy and echo "!whammy" both output: -bash: !whammy: event not found and this: echo "\!whammy" outputs: \!whammy with the slash :( you can also do any combinations of quotes for a complex string: echo "It's great to be able to use a bang ("'!'") in a command"'!' outputs: It's great to be able to use a bang (!) in a command!
Sample Output
!whammy

-3
2009-03-26 23:34:33

What Others Think

Two other simple solutions: 1. Escape it, but don't put it in double quotes: echo \!whammy 2. Put the whole thing in single quotes: echo '!whammy'
bjimba · 495 weeks and 3 days ago
While we're doing neat echo tricks, here's another: doing multi-line echos: echo "hello world" will fail, resulting in [ hello world ] but doing echo 'hello world' will result in [ hello world ] as expected.
clockworkavian · 495 weeks and 3 days ago
clockworkavian Both of your commands shown do *exactly* what is expected. Single quotes prevent the shell from expanding, modifying, or interpreting the data given to it. Double quotes, or interpolating quotes, do not.
ozymandias · 495 weeks and 3 days ago
@bjimba: Didn't know about #1 thanks\! :) and #2 is implied in my examples, I chose to separate the bang into its own single quotes to emphasize their use (I assume most people use none quotes or double quotes normally, like me.) I don't know why I tend to use double quotes at the shell. Coming from a PHP background, I use single quotes 99% of the time elsewhere. @ozymandias: Thanks for the info, I wish I would have know that all along. It's very similar to the difference between single and doubt quotes in PHP. I'm surprised I didn't make the connection earlier. Makes me glad I posted this one. I learned a lot :)
sudopeople · 495 weeks and 3 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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