In the vocabulary.com

A shebang is a thing or a group, used in the phrase "the whole shebang." When your teacher says the test will cover the whole shebang, she means everything you've studied is fair game.

In the urban dictionary

The whole shabang: Including everything that will make up the entirety of the main object in question or that will complement it.

Are they all correct(maybe)?

What is the difference between them?


They have exactly the same meaning but shebang is by far most common (Google search) and is the only spelling listed by major dictionaries (Merriam-Webster (US) and Oxford (UK) online). The Urban Dictionary has its uses, but don't take its spellings over any other formal, edited source.

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  • 7
    google ngrams might be a useful link here – Smock Nov 20 '19 at 9:27
  • @Smock Thanks for providing such a good method. :) – Diamond Nov 20 '19 at 9:29
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    In technical IT circles, a "shebang" is a character combination in Unix-family operating system shell scripts. The combination is '#!' which is "hash" or "sh" followed by "exclamation point" or "bang". When used, it is always the first two characters in a script (on the first line) followed by the name of the "shell script interpreter" (like Bash) that the OS should invoke to "run" (and interpret) the script. I doubt this very technical concrete definition of 'shebang' has anything to do with the phrase 'the whole shebang'... I've never seen this usage spelled 'shabang'. – geneSummons Nov 20 '19 at 17:35
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    Yeah... I'd have worded this more strongly and said the Urban Dictionary entry is flat out spelled wrong. Nothing in the Urban Dictionary is official, correct English -- it's a dumping ground for anyone off the street to record definitions for some slang they heard (or invented). It's occasionally useful if someone uses an expression that you don't understand, but it's not curated and is full of misinformation -- ELLers should take everything there with a grain of salt. – A C Nov 20 '19 at 17:49
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    shebang is how it's spelled. shabang is how it's pronounced. /SHəˈbaNG/ – Mazura Nov 20 '19 at 20:42

What else but googlefight ? Shebang wins, 200 to 18 . Take that for whatever it's worth.

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