I've read here the following text:

The name of a variable is a placeholder for its value, the data it holds. Referencing (retrieving) its value is called variable substitution.

If we retrieve/or reference the value, why is the terminology is "to substitute" and not just "to retrieve" or "to reference"?


Think of it in terms of the character strings: you start with


and after variable substitution that becomes


The placeholder is replaced by the value, hence variable substitution. There’s no reference to the variable after this (the shell doesn’t remember where the value came from).

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