14

Apropos is a tool to search the headers of the man pages for a string.

What does the name apropos mean?

15

ap·ro·pos

/ˌæprəˈpoʊ/ Show Spelled[ap-ruh-poh] Show IPA –adverb

1. fitting; at the right time; to the purpose; opportunely.

2. Obsolete. By the way. –adjective

3. opportune; pertinent: apropos remarks. —Idiom

4. apropos of, with reference to; in respect or regard to: apropos of the preceding statement.

Definition #4 is where the unix command stems from. The results returned are in reference to the input argument.

9

I always thought it is from à propos meaning "in connection, concerning, with regard, in reference".

Edit: Apparently there is also word apropos and à propos meaning the same which are derived from French à propos.

  • 2
    English is a thief of words, but it has good taste :) – zetetic Feb 27 '11 at 23:16
4

On my system, dictapropos tells me:

2 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

  Apropos \Ap"ro*pos`\ ([a^]p"r[-o]*p[=o]`), a. & adv. [F. [`a]
     propos; [`a] (L. ad) + propos purpose, L. proposium plan,
     purpose, fr. proponere to propose. See {Propound}.]
     1. Opportunely or opportune; seasonably or seasonable.
        [1913 Webster]

              A tale extremely apropos.             --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]

     2. By the way; to the purpose; suitably to the place or
        subject; -- a word used to introduce an incidental
        observation, suited to the occasion, though not strictly
        belonging to the narration.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

  apropos
      adv 1: at an opportune time; "your letter arrived apropos" [syn:
             {seasonably}, {timely}, {well-timed}, {apropos}]
      2: introducing a different topic; in point of fact;
         "incidentally, I won't go to the party" [syn: {by the way},
         {by the bye}, {incidentally}, {apropos}]
      adj 1: of an appropriate or pertinent nature [ant: {malapropos}]
2

Also in French version of most software, the "About" item is translated by "À propos" which is a fairly accurate translation.

1

In English apropos is a word that means appropriate or at an opportune time.

  • 2
    Good job, Watson. – Tobu Feb 28 '11 at 1:41
-1

In computing, apropos is a command to search the manual pages files in Unix and Unix-like operating systems.

  • 5
    I think that is obvious here, considering he linked to the wikipedia article on it. Your answer is not valid to the question. – xenoterracide Feb 28 '11 at 1:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.