Merely curious about the etymology of the Windows environment variable %COMSPEC%. I understand it (usually) points to cmd.exe.
The best I could find online is Command Specifier, which sounds reasonable.
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In regards to the etymology, it's self-referential.
%COMSPEC% does stand for Command Specifier, and it "specifies" the command interpreter, which by default is
cmd.exe in NT systems, and
COMMAND.COM in DOS systems.
You can modify the variable to point to any secondary interpreter you want (this is a DOS example):
COMSPECspecifies the secondary command interpreter.
This need not be
One example of a different command interpreter is JP Software's 4DOS.COM.