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''nawk'' is another name for ''The One True Awk'', the original implementation by Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger and Brian Kernighan.
''nawk'' is "New Awk", and refers to the [http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/An_Awk_Primer/Nawk the new features from 1985]. Versions from before 1985 would be ''oawk'' for "Old Awk". There is no reason to use ''oawk'', but some systems had both, and the [http://heirloom.sourceforge.net/tools.html Heirloom Toolchest] still includes both ''oawk'' and ''nawk''.
Because of the release of [http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~bwk/btl.mirror/ source code of The One True Awk], some [[BSD]] systems now include ''nawk'' as /usr/bin/awk.