ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

sigil (computer programming)

A sigil is like a special symbol or character that tells a computer program what to do with a certain piece of code. It's like a secret code that you put in your program to make it work in a certain way.

Think of it this way: let's say you're playing a game of Simon Says. When Simon says "touch your nose," you know what to do because he's given you clear instructions. In programming, it's a little bit like that. When you put a sigil in your code, the program knows what to do with that information.

For example, if you type "print" into a programming language, the computer might not know what you mean by that. But if you add a sigil like "()" after it, the computer knows that you want to print something to the screen.

Sigils are often used in programming languages like Perl, and they can vary depending on the language you're using. Some sigils might look like dollar signs ($), at signs (@), or percent signs (%). Each sigil has a different meaning and helps the program understand what you want it to do.

So in a nutshell, a sigil is like a special symbol you use in programming to tell your computer how to handle different parts of your code. It's kind of like playing Simon Says with your computer!
Related topics others have asked about: