Why is the function to print out text in R named “cat”? Why is the function to delete objects called “rm”? Unless you have a background in Unix (or Linux) programming, some of R’s command names can seem, well, a bit arcane. Jeromy Anglim explains the provenance of many of R’s command names in this post: the details are not only interesting in their own right, but the etymology may also serve as a memory guide next time you’re searching for the function to find matching text in character vectors (“grep”).
Jeromy Anglim: Abbreviations of R Commands Explained: 150+ R Abbreviations