PHP: I didn’t expect that Paamayim Nekudotayim!

Paamayim Nekudotayim is the official name for the Scope Resolution Operator (::) in PHP. It means “twice colon” or “double colon” in Hebrew.

Nekudotayim means ‘colon’; it comes from nekuda, ‘point’ or ‘dot’, and the dual suffix ayim, hence ‘two points’. Similarly, the word paamayim s derived by attaching the dual suffix to paam (‘one time’ or ‘once’), thus yielding ‘twice’.

The name was introduced in the Israeli-developed Zend Engine 0.5 used in PHP 3. Although it has been confusing to many developers, it is still being used in PHP 5, as in this sample error message:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM in file on line line

View the Wikipedia article here.

I haven’t come across this error, maybe because I don’t really use the scope resolution operator anyway.

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