Skip to main content



[ From Swift's Gulliver's Travels via the famous paper On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace by Danny Cohen, USC/ISI IEN 137, dated April 1, 1980 ]

adj. 1. Describes a computer architecture in which, within a given multi-byte numeric representation, the most significant byte has the lowest address (the word is stored 'big-end-first'). Most processors, including the IBM 370 family, the PDP-10, the Motorola microprocessor families, and most of the various RISC designs current in mid-1991, are big-endian.

See little-endian, middle-endian, NUXI problem.

2. An Internet address the wrong way around. Most of the world follows the Internet standard and writes email addresses starting with the name of the computer and ending up with the name of the country. In the U.K. the Joint Networking Team had decided to do it the other way around before the Internet domain standard was established; e.g., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Most gateway sites have ad-hockery in their mailers to handle this, but can still be confused. In particular, the address above could be in the U.K. (domain UK) or Czechoslovakia (domain CS).