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2 definitions found
 for big-endian
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  big-endian
   adj.
  
      [common; 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]
  
      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 are big-endian. Big-endian byte order is also
      sometimes called network order. See little-endian, middle-endian, NUXI
      problem, swab.
  
      2. An Internet address the wrong way round. 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
      Academic Networking Team had decided to do it the other way round before
      the Internet domain standard was established. Most gateway sites have {
      ad-hockery in their mailers to handle this, but can still be confused. In
      particular, the address me@uk.ac.bris.pys.as could be interpreted in
      JANET's big-endian way as one in the U.K. (domain uk) or in the standard
      little-endian way as one in the domain as (American Samoa) on the opposite
      side of the world.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  big-endian
  
     1.  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-1993, are big-endian.
  
     See -endian.
  
     2.  A backward electronic mail
     address.  The world now follows the Internet hostname
     standard (see FQDN) and writes e-mail addresses starting
     with the name of the computer and ending up with the country
     code (e.g. fred@doc.acme.ac.uk).  In the United Kingdom the
     Joint Networking Team decided to do it the other way round
     (e.g. me@uk.ac.wigan.cs) before the Internet domain
     standard was established.  Most gateway sites required
     ad-hockery in their mailers to handle this.
  
     By July 1994 this parochial idiosyncracy was on the way out
     and mailers started to reject big-endian addresses.  By about
     1996, people would look at you strangely if you suggested such
     a bizarre thing might ever have existed.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1998-08-09)
  

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